Are We Headed Back To The Days Of Granny Dying On The Couch?

My mom grew up with five sisters, two parents and one grandmother in a tiny little row house. She was deeply traumatized by the fact that after her grandmother developed stomach cancer, she had to spend months on the living room couch, moaning and crying out in pain. (Can't give adequate pain meds, as you know. The dying person might get addicted!) Mom was terrified at the thought it might happen to her.

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See, we told you we would do it! David Plouffe back in July 2011.

And here's the thing. Raising the Medicare age will greatly raise the probability of Granny dying on your couch, or of you being that grandmother on the couch. You know it, any sensible person (i.e. non-Beltway bobblehead) knows it. If they shunt people onto Medicaid instead of Medicare, people will die. Because people in that age group have already lost jobs, burned through their savings and won't be able to afford the premiums. The ACA allows health insurers to charge people in their sixties three times more than younger buyers. Premiums could be as high as $1800 a month if you earn over 400% of the poverty level (which is currently $60,520 for a household of two).

So the Very Serious Schmucks who are pushing the idea better be kidding. It better not be a trial balloon for the administration.But since it seems likely, we have to fight back hard.

From what we're reading, Obama seems to believe (and his political and media advisers concur) that hurting people who are already hurting will give him a legacy as a Very Serious President. I don't know where the hell he gets these ideas. No, that's not true, I do know -- I just don't understand how he hasn't seen enough of real life to stop him from following through on these schemes.

Hopefully this is just a really bad idea that the administration will back away from. That's why we have to raise hell now. Because if they try this, and we can't stop them, Obama will have accomplished something Republicans could only dream of: the beginning of privatizing Medicare.

What a legacy that would be.


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