Utah Weirdness

Last night were the Utah caucuses that will lead to a determination (or a runoff) of whether Orrin Hatch will be the Republican Senate candidate this November. Running at age 77 for his 7th term. I was hunting around for results, and all I can find is that he did very well in some places, poorly in others, but no determination at the time of this writing, except that turnout, at 125,000 – 200,000 people, was very high.

 

So I'm reading the Salt Lake Tribune and come across this:

Sen. Mike Lee is among a group of conservative senators who want to phase out Medicare and shift seniors into the health program that covers Congress and all federal employees. […]

Their proposal would allow seniors to pick from the expansive menu of insurance options now offered to all public employees by private companies, with the government picking up a share of the cost depending on how much money the person makes.

The bill would also gradually increase the Medicare-eligibility age, which is now 65, by three months a year until it reaches 70.

I had to read this several times. When I was done laughing, I went and got another cup of coffee and read it again. 

The insurance choices for Federal employees are mighty fine. Great coverage (including birth control, but let's not go there) and reasonable premiums, co-pays and deductibles to the patient. The thing about it is that it would cost the government MORE to go to this system. That's right kids, despite the GOP meme of lower the deficit, they want to AT LEAST DOUBLE what health care would cost the government viz-a-viz senior citizens, and increase the number of people who lose jobs. 

Suddenly the government would be paying private industry (which processes claims to the tune of 15 – 30% of each premium dollar) to do what Medicare administrators do at a cost of 2 – 4% of premium dollar. Plus, that would cost government jobs, meaning the government would now need to pay unemployment compensation. Not to mention that the Senate plan (and some of the other government plans) cover more things at a higher payout than Medicare.

I used to be appalled at the Republicans, now I can only laugh. Does Medicare cost a lot of money? Sure. Could we find ways to streamline costs? Sure. Should we come up with a “solution” that costs more? Only the Republicans could do something like this.

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