The Party of Medicare

Excellent article from Shikha Dalmia about the Party of Medicare:

For starters, polls by the New York Times and Bloomberg have found that although a vast majority of Tea Party supporters favor smaller government, they don’t want cuts in their Medicare or Social Security, a contradiction perfectly captured in a sign at a Tea Party rally: “Keep the Guvmint out of my Medicare.” Indeed, the Bloomberg poll discovered that even though Tea Partiers dislike ObamaCare, they want Medicare to offer more drug benefits and the government to force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. […]

Kentucky’s Rand Paul, who is running as an uncompromising apostle of limited government and free markets, has pulled the most distressing switcheroo of them all. A doctor himself, he denounced Medicare as socialized medicine. Yet he has balked at the idea of cutting physician salaries, even though American physicians make twice as much as doctors in OECD countries. Why? Because their cartel, the American Medical Association, both restricts the supply of physicians through insanely restrictive licensure requirements and controls the Medicare board that determines physician compensation, as the Wall Street Journal reported this week. Yet, Paul now maintains: “Physicians should be allowed to make a comfortable living.” (But he is just being fair — not pleading for his special interest of course!) Likewise, after calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme, Paul is now talking less about reforming it and more about protecting it for those now reaching retirement age.

I think the biggest thing to watch for is a sharp pivot toward a strategy of pure generational warfare. Pay out 100% of promised benefits to the over 55 crowd and massively slash benefits for people under 40.