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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Means-Tested Ignorance

Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) proposes using a band-aid to fix a gaping wound that is healthcare - specifically Medicare.

On Sunday, President Barack Obama invited Republican leaders to share their ideas for health care reform at a Feb. 25 summit meeting.
Even before he asked, Missouri’s senior U.S. senator was outlining his: Privatize Medicare and limit benefits for upper-income retirees.
Meeting with Post-Dispatch editors and reporters on Friday, Mr. Bond called for radical changes to the federal health insurance program that covers 45 million elderly and disabled Americans.

Since its inception in 1965, Medicare has provided the same basic package of benefits to everyone, regardless of income. On Friday, Mr. Bond called for giving Medicare enrollees a voucher to buy health insurance on their own.
“You’re going to have to means-test the benefits,” he said, adding that upper income retirees wouldn’t “get much of a voucher.”

This type of proposal mirrors that ignorance of conservatives that think that "vouchers" are a fix-all for the educational industry.

What these people can't seem to understand ( or they actually do and are attempting to distort their ideals in order to gain acceptance from the people ) is that a "voucher" is a ticket used to get something for free - like a ticket to the circus or a street fair. In reality, what Bond is proposing is nothing more than a "coupon" - a simple slip of paper that guarantees a set amount to be taken off the cost of something.

The reality of this is that this "coupon" isn't a fix at all, as the prices of healthcare will continue to go up and those that couldn't afford care won't have any real benefit from a "coupon". If a procedure, some tests, and a hospital stay costs $14,000 and your "coupon" is only for $1000, you've still got to come up with the balance.

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