The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Obama’s Medicare “Offer”
– Get Ready for Big Cuts!

Apr 1, 2013

President Obama made a starting offer to Republicans on cutting Medicare: he could agree to combine Medicare Part A, which covers hospital services, with Part B, which covers doctor services.

If enacted, it would mean deductibles that are currently separate for the two service types would be combined into one. Those Medicare recipients who use only doctor services, currently 80 per cent of the total, would have higher out-of-pocket expenses, since they would have to spend more to fulfill the deductible.

Obama’s “opening” offer on cutting Medicare is already a huge attack on the elderly population. But it is just the opening wedge, not the end, of what will be a much larger attack by Democrats and Republicans working together.

It’s obvious how big this attack will be from the fact that Obama plans to use a “two-tier” approach to getting the public to accept it. Officials in his administration are saying the changes would only apply to people becoming eligible after 2016.

As it is, Medicare already leaves retired people paying a greater share of their own income on health care today than they did before Medicare was passed. Obama’s proposal threatens to make them pay even more. These proposals amount to euthanasia by out-of-pocket payments!

Health care should be a right, not a privilege – and especially for older people as their health declines. But that won’t happen as long as the politicians who serve the interests of the wealthy are holding the purse-strings.