Bipartisan Deal to Slash Medicare and Medicaid - by Stephen Lendman
Both programs and Social Security are on the chopping block for elimination incrementally.
It's been planned for years. Republicans want them eliminated. Democrats agreed to incremental cuts to make ending core social contract programs look normal. Slashing Social Security comes later.
On November 24, New York Times writer Robert Pear headlined, "Support Builds for a Plan to Rein in Medicare Costs," saying:
Congressional Supercommittee members "built a case for major structural changes in Medicare (and Medicaid) that would limit the government's open-ended financial commitment...."
Privatization is recommended. Republicans and some Democrats agree. Expect more to come on board. Methodology might be to provide beneficiaries fixed sums for private plans. They'll cost more and deliver less.
Proponents call the idea "premium support." At issue is shifting government's responsibility to beneficiaries. Washington would pay premiums in increasingly smaller amounts until they bear full responsibility.
Doing so will leave seniors entirely on their own for healthcare when they most need it. Unaffordability won't matter. Understating the problem, John Rother, National Coalition on Health Care president said:
"The Supercommittee may have laid the groundwork for future reductions in the growth of Medicare."
In fact, "the gang of 12" secretly agreed to major cuts on the way to eliminating government's responsibility for healthcare entirely. After that, attack Social Security.
Last year, Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRF) recommended deep Medicare cuts, higher Medicaid co-pays, and restrictions on filing malpractice suits, among other ways to end Washington's responsibility for healthcare incrementally.
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) also recommended deep Medicare cuts, higher Part B premiums, big co-pays and outpatient fee increases, and establishing privately owned, lower-cost health insurance exchanges to gradually eliminate traditional Medicare. It also wants Medicaid funding cut.
Congressional Democrats and Republicans agree on raising Medicare's eligibility's age. So does Obama. He also supports deep cuts. Expect his new Independent Payment Advisory Board to recommend them. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said current proposals will force seniors to pay more for coverage, much more.
In 2012, bipartisan agreement on Medicare and Medicaid cuts are coming. Backloading will delay pain until after the November 2012 elections. Last June, Vice President Biden agreed to $500 billion in Medicare/Medicaid more cuts on top of previously imposed big ones. Republicans want $780 billion. Splitting the difference is likely. More reductions will come later. Both sides agree.
By mid-decade, traditional Medicare will provide half of today's benefits. Seniors will need private plans for full coverage. Those unable to afford them will be out of luck.
Proponents falsely say Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are responsible for rising deficits and America's national debt burden. They also bogusly claim Medicare and Social Security are going broke. When properly administered, in fact, both programs are sustainable long-term with modest adjustments and by curtailing escalating healthcare costs.