Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Caring for Medicare

If the Democratic victory in a deeply Republican New York congressional district turned on the Medicare issue, it shows that even some Republican voters trust the government more than private enterprise.

It also means that we care more about Medicare than the national debt. Afterall, it was Dick Cheney who said, "deficits don't matter."

And, finally, we want our government services, we just don't want to fully pay for them.

In a real sense, the outcome Tuesday validated a single-payer, government-run health care program, something not even "Obamacare" includes.

Yes, Medicare won't be able to sustain itself over the long haul because tax cuts for the rich, constant wars and a bloated military budget ensure that it won't.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., proposed that the federal government shed Medicare by privatizing it and dumping it on the states. Call it "Ryancare."

Great. Is there an insurance company out there that, in the future, will insure an 80-year-old with a lifetime of pre-existing conditions? And, if so, would the premium be about $20,000 or more per year?

I think we all know the answers to those questions.

Medicare works in the way that Social Security works: Our government is more trustworthy than any corporation in the land.

Government is that last stop before chaos and ruin. Just ask Wall Streeters. They know where the money is. When they destroyed the economy in 2008, they just backed up their SUVs to the Federal Treasury and took what they wanted.

Now, Ryan's Republicans want the poor and elderly to shoulder the brunt of the massive deficit that they didn't even cause.

If the federal government is serious about its deficit, it should go where the money is: Wall Street.

But, it won't because campaign donations from Wall Street will ensure that federal officer-holders will never look to the rich to bail out the country.

Today, though, Democrats can thank Ryan for handing them a rare victory.

If Ryancare becomes the Obamacare of the 2012 election cycle, O'Bama can schedule another presidential trip to Ireland and knock back a pint or two in 2014.

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