Mitt Romney - The Candidate of the Rich - Won’t Enroll In Medicare And Doesn’t Want Anybody else To Either
Mitt Romney hasn’t explained his announcement yesterday that he won’t be enrolling in Medicare despite turning 65, but as Jonathan Cohn points out, Romney is at least practicing what he preaches. Romney supports Paul Ryan’s plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program, a plan that would effectively end Medicare as we know it, and Romney is putting his money where his mouth is by deciding against enrolling.
Romney’s decision is a window into the future that he promises to deliver. Instead of a Medicare program that directly provides coverage, Romney wants seniors to obtain coverage from private insurers. Depending on their income and personal wealth, a portion of that coverage would be subsidized, but the guaranteed coverage of Medicare would be eliminated.
The fact that Romney was able to forego the Medicare system without penalty or punishment puts the lie to the notion that government health care programs are tyrannical. That’s an important fact to point out, because even though any senior who doesn’t want Medicare coverage could walk away from the system, just like Mitt Romney did, the overwhelming majority of them don’t—and that’s a testament to the effectiveness of Medicare.
But even though Medicare works, Mitt Romney wants to end the program as we know it. He wants Medicare to be transformed into a voucher provider, subsidizing private insurance plans instead of directly covering medical care. For 99 percent of Americans, it would be a radical overhaul, raising costs and making it difficult if not impossible to find insurance. Given his means, Romney would do fine in such a system. That’s basically the system he’s living in now, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize most people can’t afford what he can afford. And if Medicare were privatized as he proposes, that’s exactly what he would force every American senior to do.
If you’re only concerned about personal benefit, Medicare might not turn out to be the best deal in the world for someone like Mitt Romney, who is fabulously wealthy and doesn’t need the coverage. But even the Mitt Romneys of the world are better off living in a society where senior citizens have the security of health care coverage that Medicare provides. If we were to adopt Mitt Romney’s proposal to turn it into a voucher system, Medicare would no longer provide it’s greatest benefit of all: the peace of mind that comes with knowing that every single senior citizen has the health care coverage they need.