Posted by | January 28, 2011 14:52 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

One of the most curious arguments that Republicans made, and continue to make, against the Affordable Care Act is that it “cuts $500 billion dollars” from Medicare. It is curious that Republicans, so adamantly opposed to “government” health care and “socialized medicine,” chose to “defend” the largest single payer health care system in the world. It must be nice to live in a world where one can make ironic and illogical arguments on a daily basis and not be held accountable at all.

What Republicans don’t tell people is that the $500 billion in Medicare cuts in the Affordable Care Act were actually cuts to Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage is not Medicare but rather grossly inefficient, privately administered, supplemental coverage to traditional Medicare, subsidized by the federal government. Republicans weren’t trying to defend the elderly, they were protecting wasteful federal subsidies lining the pockets of their friends in the private insurance industry.

Now that the health care debate is over and Republicans are back in charge of the House, they have revealed their real agenda to turn Medicare into a voucher program. Republican hypocrisy truly knows no bounds. After criticizing Democrats for trimming Medicare spending by 6% over ten years, by eliminating waste in the system, they introduce a plan that would cut Medicare benefits by 76% by 2080.

The Republican plan to “reform” Medicare is to slash benefits to a quarter of what they currently are, and eliminate the program entirely by replacing it with a glorified coupon for private health insurance. What would really come in handy right about now are all of those Tea Party folk who want the “government to keep its hands off their Medicare.” Have they started to protest yet?

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