December 9, 2012 by David K. Sutton
The Moment You Realize Medicare Is Preferable To Obamacare
On Friday we learned of a rumor that a possible “fiscal cliff” deal was emerging behind closed doors. The deal would raise the top tax rate to from 35 to 37% (not 39.6%) in exchange for the Medicare eligibility age rising from 65 to 67. Let me go on the record and say I think this is a bad deal. Not only does the top tax rate not return to pre-“Bush tax cut” level, but in the bargain we throw seniors under the bus.
The argument in support of this deal from the Left is that 65 and 66 year-old seniors will suddenly embrace the Affordable Care Act, because many will rely on the state exchanges to shop for their insurance. On one hand I can understand this line of reasoning from liberals because it could lead to increasing popularity of “Obamacare.” But on the other, it’s a horrible way to cultivate a public consensus for health care legislation that was really a conservative idea in the first place.
It is at this moment that you realize Medicare is preferable to Obamacare, and the reason is simple. It’s cheaper. There is no health care insurance in this country cheaper than Medicare which has overhead costs running 2 or 3 percent. Forcing seniors who are 65 and 66 onto Obamacare instead of Medicare means shifting public insurance to private insurance. And because the Affordable Care Act lacks a public option, this potential fiscal cliff deal is yet another giant gift to private insurance companies.
The cost savings of raising the Medicare eligibility age is actually a shift of burden. Seniors will now be forced to buy more costly private insurance for those two years until they are eligible for Medicare at age 67. Because we now realize Medicare is preferable to Obamacare, we also realize the eligibility age needs to decrease, not increase. We need Medicare for all.