The Wisconsin State Journal editorial ‘The status qua in not an option,” praised Rep. Paul Ryans “Road Map to America’s Future”, a plan so hideous that it boggles the mind and puts each of us at the mercy of insurance companies and banks. I can hear it now, “But he’s a respected Republican, we trust them with our money, and they know how to be ‘fiscal conservatives.” How’s the country doing right now after being under the control of a Republican Congress and White House for the past 7 years?
Let’s start with the hyperbole.
“Rep. Paul Ryan is generating excitement among conservative circles for a bill he introduced that would reform Social Security, Medicare, the health care system and the tax code. ”
“I call it a roadmap for America’s future,” said Rep. Ryan. Insiders’¦ say Ryan’s measure represents the kind of fresh thinking the party needs to turn itself around.”
Fresh? Privatizing Medicare and Social Security, and make the public pay out of their meager incomes health care premiums with a small tax deduction, when employers once payed and got 100 percent deductability?
“Republican strategists say ‘¦might help the party recast itself as the party of limited government and fiscal restraint.”
Yes, and stick all the risk in the publics lap with no safety nets.
“Ryan’s bill would offer more transparency in health care costs; provide more flexibility for state-sponsored high-risk pools for insurance.”
More “state-sponsored” flexibility means states pay more, squeezing Wisconsin taxpayers. Insurance is supposed to spread the risk, thus lowering the cost of coverage, this plan does the opposite. This also puts everyone out there alone, removing any possible group discount. The bill would also set up medical savings accounts to pay for out-of-pocket costs. Sorry Rep. Ryan, these savings accounts have been analyzed and discredited by economic experts. I should know, I’ve had one for six years and it’s wiped out my kids college savings accounts.
We already know that insurance companies suck up 20 to 30 percent of every health care dollar, so why not let them do the same for Medicare? A gift to the “for profit from illness” industry of gluttonous racketeers. Bravo!
Ryan would reform the Social Security program, giving workers the option of investing a third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts. A gift to investment companies and banks holding the retirement accounts, while draining the standard plan. Just like health savings accounts, which have already been roundly criticized by everyone except conservative ideologues, personal retirement accounts would only benefit the wealthy. Contradiction ALERT: Ryan says “the government” will guarantee a minimum in those personal accounts. What, rely on big bad government promises? Sounds a lot like another taxpayer bailout for the go-it-alone personal account risk takers if things don’t pan out.
Much of Rep. Ryan’s plan would be unnecessary with the implementation of a single payer health care system in this country. European countries spend less than we do. It is stunning to think we haven’t culled the best from of their plans for ourselves. In fact, Rep. Ryan even acknowledges how much more we spend in the U.S. than in Europe, while completely ignoring the obvious: Europeans style health care is the solution.