Discussion: Trump HHS Pick Said Medicare Phaseout Would Pass Next Summer

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Check out the state of Georgia health stats from the CDC
They are below the national average but better than most of the south.


14.2% of Georgians are without health insurance vs the national average of under 9%. You figure the doctor/congressman would have a interest in improving outcomes in his home state.


Thank you, TPM, for picking up the Big Story.

A big issue in holding power, especially in the larger countries of the world such as China and the US, is maintaining some semblance of better-than-average growth. China, which came late to the Industrial Revolution, has been able to copy a lot of technology and bring itself quite close to the modern technology frontier at a fraction of the cost, all the while growing its economy at a high rate. The US earlier enjoyed high growth, but also eventually came up against the technology frontier. Post WWII, this effort was embodied in the Race to the Moon. The Chinese economy is now slowing and the US will be hard-pressed to break 2% GDP growth next year. And the options for increasing growth are modest without the innovation push to go with it, so the top candidate becomes debt-fuelled stimulus, usually in the form of big infrastructure projects. China’s debt is now at least 250% of GDP and the US is 330%. In both cases, a lot of debt has been privately acquired and the goal of certain large financial actors, as during the Great Recession, is to move that private debt onto the public balance sheet. Medicare is a big pile of money, with outlays annually about equal to the defense budget. And Medicare is fully funded and solvent through 2028 even with this:

What Price proposes is nothing less than cannibalization of a successful government program, perhaps to make room for spending on other actors. But it’s not that simple. Moreover, unless the Republicans are planning to create savings and replace Medicare with a universal health care arrangement as in Sweden or Finland, it is hard to see how this amounts to much more than organized theft.


Tie that albatross around Trump’s neck and mention it daily. Ask every old person you know if they have talked to their insurance agent about replacing medicare coverage to respond to Trump’s plan. Ask them how much the new policy will cost.

I’m old. I’m on medicare (with an advantage plan to cover the 20%) and the whole reason medicare was invented in the first place was that insurance companies just didn’t cover old people. They still don’t want to do very much.

This is Ryan’s dream. Trump probably doesn’t want to be known as the President who killed Medicare. Medicare/SSecurity aren’t known as the third rail for nothing.


I guess I’m niave but I really don’t understand what is driving this charge to kill the ACA and Medicare.

Talking about killing the ACA under Obama was typical politics of hanging it around Obama’s neck and skewing perception of it as a bad thing. But now it’s shown to be immensely beneficial to the overall economy, has given insurance to 21M and removed medical bankruptcy from our lexicon. Republicans could come in and improve it and be saviors as well as curry favor with the insurance industry. Instead… they double down on killing Medicare which will remove a social safety net crucial to our poor and elderly. It will force the rest to spend an increasing percentage of earnings (which most can not afford) for health costs. Who benefits here? Whats driving this and what’s the win here for the GOP.

As a Dr., Price of all people should know and understand all of this and in fact he took an oath to do no harm as I recall.


Medicare is the cheapest healthcare system in the US at the moment. Eliminating it will almost certainly mean the same treatments will be more expensive, which means that more money goes out of your and my pockets into someone in the private healthcare system that replaces Medicare.

That’s the immediate value.

Beyond that is the fact that Medicare is a well loved program that very clearly illustrates that government works (at least when it’s not being run by Repubkican loons). But the entire point of the Republican Party is to drown government in a bathtub and the popularity of social security and Medicare are impediments to that goal. They tried social security privatization in the 2000s and it failed miserably. They are now trying Medicare privatization and have much higher hopes of success because they can pass it off as Obama’s fault and Obamacare reform.


You can bet the entire bill was written by insurance company lobbyists, and is one big, trillion dolor consumer rip off.


They should be careful about the push back.


There are two reasons to kill Medicare.

  1. It is a huge pile of money, but it is well protected. Congress can’t get its hands on it. Price would change that. We saw this with Russia’s two sovereign wealth funds. Originally, they were off limits, then one was for emergencies only, but the other was still off limits to the politicians. Then one was to fund the budget, and the other was for “borrowing”. By 2016, you’re just draining them.

  2. Rising Medicare costs squeeze out other spending opportunities for Congress, and most non-discretionary spending is already defense. Getting rid of Medicare obligations would free up money for other spending and old people would die faster.


We should change the the name of the HHS Department to Ministry of Soylent Green. Why beat around the bush?


As much as I despise the folks in congress that want to dismantle this program ( and I deeply despise them)… it’s the lunatics that voted for them that are the root cause. If they suddenly wake up, and smell the coffee… it’s a good thing. However, I think they will stand by their choice , against their own self interest… once again.


Just to add…another big reason why Medicare was created in the first place was that the costs that working families had to take on to help their parents pay for medical treatment was such a burden that all too often they could barely keep their heads above water financially. The goal of our economic system is to have a thriving, robust middle class but that’s not possible if they have to take out second mortgages to pay off steep hospital bills for their parents.

I think it’s reasonable to make some changes to make sure that future generations will be able to have Medicare. Scrapping the program entirely is indeed running right up to that third rail and giving it a big bear hug.


I’m not sure Trump would mind being known as the president who killed Medicare. I don’t think Trump gives a rip about anything other than lining his own pockets and those of his fellow robber barons.


What I want is for someone to get up in a hearing and call the filth what he is. The Republican swine HATE political correctness … which is just another term for civility. Remove ALL civility from the confirmation process. Call Price degenerate subhuman garbage, get every shred of dirt on him and make it stick during the hearings. In the end say this is Trump’s whorehouse and as Rapist-in-Chief he is entitled to which whores he wants in it.

If Charlie Cheetos cries tell him to F*CK HIMSELF.


Oh, killing Medicare will absolutely drain the middle class. All those millennials can now add caring for mom and dad to their pile of student and other personal debt. On the other hand, Medicare for All would be equivalent to a massive jobs bill.

Why? Because so many people in their 50s and 60s would love to leave their jobs and do something new (thus freeing their workplaces for others and perhaps creating new jobs), but they have to stay on because of employer-linked health insurance.

But Republicans aren’t interested in growing the economy for all. Again and again they reject growth opportunities that don’t suit their ideology (alternative energy, public transportation, climate change mitigation). I am hoping their attack on Medicare/Social Security will be the third rail grip that fries them, but I’m not banking on it because, frankly, their supporters are too stupid to make the connection between the GOP and their own suffering.


Jesus fucking christ this would be such a major fucking fiasco…I have mixed emotions…On the one hand I think it would put a final stake through the vampire heart of the far right republican party…but on the other hand it would fuck off so many seniors citizens and their families, my parents and self included…

Not really. Medical event-induced bankruptcy had become an increasing problem, and was eventually the largest single cause of personal bankruptcy. In civilized countries, that number is zero, exactly zero. Indeed, a medical crisis is the only way to take on that much debt for poor people. And given that only 38% of American households have net assets of over $50,000 dollars, the crisis creates a horrible problem in many cases. Even if you voted for Trump and hated the Criminal Hillary, a medical crisis in the family really focuses your attention. Naturally, you can hope your church fellows will bail you out or hold a bake sale, but if your bill is, say, $200,000, that’s a lot of cupcakes. Illness, at least as far as I’m aware, still does not respect dogma or political identities.

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I was having trouble understanding this as well so tried to dig up info on how it was being “sold” as a policy position. Strange thing is that I couldn’t find much except the program is “unsustainable” argument which we know is total BS coming from these guys who don’t do ANYTHING painful to themselves now for some future benefit.

There is certainly some conservative ideological connection because if they are able to get rid of Medicare and Social Security as universal coverage entitlement programs, they will have no resistance from their base when it comes to threatening all social programs as big government handouts. But even that doesn’t sit well with me as enough motive.

I think the real answer will be found in whoever is behind the lobbying. Who is pushing for this because there is more money to be made or power to be gained by someone. Somebody needs to follow the money trail on this and get it all out there quickly. Like others are saying here, there is little doubt this is an urgent agenda item being pushed quickly to align it with and blame it on Obama.

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I am hoping their attack on Medicare/Social Security will be the third rail grip that fries them, but I’m not banking on it because, frankly, their supporters are too stupid to make the connection between the GOP and their own suffering.

Agreed completely. I think that after several decades of killing the goose that laid the golden egg, the Rethugs now realize they can do almost anything to the “marks” and they just won’t catch on to what’s really driving their predicament. The Rethugs will blame President Obama, minorities or Dems in general; the point is that if their base was willing to pull the lever for Rump for POTUS, then they can be convinced of ANYTHING.

As Josh has pointed out, Rump isn’t particularly ideological but the human stains around him are. They’re just using him to sign off on things he can’t possibly understand. When the economy runs a ground again, the blame will be shifted every which way imaginable. And the GOP base will buy it.

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That is the plan…take the money and hope the recipients die quickly.

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