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May 20, 2011

The Democratic/Obama Non-Plan on Medicare: Get Ready For Deep, Deep Cuts and Rationing

This was from last week, but I didn't notice.

I posted what I think was an update by Yuval Levin. This earlier post by Andrew Stiles makes the big points.

The whole thing is worth reading. The point is, though, that based on unrealistic scenarios (Doc Fix repealed, and Medicare starts paying Medicare doctors 30% less immediately, etc.), Medicare goes bankrupt in 2024.

But realistically, it will go bankrupt in eight years or something like that.

And what happens then?

Immediate, automatic cuts in payments made.

Seniors need to wake the hell up. In eight years or so they're going to be facing doctors unwilling to treat because Medicare will, by law, pay doctors even less than the below-market-rates it's paying now.

That's the current plan. That's the system seniors are rallying to protect.

If the trust funds are exhausted, immediate benefits cuts would go into effect. Starting in 2024, Medicare could pay about 90 percent of benefits, but that would drop to about 75 percent in 2045. In other words, despite Democratic attempts to savage the Ryan/GOP budget for “ending Medicare as we know it” (starting in 2022), the fact is that “Medicare as we know it” simply won’t be around much longer anyway on it’s current path. Social Security benefits, meanwhile, would receive an immediate 25 percent cut. This is exactly what Paul Ryan is talking about when he stresses to need to address entitlement spending now, on our terms, before cuts are imposed swiftly and indiscriminately.

Starting in eight years (or less), the death panels spring into effect automatically.

And honestly, I have to say this: Don't count on my vote for pouring more money into the system. You won't have it. And while pouring more money into a broken system to bail out those who stood against reforming it will have some political support, I don't know if you'll have the 60 votes necessary to end a filibuster on this in the Senate.

As a conservative, I believe in personal responsibility. The information is available. The mathematics are inevitable. The conclusion is unavoidable.

If, faced with these facts, seniors not only acquiesce to this outcome, but in fact affirmatively choose it, then they'll have no one to blame but themselves, and they can cry to someone else when they can't get coverage.

Sorry, that's the way it is.

People make their own choices. And they have to live with those choices.

If the choice is calamity and collapse, so be it, but no one will be able to say "I wasn't warned."

More: Collapse as a Feature, Not a Bug: Collapse as part of a scheme for universal government health care? At least that makes some sense. More sense than collapse for the sake of collapse.

Thanks to Monty.

H/t to Robtr: He's been trying to tell me for ages the cuts are automatic; that when we hit the limit, cuts go into effect automatically. I didn't know that. I thought he was probably right (he sounded like someone who knew what he was talking about) but really didn't know it for certain.

There's only one way out of this mess, and it's not this.

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posted by Ace at 05:23 PM

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