LETTER: Health reform would be very costlyA friend of mine, who I think leans somewhat to the right in her political preferences, emailed me this morning, suggesting that I must be thrilled by Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick.
To the Editor:
A friend of mine, who I think leans somewhat to the right in her political preferences, emailed me this morning, suggesting that I must be thrilled by Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick.
I don’t know if thrilled is the proper word to describe my feelings. On one hand I really think that Mr. Romney is just trying to appease the radical right wing (Tea Party) of the Republican party, but it’s really hard to gauge what he’s thinking as he has been on both sides of every issue that’s arisen so far. Mitt Romney doesn’t seem to have any consistent opinion on anything, he’s for whatever the crowd he’s speaking to is for.
Paul Ryan, now that is a different story. He has made it very clear what he’s for, and should a Romney-Ryan ticket win the election, there will be a lot of celebrating going on with one group of people. That would be Mr. Romney’s millionaire backers who would be in line for, among other things, hug tax breaks. And let’s not forget easing of taxes and regulations on everything that corporations and financial institutions feel are keeping them from increasing their profits.
Paul Ryan’s budget proposals, that include tax breaks for the extremely wealthy, do take into account that we do have a huge deficit that must be paid down, and fear not, he has a way to finance the tax breaks for the wealthy and pay down the deficit.
The Ryan plan is very simple, and we should pay very close attention to this, especially my fellow senior citizens. First get rid of Obamacare, then change Medicare to a voucher system, which means the government will give us seniors a voucher that we can take out on the insurance market and get the policy that fits us best, except in most cases these vouchers will fall far short of the coverage we have now from Medicare.
Some pretty reliable estimates on how much more seniors would have to pay out of pocket to get the same benefits that Medicare now gives us, have come out from the congressional budget office. They tell us that we could very well pay in excess of $6,000 per year, per person for the same or less coverage than we have now.
Currently a senior couple like my husband and me pay $200 per month for Medicare or $2,400 a year. Under the Ryan budget this would rise to more than $1,000 per month, or $12,000 per year, and probably with such high deductibles that carrying such insurance would no longer be cost effective. We’d be better off throwing ourselves at the mercy of whatever emergency room would take us, which is what poor Americans have always had to do, which in turn has driven up the costs of medical care for all of us.
The Ryan budget, along with tax cuts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to millionaires, would also raise taxes by as much as $2,000 a year for working families, as well as getting rid of things like the earned income credit for families with low incomes. It would also shred Medicaid, food stamp programs and many other programs that benefit the working poor.
To say that the Ryan budget plan is draconian would not be accurate as it doesn’t require sacrifices from everyone. No this plan requires that you and I, the elderly, the children, the sick, the poor and yes even the middle class sacrifice, while the wealthiest among us just keep rolling along as if all is just fine. This is what we’ve come to expect from the party of family and “Christian” values. What would Jesus do? Indeed.