Saturday, December 3, 2016

If you think it ain't fixed, break it with a voucher.

The advocates of privatizing everything, from education to medicare  are in love with the voucher solution. This turns the old saying , "if it ain't broke, don't fix it " on its head to "  If you think it ain’t fixed ,don’t fix it; instead  break it " with a voucher and the GOP is going voucher crazy. Vouchers are a sneaky way to privatize popular taxpayer funded programs like Medicare and public education.

The Medicare system "ain't broke", but the GOP wants to "fix" it anyway by privatizing it with vouchers which the elderly would use to pay private insurers instead. Voucherizing Medicare makes a successful low overhead cost system risky and more complicated for seniors, and would feed the profit margins of insurance companies. Imagine you are given vouchers subsidized with taxpayer money  with the choice to purchase Medicare insurance on the open market. That is what GOP House members want you to do. Right now polls show seniors  do not think it is broken and want it to continue as is. There is good reason that candidate Donald Trump pledged not to tinker with this program. He should be held to his promise.Trump should tell Congress in advance he will veto any voucher plan.

Vouchers needlessly complicate the lives of seniors. It would mean elderly consumers would have to be extremely  sharp to read the small print of the benefits to make good choices and sign up annually like any other health insurance.  Would the vouchers keep up with the unbridled increase in insurance costs and premiums offered by for-profit insurers or is this a ruse to cut benefits for seniors for years?  It is an unnecessary gamble.

Concerns are legitimate regarding future financial soundness of Medicare. That killing Obamacare would save it is an outright GOP fib. Obamacare has actually extended its life by twelve years. There are better ways to extend Medicare's life than with vouchers that privatize it. One is simply to raise the age  of eligibility to get Medicare which was proposed by the Simpson-Bowles Debt Reduction Commission.  The other is to raise taxes on benefits even more for consumers with  higher income levels or to raise the pay-in to the system by future users. A cost reduction measure extending its life  is to require competitive bidding on prescription  drugs approved in a plan, also proposed by Donald Trump.

The education voucher  for private schools is a Trojan horse. For those who depend on public education, per pupil of public funding would be diverted from them. That "fix" could be a more “broken” public education. Vouchers are no "fix" for our education system, either .  If just school choice is the rationale  for vouchers, publicly funded charter schools can and have already filled that need. Evidence is those using vouchers for private education had lower  or mixed test scores than students in public schools. Many states spend less per pupil than what is the cost of tuition at a private school.   It is an upper class subsidy plan if  the cost of private schools’ tuition is much higher than the per pupil public school system, requiring parents to cough up the difference between the voucher and the private school's tuition. That would be of no benefit for the cash strapped middle class. 

The Constitution and court decisions forbid vouchers  to be used for providing religious based instruction. The nominee for Education Secretary, billionaire Betsy DeVos, is an advocate for using taxpayer money for religious based schools. She has no education backgound other than being a parent and advocate for religious based education. No child of hers ever attended public schools.

. (

 "The private elementary school average is $8,522 per year and the private high school averageis $12,953."

Oct 23, 2016 - ... Affordable Care Act, Hillary Clinton correctly points out the Obamacare law hasextended the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund until 2028.

Jul 18, 2016 - Medicare has grown somewhat stronger financially in both the short ... these parts ofMedicare do not face insolvency and cannot run short of ... 14, 2016 - Paul Ryan's false claim that 'because of Obamacare, Medicare is ... The net result was that the “insolvency” date was extended by 12 years..

No comments:

Post a Comment