Recall life before Medicare?

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I’m sure supporters of congressional Republicans are happy that those younger than age 55 might soon be at the mercy of the health-insurance industry for their future elderly care, as it would be mandated by Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget. After all, it is very important that those at the top of the economic ladder have even more tax breaks at the expense of those who can least afford health insurance.

But possibly most important to supporters of the Ryan budget is that its passage will ensure the people who will never be at the top of the economic ladder know their place, and are willing to defer to, and look out for, the financial interests of their betters.

The health-insurance industry is designed to make a profit, not provide medical care. One simply cannot make money by insuring high-risk pools such as the elderly without charging very high premiums. Whatever monies the Medicare “coupon” provides will quickly disappear; you will then quickly eat through your savings, retirement account and any assets than that you hoped to leave to your children. Or you can simply choose not to get medical care – with its inevitable painful, potentially mortal consequences.

For those of you who do not remember the days before Medicare, please know there was a time in this country when the elderly chose to die because they did not want to be a personal or financial burden on their families. Medicare, with all it imperfections, stopped this indignity.

If the Tea Party folks want to be real heroes, they should demand their Medicare plan be changed immediately to a voucher program, and show us how real Americans can get things done. Take the country back to a time when there was no meaningful Medicare program. Imagine the excitement of knowing you can be dropped from coverage because of a newly discovered pre-existing condition, or you can no longer get coverage because you forgot to mail in a coupon or check because of your Alzheimer’s. Show the rest of us how to breathe the sweet air of freedom when you are kicked to the curb after all your assets have been liquidated to cover your medical expenses.

Anything less than such a bold and courageous act by the Tea Party folks will reveal that, despite all their flag-waving patriotism and shouts of individual self-reliance, they are selfish, hypocritical and only in it for themselves.

Also, please be assured that congressional Republicans will not be at the mercy of a medical coupon for their elderly care.

Brad Link

Aiken, S.C.

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 04/17/12 - 05:13 am
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So you mean people used to

So you mean people used to pay for THEIR healthcare? I bet things were a lot different back then.

carcraft
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carcraft 04/17/12 - 05:42 am
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Counting medicare funds ($500

Counting medicare funds ($500 billion) twice would make Obama care work and medicare work? I want to smoke some of the stuff the people in Washington that think up this garbage smoke. The real price tag has doubled on Obumbler care and nobody really inows how to pay for it. It would be nice is if every body owned a West Lake Manson, but who pays for it? I do remember before medicare and the elderly died just like they do now. Medical care was not nearly as expensive and mal practice law suits were not as common.

agustinian
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agustinian 04/17/12 - 06:47 am
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Dear Mr. Link, Well you

Dear Mr. Link,
Well you certainly know how everything will work out under the Ryan plan. I don't know if you are right or not. But here is what bothers me, I NEVER hear a plan from the Democrats to solve our debt problems -- I mean NEVER. You seem to know how to critique Mr. Ryan's plans, how 'bout a solution? Anyone? We are living beyond our means, borrowing from our grandchildren's future -- but I never hear an attempt to fix it from the Democrats or critics of conservative proposals.

We are on the canoe headed for Niagara Falls. The Republicans want to start paddling to shore, the Democrats want to keep suntanning claiming there is no CRISIS. Maybe there is a better way to get to shore, but you never hear that from the Democrats. Let's dip our paddles in the water, the roar you hear is not crowd approval, its the thunder of the falls about to crush our canoe.

Bizkit
32842
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Bizkit 04/17/12 - 06:52 am
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All Dems, if the are

All Dems, if the are "patriotic"(as Biden says), should demand everyones taxes to go up because of their great belief in big government. Anything else would be hypocrisy. Afterall all Dems are altruistic and would gladly made the sacrifice today to secure the future for our children. It's easy to pass the buck and say tax the rich but that still won't pay for it, so belly up and demand a significant increase in your taxes. Otherwise you become a liar and a thief.

Bizkit
32842
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Bizkit 04/17/12 - 07:00 am
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But the author is correct we

But the author is correct we should eliminate both Medicare and Social security. Leave medicaid for the poor but eliminate fraud. In any case my hopes is the Bush tax cuts will be eliminated so everyones taxes increase and all tax exemptions eliminated for all. Just call me a true Patriot!!!!

d1zmljqg
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d1zmljqg 04/17/12 - 07:43 am
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Riverman1 I am a senior and

Riverman1 I am a senior and pay $308.98 per month for healthcare insurance, which includes Medicare and Supplemental insurance premiums. My wife pays an equal amount, so we are paying $617.96 per month. My first FICA withholding was in 1955, first Medicare witholding was in 1966. These witholdings were continuous (for both of us) until we reached age 65. Is your comment influenced by some talking head?

allhans
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allhans 04/17/12 - 12:09 pm
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Just a simple thing like

Just a simple thing like allowing only those who pay into social security & medicare(after the retirement age is reached)to draw from it, might be the solution. Too many dead-beats in society taKing from every pot---even those that were never intended.
If some person wants to blame it on Republicans, then what can you say?

justthefacts
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justthefacts 04/17/12 - 08:38 am
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agustinian is correct. We

agustinian is correct. We know Ryan's budget will never pass in the Senate. Where is the plan from the Democrats? Leadership in the Senate says it has no plans to even discuss a budget. I wonder what Mr. Link thinks about that lack of intestinal fortitude.

RoadkiII
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RoadkiII 04/17/12 - 08:52 am
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There was a budget introduced

There was a budget introduced by a Democrat, the Emperor himself. Problem was it was so screwed up not a single Democrat voted for it. Zero, Zilch, Nada one.

OJP
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OJP 04/17/12 - 08:54 am
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@Riverman1: Yeah, things were

@Riverman1: Yeah, things were a lot different then. Before Medicare and Social Security, our elderly often descended into abject poverty and died from easily curable maladies.

Oh, please let's go back to that simpler time and better time...

OJP
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OJP 04/17/12 - 08:57 am
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The Ryan budget is without a

The Ryan budget is without a doubt a giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of the less fortunate.

Our economic problems can be summed up in one graph:

https://motherjones.com/files/averagehouseholdincome.jpg

justthefacts
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justthefacts 04/17/12 - 09:08 am
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OJP, the Democrat's plan to

OJP, the Democrat's plan to stem the growing tide of the $16 trillion debt is what?

Bizkit
32842
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Bizkit 04/17/12 - 09:19 am
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But the rich is who we need

But the rich is who we need to encourage. All the losers aren't contributing anything. The wealthy are the risk takers (so yeah they can become rich but they can lose everything too), job makers, and driving force for our govt (without taxes from then the govt would starve) and our economy. My wife is self employed and last month she took home virtually no pay, but she paid all her quartely taxes, staff and all her bills. I say if someone is willing to step out there and try then we should support them. Our progressive tax system already has the wealthy paying the bulk-it makes no sense to further burden one socioeconomic group-blatant discrimination as race, gender, or sexual preference discrimination. So let's start a new rule. All women and asians have to pay higher taxes. Same difference it is discriminatory and against equality under the law.

dichotomy
34317
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dichotomy 04/17/12 - 09:25 am
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1
Nobody likes Ryan's proposal

Nobody likes Ryan's proposal but nobody, especially no Democrat, has a plan for Medicare to make income = outgo. Medicare was doomed to be in this budget busting position the day it was implemented. Now, good or bad, we seem to be stuck with it. Medicare is not sustainable in it's current form. It's already been proved that you cannot tax "rich" people enough to pay for it or even make a dent in our national debt. You cannot take working people's money their entire working life and then deny them the full benefits based on some type of bogus income qualification. The way I see it is that we either make some radical change like Ryan's plan, or we immediately raise the Medicare payroll tax to the point where income = outgo. In that I include both raising the rate on Medicare taxes for everyone and eliminating the cap on Medicare payroll tax and charge the tax on all earned income. So pick your poison people. If everyone wants to keep Medicare then everyone is going to have to pay more. It cannot all be paid by the same 10% of the people that you also want to pay to bail us out of the rest of our national debt mess. We have been spending money we don't have and now the bill has come due. You are going to have to either get your wallet out and pay the bill or give up your place in line for the teat.

garner49
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garner49 04/17/12 - 09:33 am
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Oh my! So, what flavor is

Oh my! So, what flavor is your kool-aid? "Tea Party folks... are selfish, hypocritical and only in it for themselves". That is a very accurate description of Liberals. What do you not understand about, Taxed Enough Already?

I'm over 55, and remember how health care used to be - before government stepped in. Yes it was simpler, and I don't remember any "elderly chose to die because they did not want to be a personal or financial burden on their families". Do you? "Medicare, with all it('s) imperfections" - boy, is that an understatement. The government telling DR's. what they can do and charge, and the forms to fill out. Doctors used to take care of people and work out payment as needed - now I have to pay upfront, before I see the Doc.

"Congressional Republicans will not be at the mercy of a medical coupon for their elderly care". Why single them out? The Democrat's are in the same boat on that one. The last time I looked at how they voted on such, the D's voted for, the R's voted against.

Time to wake up and take a whiff, that's coffee, not kool-aid. A typical one-sided, liberal letter. I guess it's Bush's fault too.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 04/17/12 - 10:35 am
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For the poster who is paying

For the poster who is paying over $600 for health care there are cheaper options for you. Try looking into Humana plans . There are several that will suit your needs for about thirty bucks a month plus Medicare premiums. My wife and I both have one and we are very satisfied.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 04/17/12 - 11:32 am
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D1 said, "Riverman1 I am a

D1 said, "Riverman1 I am a senior and pay $308.98 per month for healthcare insurance, which includes Medicare and Supplemental insurance premiums. My wife pays an equal amount, so we are paying $617.96 per month. My first FICA withholding was in 1955, first Medicare witholding was in 1966. These witholdings were continuous (for both of us) until we reached age 65. Is your comment influenced by some talking head?"

D1, I have no idea about the math of your situation, but if you and your employer didn't pay in more than you use today under Medicare then someone else is footing the bill for you. Now it could very well be you paid in more than you will receive in medical care. If not, exactly who do you think should pay your medical bills? The country is deep in debt.

Someone else up the thread made an excellent point about how medical costs took off after Medicare was imposed with the example of deliveries under Dr. Watson. If you are on Medicare and walk in a physician's office, chances are you will end up being a patient with things being done to you.

happychimer
18500
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happychimer 04/17/12 - 11:33 am
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thanks Carleton. I heard that

thanks Carleton. I heard that plain medicare was better than medicare advantage, and then I have heard medicare advantage is better. I am confused.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 04/17/12 - 11:38 am
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OJP said, "@Riverman1: Yeah,

OJP said, "@Riverman1: Yeah, things were a lot different then. Before Medicare and Social Security, our elderly often descended into abject poverty and died from easily curable maladies."

Two different things, but let's suppose they are both fantastic programs. What happens if we can't pay for them because the baby boomers are now reaching 65? Those working have to pay the bills and they are fewer and making less and less. Does anyone have a magic way to make the numbers work? There's no way I know of.

So what do we do, try to cut now and keep the programs or simply keep things going full blast while whistling until government checks start bouncing? Ideas?

happychimer
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happychimer 04/17/12 - 11:44 am
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River employees today are

River employees today are paying social security benefits and medicare insurance for the ones receiving it today. Another example is if you take out a $50,000 insurance policy on someone and that person dies say in 5 years, someone will pay that $50,000 to the beneficiary. Thta is how insurance works. I have good health insurance, and If I don't use all I pay into it, that money goes to someone who needs it. That is the whole point of buying insurance.If I need surgery I am covered. I don't calculate how much someone else has to pay for my coverage if I need it.

Riverman1
86738
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Riverman1 04/17/12 - 11:47 am
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Happychimer, oh, I get that,

Happychimer, oh, I get that, but the problem is there are not enough working people, making enough to foot the bill for those retired on SS and Medicare. So if we are going to save the programs, we have to cut them. The math simply doesn't work.

Bizkit
32842
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Bizkit 04/17/12 - 11:50 am
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The trick is to stay

The trick is to stay health-preventive medicine. I have done so and so I take no meds, no high blood pressure, no high cholesterol, only smoke cigars on occassion and drink on occassion, no gray hair. Basically I can still easily pass to be in my 40s. Perhaps good genes as many in my family live to be in their 90's but I say taking good care of myself with exercise etc. You reap what you sow. I can't run like I use to but I can still put in a full days work-my knees aren't so great either. But still no knee replacement-as yet. Had a heart cath in my 50s and my coronaries are like a 18 year old. It's not too late. I don't find death becoming so I don't plan on becoming dead in the near future. LOL

Riverman1
86738
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Riverman1 04/17/12 - 11:55 am
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1
Tell you what I'd do if we

Tell you what I'd do if we want to seriously try to cut health care costs so we can keep Medicare viable. I'd say once you have a terminal illness and a meaningful life couldn't be kept going by medical treatment, you go home to die and be cared for by your family. The end of life hospital care is bankrupting the system. People can die at home and keep the funding to help the living.

happychimer
18500
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happychimer 04/17/12 - 12:03 pm
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bizkit high blood pressure

bizkit high blood pressure and diabetes runs on my mom's side, and allergies and asthma on my dad's. I am diabetic and take pills, and keep my sugar under control very well. I take pills for blood pressure and do my best to avoid stress. That's why I don't argue politcs and religion with anyone. All 3 of my grown kids have asthma, but I don't. For my age, I have no major illness out of control.Preventive medicine works.

happychimer
18500
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happychimer 04/17/12 - 12:08 pm
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River it is much cheaper to

River it is much cheaper to have home healthcare than to be in a nursing home.I don't know the exact laws, but I know I would much rather get care at home than in a nursing home where contagous diseases are spread.

allhans
23992
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allhans 04/17/12 - 12:22 pm
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Carleton....My sister is on

Carleton....My sister is on Medicare and pays Humana $175.00 a month for a supplement policy. She has talked to Humana about a lower rate plan and they only offered her plans with an extremely high deductible amount.
Do you know what plan you have so I can pass this along.
I have a supplemental policy with an independent agent for $57.00 a month but I haven't as yet had to use it for anything other than the standard Medicare, which it pays, plus it pays the 20%, so I am hoping I am not let-down if I have a need for other services.

OJP
6944
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OJP 04/17/12 - 01:22 pm
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@justthefacts: Ending the two

@justthefacts: Ending the two wars (in the works) and ending the Bush tax cuts would largely do the trick (of eliminating the deficit and, thus, begin eliminating the debt):

http://www.cbpp.org/images/cms//12-16-09bud-rev6-28-10-f1.jpg

OJP
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OJP 04/17/12 - 01:18 pm
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@Bizkit: No, we need to

@Bizkit: No, we need to encourage entrepreneurs, not "the rich". Most small business owners - the life-blood of our economy - are not part of "the rich".

OJP
6944
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OJP 04/17/12 - 01:19 pm
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@soapy_725: Level the playing

@soapy_725: Level the playing field does not mean level the outcome or the skill level. It means we all play by the same rules (disagreeing with that is ... odd).

OJP
6944
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OJP 04/17/12 - 01:20 pm
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@Riverman1: Raise the cap.

@Riverman1: Raise the cap. Voila - problem solved.

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