Preserving Social Security to Pay for Medicare

The Paul Ryan 2012 budget bill and “Path to Prosperity” sailed through House Friday on Republican votes. The GOP plans to spend $3.5 trillion next year, down a whopping $30 billion from 2011 (about eight days of current war spending), by cutting food stamps and Medicaid for the poor, children and the disabled. The Republican bill will still require the Government to borrow more than 40 cents of every dollar spent.

The bill passed is part of the Republican “roadmap” to reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion* over the next ten years, while:

  • getting reelected;
  • providing $2.9 trillion in tax cuts for their wealthiest supporters;
  • gets rid of subsidies to develop alternative energy sources;
  • raising taxes for those making $20,000 to $200,000 per year;
  • repealing healthcare reform to make sure at least 52 million Americans are without health insurance;
  • in 2022, freezing and privatizing Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP);
  • and leaving it up to the states to deliver the bad news to our seniors, the disabled, children and the poor.

Except in calling for “reform,” the plan does leave Social Security intact, at least, so far** – and our seniors will need it. The average Social Security benefit for a retired worker is currently $14,124. In 2022, the additional out-of-pocket cost for Medicare will be $5,744. By 2030, it will increase to $8,833.

Impact of costs on seniors by Ryan budget bill - This was published by the Center for American Progress (

Of course, this assumes that a private health insurance company in 2022 will offer a policy to someone over 65 for $20,513. Best of luck with that —  especially if by that time you have one of those pesky pre-existing conditions.

*Just in case you are keeping track of the mundane things such as this, President Obama’s “Path to Austerity,” plans to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion in 12 years.

**The Republicans have a separate bill making its way to the floor and endorsed by their leadership that will raise the retirement age to 70 and include a means test for benefits.

2 thoughts on “Preserving Social Security to Pay for Medicare

  1. Monica Smith

    First of all, let’s note that instinctive people are bad at planning because they don’t like looking ahead to a future they can’t see. And conservative politicians don’t like equality because they like to see people as ordinary and special — two distinct categories. (and is a signal of addition, not conjunction)

    Given that, Medicare was set up as a reward for ordinary people and Medicare Advantage was set up as a special reward for the super obedient. Then Obamacare came along to strip the advantage and by distributing medical care as an entitlement, ruined its main purpose, to reward obedience.

    In the bi-lateral/bi-partisan/bi-polar world of the instinct-driven, there are only rewards and punishments. So, if Medicare isn’t a reward, it’s a punishment. All the more reason for Medicare to be eliminated entirely. Besides, that’s consistent with the belief that the purpose of government is to punish and the private sector doles out rewards, to those who have earned them. How? By being obedient. How do we know people are obedient? By whether or not they have earned enough money.

    Money makes it easy to discriminate while pretending that you’re not. After all, money is an entirely objective measure of success. And proof positive that people are not equal, regardless of how they’re treated. In other words, requiring them to be treated as equals is useless and can be dispensed with. Finally!

  2. Tom Ferguson

    “they’ve” been biding their time since the death of the hated Roosevelt and now they smell blood.


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