Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Medicare Amendment Conservatives

When do we fix Medicare?  If you ask today's seniors, people like me, it is after we are gone.

After all, we paid in all our lives, right?

If you listen to Americans, you can see that there is no way we will reform the entitlements until after we crash.

Here's a retiree in South Florida.  He doesn't like the idea that today's Medicare won't be available to his descendants.
"I've got four children and 12 grandchildren," said Mr. Yordon, who planned to vote for Mr. Obama. "I can't believe the one item of most consequence to me would become a voucher" for them.

Dealing with private insurance companies for cars and homes, he said, was tough enough. Navigating the private health-insurance market at his age would be impossible, he said: "I just can't believe that that would work."
Er, Mr. Yordon, here's an idea.  Why not get your kids to help you navigate the insurance market as you get older.  That's what most people do.

What about this 91-year-old senior?
"I would like them to leave Medicare alone," she said. She has been in the hospital four times in the past five years, twice for surgeries to remove cholesterol from arteries in her legs. "I was very satisfied" with Medicare, she said.
I've been reading a book about the four great price revolutions of the last millennium, The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History by David Hackett Fischer.  The great price waves have always featured governments spending beyond their means and seeming helpless to "do anything" about it until history decided for them in famine and revolution.  Fischer pontificates about the selfish aristocrats of the 18th century that wouldn't surrender their privileges.  Well what would you expect a left-wing academic to say.

Today's inflationary prices are different, of course.  But you still have the aristocrats, the supporters of the regime, and their privileges.  Only this time it's the union government workers, the entitlement beneficiaries, the tenured professors who are sitting on their hands refusing to give up any of their benefits.  Yes, for the feudatories of the regime, you can talk about the douceur de la vie.

Really, why would we expect any of these chaps, from Medicare beneficiaries in their 80s or retired policemen in their 50s, to agree to a reduction in their loot?  Nobody in history ever did before, not until the tumbrils started to roll.

Today's entitlement beneficiaries are like Charlton Heston and the Second Amendment conservatives.  You can take my Medicare out of my cold, dead hand, they say.

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