The Tea Party’s War on Age

As supporters try to put Orrin Hatch, 78, out to pasture and literally dislodge Dick Lugar, 79, zealots in the Senate now are showing their hand against all older Americans by trying to end Medicare for current retirees and enrolling them in a health insurance plan now offered to federal employees by the year after next.

A proposal by Sens. Rand Paul, Jim DeMint, Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee would, by their own admission, do nothing to lower long-term costs of Medicare but start the federal program on the road to privatization.

Eligibility age would rise by three months a year for 20 years from age 65 to 70, and premiums would increase on a sliding income scale until those with a $1 million or more a year would pay the full amount.

It’s curious that pols who bitterly oppose raising rates for all billionaires now have no qualms about punishing the older rich, presumably on the theory that their work as “job creators” diminishes with age.

The plan differs from earlier Republican proposals, which excluded those in or near retirement. Asked what he would tell older Americans who expected to be covered by Medicare for the rest of their lives, Sen. Graham offered a politician’s familiar answer that has always set American teeth (even false ones) on edge: “Trust me. It’s a good deal.”

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Author: ROBERT STEIN

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4 Comments

  1. Can’t blame the GOP. It’s in their nature to be cold and it’s in their nature to ignore learning opportunities – including the ones that are recent history. One can however blame voters who place their trust in people who are unworthy of it.

  2. Well there are those that will say the GOP is heartless, cold and mean. They only want to support their rich fat cat friends at the expense of the poor, old and sick.

    However, there are a few that understand the problems facing this country.
    1. What happens when interest rates go up again, which they will and the government is paying for interest on 16T to 20T in debt.
    2. Where does the money comes from to pay the increased interest?
    3. Do we just add another trillion or so to the defficit to pay the interest?
    4. How do we pay for the increasing cost for Medicare and Social Security?
    5. Why is the GOP plan so bad when there is a large percentage of seniors already in private plans funded by Medicare that are bettrer than traditional Medicare?
    6. When do we have to start paying the countries bills like families have to pay their bills? The country does much more harm when they don’t pay the bills, unlike people who die and leave more debt than assets.
    7. When will any politician show leadership, unlike Obama when he had the perfect time to support the Bowles Simpson plan and begin working on debts and social programs.

    People can keep complaining about any politician that even mentions increasing the age for social program, but they will be complaining more when the incompetent management of our economy becomes reality and interest rates increase, debt can not be sold and inflation skyrockets due to the monitary policies we have had in place that impacts the future of this country.

  3. People can keep complaining about any politician that even mentions increasing the age for social program, but they will be complaining more when the incompetent management of our economy becomes reality and interest rates increase, debt can not be sold and inflation skyrockets due to the monitary policies we have had in place that impacts the future of this country.

    RP’s argument is an almost verbatim replay of the talking points Republicans have used since Medicare was first proposed.

    Here’s a link to a brief history of Social Security History Chapter 4: The Fourth Round-1957 to 1965 read it and then try and tell me with a straight face that the Republicans are doing anything different.

    Shame on the Republican politicians (and the Blue Dog Dems)… And even more shame to all those who ignorantly keep pushing the intentionally misleading talking points the right is using in this discussion.

  4. Well, we need to do something. I’m OK with increasing the premium for high-income people, and I’m OK with a gradual raising of the eligibility age. These seem reasonable and realistic, and we probably will have to do these sooner or later. Better sooner than leave it to the point where we are forced to do something even more drastic later.

    Privatization? I might be open to this, IF one of the options would be for a patient-owned cooperative model like GroupHealth HMO. Leaving us all to the tender mercies of for-profit corporations? No thanks!

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