Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GOP Pushes RyanCare For All

With the United States Supreme Court, led by five Republican-appointed conservative activists, posed to dismantle President Barack Obama's landmark health care reform law, the GOP has tapped Tea Party stalwart Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to move forward with a new plan to expand his disgraced Medicare couponization scheme to include all Americans.

"While Republicans have advanced many good ideas on health care," Ryan told the conservative Hoover Institute think tank at Stanford University Tuesday, "it is my candid opinion that the party as a whole has yet to coalesce around a complete reform agenda aimed at dealing with the underlying problem - which is runaway inflation in the cost of health care."

Of course, the "many good ideas" all boiled down to more tax breaks for the wealthy, while cutting everyone else off at the knees.

The Politico reported Ryan and the GOP now want to expand their couponization scam to all Americans:
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says it's time for Republicans to rally around a comprehensive "replacement" to President Barack Obama's signature health care reform legislation - with the government giving a limited contribution to help Americans get health coverage.

That's the model Ryan wants to apply through Medicare, Medicaid and employer-sponsored health insurance. It's the approach he used earlier this year for Medicare and Medicaid in the House-passed budget, but he now wants to expand it to workplace health insurance by giving people a refundable tax credit to help them buy coverage.
In other words, the GOP aimed not only to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid, but also to alleviate employers of the bothersome bottom line-squeezing practice of offering health care benefits. Then, they'd give everyone a tax credit toward buying private health insurance. In other words, if someone's rich enough to afford a private, individual insurance plan, he'd be rewarded with a nice tax subsidy.

If he's not rich enough to afford a private, individual insurance plan, well, Ryan was a full-fledged Ayn Randian Tea Party zealot, and the Tea Party zealots in the audience at the recent CNN/Tea Party presidential shindig were the ones cheering and hooting for society to "just let him die."

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found the Obama health reform law's mandate to purchase insurance unconstitutional, and the Administration Monday chose not to ask the 11th Circuit to re-hear the case, indicating they were going to take their chances with the Supreme Court.

With a five-justice right-wing majority, the odds that the Supreme Court wouldn't crush Obama's law were somewhere between "none" and the proverbial snowball's chance.

"We know that the first step toward real, bipartisan advances in health policy must start with a full repeal of the president's partisan law," Ryan pontificated. "But the case for repeal must be matched with an even greater intensity by a case for replace..."

In the GOP's 2012 budget proposal, Ryan and Republicans schemed to dismantle Medicare, hand all its money to insurance industry cronies, and pawn off future seniors with worthless coupons the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office revealed wouldn't cover a third of seniors' health care costs.

Enraged constituents descended on GOP town hall meetings en masse last spring, demanding Republicans withdraw their Medicare couponization scheme. Ryan himself was besieged and required a police escort to escape a town hall with his skin, but smugly asserted voters had been "overwhelmingly supportive."

Far from contrition, Ryan now aimed to force everyone to buy private health insurance with limited "premium support."

While Medicare was the most efficient deliverer of health care, with administrative costs of just 3%, private, individual health plans were the least efficient, with administrative costs gobbling up 40% of premiums. While Medicare's overhead was limited to the cost of the government employees running it, private insurance overhead was an unlimited frontier of multi-million dollar executive compensation packages.

Wellpoint CEO Angela Braly pulled down $13 million in 2009 all by her lonesome. And, that didn't include any fully-loaded corporate jets Wellpoint might have kept warmed up on the tarmac for her. Talk about "administrative costs."

As with any other GOP plan, Ryan's health care plan was just another tax break for the rich, who get a discount off the private plan they were going to buy anyway. In a GOP version of a win-win, Ryan's health care plan was also a giveaway to the insurance industry, which gets all the money that would have gone to Medicare, Medicaid, and employee compensation without having to actually cover anyone for that amount.

As with any GOP version of a win-win, ordinary Americans lost-lost. Most ordinary Americans wouldn't be able to afford the lion's share of monthly premium costs their Ryancare coupons didn't cover. And Americans who didn't have enough income to get tax credits credited, or didn't have jobs at all, a not unlikely circumstance in the current environment, were, well...

Cue the cheering crowd at any GOP presidential debate.

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