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Chan Lowe: Gutting Medicare


I know, I know. Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to lower the national debt has about as much appeal as algebra homework, but
I assure you you’ll start paying attention, particularly if you’re under 55 years old, when Congress begins haggling over the Medicare portion of his proposal.

The old Republican principle about turning everything over to the private sector doesn’t work so well when you’re talking about an elderly cohort that’s guaranteed to be sick, often catastrophically so. This is why spreading the cost out to all the taxpayers makes so much sense: the government can’t turn anyone down. Sure, the program is full of flaws, but consider the alternative.

Republicans will quickly cave over this, because the backlash from pushing it would make them an extinct species in Congress. If you’re going to wake the American body politic out of its stupor over an issue that directly affects its self-interest, make sure it’s the other guy’s fault. This will be the Democratic strategy (“What? You want to cut Grandma’s lifeline so Wall Street fat cats can take another round-the-world cruise?!!?”).

Which leaves us wondering why Ryan is even presenting the so-called privatization of Medicare as an option. Maybe he’s such a free-market purist that he truly believes that if he sensibly, logically lays it all out as a money saver, we’ll buy it.

Here’s the flaw in his thinking: All persons, even rabid deficit hawks, get old. And the two things that are most important to old people are their financial security and their health. After that, it’s getting a ride to the polls.

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But it is a matter of personal responsibility, right? Everyone gets to be personally responsible for investigating the 47 bazillion new insurance companies that will crop up to provide the infinitely superior privatized care (all run by Rick Scott clones).

Yes, there is nothing like training yourself in the ins and outs of private investigation and forensic accounting just so you can pick the best private medicare plan, especially if you are starting to suffer from mental decline, the work will help keep your brain sharp.

how does obama care work? it exempts all members of congress from having to be subjected to it! if nancy pelosi and harry reid wrote themselves out of the law it must really be good (sarcasm) I mean why would 535 members of congress be exempted while 300 million peasants be forced to take obamcare! democrats at work! do as I say not as I do! or in this case do as you are told not as i do!!

Right on, Chan. Who needs death panels when you can kill off so many more old people this way? Cutting Medicare is so much more effective.Think of the savings to Social Security! Why, there are benefits all around. The budget will be balanced in no time. Now, how can we get rid of the kids so we don't have to pay for education either?

My exact sentiments Vicki. :) Funny how you said it, but you hit all the right spots.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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