Should Medicare be cancelled?

During the recent debate on Universal Health Care, the strongest block of opposition seems to have come from Senior Citizens. In the recent elections in New Jersey and Virginia, the strongest support for the Republican incumbents came from Seniors. Young voters went back to being apathetic.

Since Medicare is a Government Health Service funded by the taxes of working individuals, this obviously represents a brand of Socialism. I think it’s only fair to give the old folks what they want, since they don’t want the government messing with their health care and Socialism is evil. After all, the Nazis had national health care (the Germans still do, even though we fought to defeat the Nazis!).

If we eradicate Medicare I’ll get a couple of grand back in my pocket and the seniors get what they want. It’s a win-win. There’s even a chance that the seniors will die off at a younger age, which means we’ll elect fewer Republicans, I won’t have to hear as much about Glenn Beck and that nice boy Rush Limbaugh, and we’ll need less money to fund Social Security. And after all, fewer taxes (less taxes?) is always good.

What do you think?

Well, screw you too, kid. I’m 11 months away from Medicare, and have been paying into it for 46 years. I finally can get some of it back, and you come along to steal it away from me. I hope, when you reach 65, you really really need it, but it won’t exist, thanks to people like you.

You know what would have been cool? If you’d have been getting it for all those 46 years instead of having to wait!

So you’ve been supporting our nation’s elderly for 46 years? Good on ya. Screw the kids and everyone else, though.

I don’t really think we should cancel Medicare, I just find the hypocrisy by many of America’s senior citizens to be more than a bit ironic.

It would be fun to have a “Eliminate Medicare now!” meeting on one side of town and a “Universal Healthcare for All!” meeting on the other side of town and watch their head’s explode as they try and determine which one to go shout at.

Equally amusing is listening to the GOP Hawks natter on about the troops and the wonderful care they receive while simultaneously arguing that the government is incapable of running a healthcare program effectively without destroying it.

Yes, I think that since seniors are almost unanimously opposed to government invovement in medical care, it should be abolished.

But even more importantly, medical care for members of congress ought to be abolished immediately.

I agree. Medicare/Medicaid should NEVER have been implemented in the first place.

I don’t think we’re any more hypocritical than any other segment of society. Parents of school children vote against school bond issues and levies. African-Americans who should remember legalized discrimination vote against same sex marriage. Environmentalists vote against wind farms if their views will be obstructed. Doctors and nurses smoke, drink, and eat at McDonald’s. People hit by natural disasters decry government assistance for others. Etc. etc.

I really have to cry “Cite?” at this. Most seniors I know wish they could have had help long before reaching 65.

Just to clarify: I’m 64, and have no insurance, due to the fact that I’m self-employed with pre-existing conditions. I’ve been paying into Medicare since I was 18, but I still have to pay cash for all my doctor appointments and prescriptions. And I cannot afford to get my knees replaced (at least $100K). I’m damn glad I’ll be eligible for Medicare in 11 months, but I’d be much happier if we’d had universal healthcare all along. I would have saved a whole lot of money over the years, and I wouldn’t be in constant knee pain. I am totally supportive of a “public option” that would apply to everyone of every age.

I think part of that hypocrisy comes from a misunderstanding of how Medicare works. Have you seen all the crap Medicare-eligible individuals get from plans in addition to the government? It’s no wonder that many of them think they’re getting private insurance instead of something that’s government subsidized.

For what it’s worth, I used to write a lot of that crap that plans send their beneficiaries and all the information they provide is generally government mandated (unless, of course, they’re doing traditional marketing, which is a whole other ball of wax). Even I had problems understanding the requirements and I was supposed to administer them.

That said, despite the misunderstanding of what Medicare is and how it works, I really don’t think it can or should be abolished. People eligible for (or waiting to become eligible for) Medicare are among the most vulnerable in our population. They’re also the most expensive and would become even moreso without health insurance. Sure, one could say that we’ll just stop paying for their healthcare, but the way our country works, we’d wind up paying for it anyway. People are often elected in the U.S. based on the morals they espouse. No one would elect someone who decided to let older and disabled citizens sink or swim. Plus, with Medicare, we wind up paying less than if people were reliant primarily on emergency care (i.e., only going to the doctor or ER when they’re practically at death’s door).

While we’re at it (and as long as we’re being assholish in this thread), let’s do away with insurance for children that’s provided by tax dollars. Hey, they’re young and can deal with disease, so let 'em fend for themselves and, to quote Scrooge, decrease the surplus population.

Chefguy: 62 and peevish.

I am closing in on 70 and haven’t signed up for Medicare yet. I have been covered under my soon to be ex spouse’s insurance; when the divorce is final, I’ll have to pay a higher rate for Medicare simply because I didn’t sign up at 65. I will probably have to sign up for Medicaid at some point and I am already looking into prescription drug coverage. Don’t you dare take that away from me. (There’s almost a song title in that sentence) As others have said, if I had had Socialized Medicine all my life, I’d be one hell of a lot better off now. Believe me, my future is bleak and I am far from being the only one in such a condition.

Are you talking about Medicare Part A or Part B or both? Just curious.

It’s sad how many people in your situation are unwilling to fix those same issues for subsequent generations.

Sadder still that some believe that a civilized country should marginalize its elderly, make them objects of ridicule, or discard them altogether.

Pointing out their hypocrisy marginalizes them? Ridicules them? If anything its the impact and influence that they have which is the issue, the opposite of marginalization. They aren’t sacred cows. And what is happening here, the way they are being manipulated by the right is an embarrassment.

Oddly, the AARP is apparently about to announce their endorsement of the House version of health care reform:

So it sure looks like reform isn’t opposed by all seniors.

What do you suggest he do?

Um, support universal health care.