Letters to the editor
Republicans have officially put forward their plan to dissolve Medicare once and for all.
Under the Republican plan, Medicare will simply disappear. Instead, seniors will be given an $8,000 coupon to shop for health coverage from private insurance companies.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has crunched the numbers in the plan.
The CBO found the coupon would cover about 32 percent of the cost of a private health insurance package. The senior would pay the 68 percent remaining.
Most Americans depend on their employers for their health care.
They don't have to shop around for the best price and benefits. But seniors have no employer. How are they supposed to use a 32 percent off coupon to find a company that will insure them and manage the health-care bureaucracy when they are sick?
The idea that a sick senior could be covered with an $8,000-a-year coupon is laughable. A policy for a 50 year old with a health problem can cost that today.
And even those with good pensions won't be able to shoulder the high cost on their own. The only people who will have no worries are the upper 5 percent.
But sick seniors can always fall back on Medicaid after all their money is gone, right? No.
Under the Republican plan, $1.4 trillion will be cut from Medicaid, and each state will get a lump sum of what is leftover. States will have no choice but to cut health benefits.
Just imagine what it will be like to be 80 years old, sick, alone and unable to afford your health insurance because it costs $40,000 a year. There will be no nursing homes for you, because Medicaid will be effectively gone. Your kids will have to bear the burden and, if they can't, you are just out of luck.
Why are the Republicans doing this to seniors?
The answer is in their budget plan: They need to find the money to cut taxes by $4.2 trillion for the richest Americans and for corporations that are sending our jobs overseas.
The Republican plan is shameful. It turns our backs on our parents and grandparents who depend upon Medicare as their lifeline, and throws them to the wolves. Which I guess proves, once again, that there really isn't any Republican plan for health-care reform other than to take health care away from seniors.