Ryan's Falsehoods Continue
Here are the facts. Medicare is a critical program that helps people age 65 or older achieve health security. But it's headed for a painful collapse. Independent experts and leaders in both parties agree that if we do nothing, Medicare will exhaust its trust fund in nine years, putting enormous pressure on the federal budget as health-care costs continue to rise. Unless we act, we're moving toward a debt-fueled economic crisis, harsh cuts that affect today's seniors and enormous tax increases that diminish the dreams of the next generation.
We can save Medicare, but we have to reform it so that it delivers the high quality we expect, at a price we can afford.
Medicare is one of the worst examples of forced cost-shifting at the point of a gun. It creates monstrous distortions in the delivery of health care and, when coupled with a legal environment that permits behavior illegal in other fields (anti-trust exemptions, demands to provide service to those who cannot pay, including those who can't pay by choice and explicit legal support for price-fixing across international boundaries) we have created a "free money spigot" that has cranked up the cost of health care at multiples of the general inflation rate while failing to materially improve the quality of care.
But compound functions like this cannot go on forever. The solution is not "vouchers", which simply shift the cost yet again, this time onto the back of seniors instead of the population generally. Nor can we realistically exempt anyone 55 and older - the bulk of the boomers are in the bracket from 55-65, and they will enter the system over the next ten years.
We must fix the structure of health care in the United States.
But neither the left or right is interested in doing this. Fixing the structure of health care means...
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