MSNBC's Chris Matthews talked to Rep. Jan Schakowsky about whether Paul Ryan is going to receive any support from voters with his recently released plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system and to balance the budget off of the backs of the elderly, the working class and the poor. The short answer is no but the bigger question is why? I agree with Susie and Digby that this stinks of nothing but an attempt to make the now defunct mess of a deficit commission and their co-chairs recommendations look "reasonable."
MATTHEWS: I'm with you. I'm with you on the macroeconomics. Let's go back to the microeconomics, the realities of this. Congresswoman, older people get sick. I‘ve noticed the older I get, the more I need a doctor. It‘s a fact. It isn‘t a good bet to go into business, if you‘re an insurance company, and assume that people aren‘t going to have health needs as they go into their 70s, their 80s, if they‘re lucky enough to make their 90s. They‘re going to have health problems that are going to cost a lot of money, especially near the end.
That's why the government has Medicare because it‘s not a good bet for business to insure people in their 70s and 80s they‘re not going to get sick. I'm laughing at the absurdity of this!
Now, here along comes a Republican guy—
MATTHEWS: -- a young guy like Paul Ryan, who is healthy as hell, and he says, oh, great, we will give you a little voucher to help you buy medical insurance when you‘re 83 years old.
Give me a break. Who is going to sell you the policy? I'm sorry.
You‘re the expert.
SCHAKOWSKY: Give me—yes, give me a break is right.
And the median income for people over 65 years old in our country, you know what it is, Chris? It's $19,000 a year. That is with everything. Those are the people. And frail elderly, you're going to send out in the market to choose among all the health insurance companies, and then some measly amount of money is going to be sent to them, and if they don‘t have enough coverage, then too bad for them?
And the thing that really frosts me is that what Paul Ryan says is that this is a moral issue. I agree with him that it‘s a moral issue. Do nothing about the wealthiest, and take it out on the backs of people who make a median income of $19,000 a year? It's unconscionable. And it's silly. And I don‘t think it's going to have the political support that he wants.