Why would sane minds want medicare for millionaires? Because progressives aren’t sane.
Medicare is not an insurance plan. For better or worse it is a tax. It contains some elements of insurance in that it is supposed to be self-sustaining. So is the Post Office. That doesn’t make it insurance. If it were what government program wouldn’t be insurance?
Why start by an esoteric question like “is it insurance?” Insurance is defined as:
The act, system, or business of insuring property, life, one’s person, etc., against loss or harm arising in specified contingencies, as fire, accident, death, disablement, or the like, in consideration of a payment proportionate to the risk involved.
Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Insurance comes under contract law. Two parties or a group exchange promises with the insurer where both voluntarily undertake a mutual liability which each party performs at different times or simultaneously. In true insurance, the applicant exercises his obligation first by a lump sum payment or scheduled payments for which the insurer promises to act when some future event occurs like death, accident, auto repair, retirement, a term of years etc. by his paying out a lump sum. It IS gambling. Everyone bets that they will end up with more than was paid in or out.
Wikipedia’s definition of the difference is surprisingly non-partisan in its distinction between private insurance and this social program:
Medicare provides legally obligated benefits to the entire population triggered by old age or disability. There is no opting out. These benefits are financed largely through taxes on all. It is a taking; it is coercive. The federal government pays those over 65 or disabled for the unpredictable costs of health care. Most importantly employers contribute to your Medicare account. Private insurers freely decide whom to cover and what benefits to offer at different premiums to make a profit. Persons are free to buy a plan or not and to use competition to get the best coverage at the lowest price.
Edited from Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017
Obama Care is even less insurance. But it is outside the scope of this paper. Higher income earners not only pay more into the Medicare scheme but pay more for Part A and B coverage. For the wealthy it is no more insurance than any other tax. Sliding scale federal and state income taxes—a redistribution of the wealth.
Since Medicare is already a soak-the-rich program, I propose soaking them more in a way that will in the long actually benefit them. Anyone living in the real world who doesn’t know that health costs are skyrocketing? These result come from new technologies, increasingly widespread fraud by drug companies and doctors and unnecessary tests. The system stands on the precipice of bankruptcy that is if the federal government could actually go bankrupt. They just get more ink and paper and turn on the printing presses. Some want to postpone this catastrophe by raising premiums, age of initial payout or killing off the “useless” whose dependence on Medicare is the greatest.
Change Medicare—which I have shown is not insurance anyway—to exclude the wealthy by reason of income or assets. With the exception of catastrophic illnesses, it is patently idiotic to drain anymore from this crumbling, politically riddled system than absolutely necessary. Caps on Medicare services should, of course, vary from cost of living calculations in different parts of the country.
How do the rich benefit from being denied the services they paid in for? The whole thrust of this article is that this is fake insurance. When the larder becomes bare, Medicare will dip more heavily into general funds to keep this wreck afloat. And who will not pay steeper taxes. Two groups to be sure: the poor and the politicians.
It is advantageous for those who can afford private insurance to do so except for catastrophic and long term conditions which Medicare should continue to cover. They would get better doctors who are retiring it seems as soon as they graduate from medical school.
The Republicans are so blind they can’t see this as the perfect solution because everyone does in fact benefit. That’s why the miraculous victory we achieved in 2016 will be whittled away. Republicans—conservatives in particular—love to be on the outs. They get to think up in their heads all these marvelous solutions. But give then power and they get so uneasy using the Demagogic Party playbook. They find it impossible to think practically and to make alliances with whoever will help move the chessmen a little more toward freedom from government intrusion into our lives.