If Republicans win the Presidency and the Senate and keep the House, they will implement their agenda. Their first mission is to end Medicare as we know it and stop/end Universal Healthcare -- or as they call it "Obamacare."
They will surely re-introduce and pass Paul Ryan's plan to END MEDICARE As We Know It! Ryan's plan privatizes Medicare. Our elderly will NOT have a choice of the standard medicare plan. Instead, they will be provided a voucher to shop for healthcare from private healthcare companies. There are dollar limits to these vouchers and there are no requirements for these companies to accept anyone with pre-existing conditions.
It's important to understand how current Medicare works before understanding what we are asking our Seniors to give up with Ryan's plan. Counter to what many Americans believe, Medicare is NOT free. Our seniors are required to pay a monthly Premium of about $110 a month. Plus, they pay 20% for doctor visits and a hefty deductible if they have hospital stays. (unless they are on Medicaid)
So now you may be thinking, "So what's the big deal? The Seniors still have to pay some costs. Isn't what they don't pay now sort of like a voucher?"
The answer: No.
Here are the dangers of the Ryan plan.
1. Pre-Existing Conditions: Medicare accepts ALL eligible seniors, regardless of pre-existing conditions. How many seniors with pre-existing conditions will go without care?
2. Vouchers have a cap! Hospital stays are expensive. If seniors require extensive care, they pay. Worse yet, many seniors may opt not to receive care rather than having to pay for what they can't afford.
3. Doctor Fees: Today, doctor's who accept Medicare patients must bill according to Medicare guidelines. Many doctors don't like this. They want to charge whatever they want to charge. With Ryan's plan, they won't have Medicare guidelines. Seniors will be forced to go to care providers that they can afford with their meager vouchers.
4. Prescription Drugs: Today, prescription drug prices must fall within Medicare prices guidelines. Seniors will be forced to purchase what they can afford with their meager vouchers. How will they afford Brand drugs or the outrageously expensive drugs for catastrophic illnesses? Cancer drugs? Will they just stop taking them when they can no longer afford them?
Many seniors today rely primarily on their Social Security to not only pay for their Medicare co-pays, but as their only means of survival.
Here's something else you should be aware of. There are two major reasons we have so many cost overruns with Medicare:
a. the cost the government pays to private healthcare companies to administer Medicare Advantage and Medicare Billing programs.
b. the cost of FRAUD and Waste.
What President Obama is attempting to accomplish with Universal Healthcare is to reduce/eliminate the costs charged by private healthcare providers, utilize technology to reduce waste/redundancy and to monitor/reduce fraud. This will save Billions.