As a medical doctor, Rep. Tom Price swore to do no harm, but he wants millions of Americans to be harmed over the next year.
Medicare is a government safety net program that has been wildly successful and popular since it was first enacted in 1966. Millions of senior citizens rely on the program to cover their medical expenses so they don’t have to worry about medical bankruptcy.
But Donald Trump is considering a plan devised by House Speaker Paul Ryan to dismantle Medicare by privatizing it and handing it over to Wall Street on a silver platter.
Ryan’s plan would place Medicare in the hands of private insurance companies with the promise of vouchers to cover only a small percentage of plans. Seniors would be on the hook for most of the costs, which would likely skyrocket as insurance companies race to profit like vultures, while seniors get less healthcare and get screwed over despite paying into the system all of their lives. And you can forget about getting Medicare at all if you are too young to qualify.
It would be the end of Medicare and the beginning of a healthcare crisis like we have never had before.
When Talking Points Memo reached out to Price prior to him being picked by Trump to head the Department of Health and Human Services,
Price said he did not believe it would be in the first legislation Trump and the Republican Congress would tackle in the Spring. He said he expected it would come mid-year in the second phase of the budget reconciliation process. “I think that is probably in the second phase of reconciliation, which would have to be in the FY 18 budget resolution in the first 6-8 months.”
In short, Americans can expect Republicans in Congress to begin their effort to wipe out Medicare in one swoop, which would harm millions of Americans immediately and millions more in the years to come as Medicare no longer exists to help older Americans pay for healthcare without having to deal with all the bullshit private insurance companies do. And since Republicans also plan to dismantle Obamacare, that would free up private insurers to do whatever they want, including spending way less on actual healthcare and denying plans to people with pre-existing conditions.
The bottom line is that healthcare in America is about to become a national “if you get sick, you die” program in which grandma and grandpa are thrown off a cliff into a harsh world.
Our only hope now is that Democrats are willing to obstruct every step of the way to prevent this travesty from coming to pass.
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