Politics Magazine

Split Develops Between House & Senate GOP On Medicare

Posted on the 23 March 2015 by Jobsanger
Split Develops Between House & Senate GOP On Medicare (Cartoon above is by Steve Breen at creators.com.)
The new budget proposal of Republicans in the House of Representatives contains a proposal that would be the start of destroying the Medicare program in the United States. It creates a voucher program that would give subsidies to seniors to buy private insurance and leave Medicare. While this would be something that wealthy and upper middle class seniors might like, it would be disastrous for the Medicare program as a whole -- which depends on all seniors being in the program to make it financially viable.
The House Republicans know this -- they just don't care. They have always opposed Medicare, because to them medical care is a product to be sold to people who have money -- not a right of everyone (including seniors). They know their proposal would mean the end of Medicare, and that is exactly what they intend for it to do. They don't care that Medicare has worked exactly as it was intended, and has protected America's senior from the medical problems that come with advancing age.
They also don't care that most Americans like the Medicare program, and don't want to see it harmed or abolished. They only care that their rich Wall Street buddies don't like the program, and that's good enough for them. After all, most of them run for re-election in "safe" Republican districts -- districts created by massive gerrymandering after the 2010 elections. They can get re-elected even if they kill Medicare.
But Senate Republicans have a different attitude. Their own budget proposal has nothing in it about a voucher system that would destroy Medicare -- and they are beginning to make it clear that they would not support such a proposal. Why? Because those Republicans don't run in safe gerrymandered districts. They run statewide, and they know that destroying Medicare would be a huge hurdle to overcome in any statewide election.
I doubt any anti-Medicare proposal could have passed the Senate anyway, since Democrats would filibuster it to death (just like they will the Republican proposal to repeal Obamacare). But it's nice to know that senators of both parties will act to protect Medicare. The House plan to destroy Medicare is a non-starter, and that's a good thing.

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