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Donald Trump Defends Medicare, a Socialist Program, from the Threat of Socialism

In a new op-ed attacking single-payer, Trump inadvertently reveals that he's in favor of socialism—as long as it's for his supporters.

Polaris/SIPA/NewscomPolaris/SIPA/NewscomOver the past few months, Donald Trump has staked out an aggressive opposition to "Medicare-for-all," an increasingly popular liberal slogan that has multiple meanings but usually refers to some sort of single-payer health care system.

This is rather rich coming from a candidate who touted single-payer's virtues during the Republican presidential primaries. But Trump's opposition is not merely ironic. It is self-contradicting. The president's primary argument against Medicare-for-all is that it is a socialist scheme that would ruin Medicare, the nation's largest socialist health care program.

That contradiction is apparent in a Trump-bylined op-ed for USA Today in which the president positions himself as defender of Medicare, a $700 billion federal health care entitlement that benefits seniors. Early in the piece, he—or his ghost writer, as it is far too cogent for Trump to have written it himself—writes:

I also made a solemn promise to our great seniors to protect Medicare. That is why I am fighting so hard against the Democrats' plan that would eviscerate Medicare. Democrats have already harmed seniors by slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare. Likewise, Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care.

Later in the piece, Trump warns that "if Democrats win control of Congress this November, we will come dangerously closer to socialism in America. Government-run health care is just the beginning." Trump does not seem to realize, or at the very least he does not care, that Medicare, the program he swore to protect just a few paragraphs earlier, is a massive government-run health care financing program.

The pro-Medicare framing is hardly unique to Trump; Republicans have argued against expansions of government-run health care by saying they would harm Medicare for the better part of the decade. Following the passage of Obamacare, one of the most frequent Republican criticisms of the program was that it cut spending on Medicare. In the run-up to the 2012 election, Mitt Romney frequently advanced versions of this argument, attacking Barack Obama, for example, as "the only president in history who has cut Medicare for seniors." Romney insisted that only he could be counted on to "protect Medicare."

More recently, Florida's Republican governor, Rick Scott, warned that "if you want to protect Medicare, vote Republican. If you want a socialist experiment with Medicare, by all means vote Democrat." (Generally speaking, anything Scott says about Medicare should probably be given extra scrutiny, given that he once ran a health care company that, under his leadership, executed one of the biggest Medicare frauds in history. His defense is that, as CEO, he was unaware.)

There are many good reasons to oppose Medicare-for-all. By centralizing the financing of health care, it would further reduce many Americans' already limited health care options; in its strongest forms, it would be massively disruptive, requiring many people to switch health care plans; it would be incredibly expensive to the federal government—costing an estimated $32 trillion over a decade, which would require either significant tax hikes to offset or an extraordinary increase in federal debt. And that figure assumes that provider payments could be drastically reduced from current levels without reducing access to health care services, which is unlikely to be true. Practically speaking, it would be quite difficult to implement the transition from the country's current mixed public-private system.

But the notion that Medicare-for-all should be opposed because it would inject socialism into Medicare is bizarre and contradictory. Medicare is a federal program that finances health care benefits for seniors; its scope is constrained by age, but it is socialism.

As Philip Klein has argued, this framing makes it even more difficult to build support for reforms to Medicare that are absolutely necessary for our long-term fiscal stability. The position of Trump, and of much of the Republican Party, appears to be that Medicare spending can never be reduced or contained, even years in the future, because doing so would threaten seniors, a core Republican constituency. It is a position that makes Republicans the party of the Medicare status quo. Which is to say, it makes the GOP the party of partial, age-restricted socialism.

Indeed, Trump comes very close to saying exactly this in the piece, writing that "Republicans believe that a Medicare program that was created for seniors and paid for by seniors their entire lives should always be protected and preserved."

Despite popular misunderstanding, Medicare is not "paid for" by seniors over their "entire lives." It is a generational transfer program that forces younger workers to pay for health benefits for current retirees. Most of today's seniors will get far more out of the program than they put in. Meanwhile, the program is rapidly headed for insolvency; under Trump, the date in which Medicare's Hospital Insurance trust fund will deplete has moved forward to 2026. This is the status quo that Trump seeks to protect.

What Trump's pro-Medicare framing makes abundantly clear is that he does not oppose socialism in its current, age-limited form, which primarily benefits constituencies who vote Republican. Instead, he opposes the expansion of one of America's largest socialist enterprises beyond constituencies who vote heavily Republican. Trump doesn't really oppose socialism; he just wants limit any benefits it may produce to his supporters.

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  • Juice||

    Actually, is Medicare currently a single payer system? It doesn't cover everything and most people eligible for Medicare have to use some sort of private supplementary "insurance."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Its pretty close but Single Payer tends to include every citizen with everyone paying something into the taxpayer sinkhole.

    I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. Huckabee copied me.
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2015

    Huckabee is a nice guy but will never be able to bring in the funds so as not to cut Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. I will.
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 7, 2015

    The Republicans who want to cut SS & Medicaid are wrong. A robust economy will Make America Great Again! https://t.co/u25yI5T7E8
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2015

    I am going to save Medicare and Medicaid, Carson wants to abolish, and failing candidate Gov. John Kasich doesn't have a clue - weak!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 31, 2015

    Vox- Trump medicare & Medicaid plan

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Now, of course, Trump has lined up behind a Senate health care bill that features draconian cuts to Medicaid:
    First, it cuts reimbursement rates to Medicaid expansion states, slowly phasing out federal support for the new enrollees.
    Second, it ends Medicaid's open-ended commitment to covering the health care needs of eligible patients — sticking states with per capita spending caps.
    Third, it adjusts those payments over time to ensure that the money available per patient grows more slowly than the cost of providing medical coverage. Each year, a wedge will steadily open wider and wider between the money available for medical coverage and the cost of providing it.
  • Doug Heffernan||

    All of these "statements" by your boy were about marketing to the electorate. Your boy is a marketing guy.

    He also promised to raise taxes on hedge fund managers and to reinstate Glass–Steagall.

    But that was just marketing in 2016 to win over Sanders supporters.

    Whether he believes (or will do) any of this crap is beside the point. The point is to win elections.

    In his second term he will let some other Republicans do something so Medicare provides less benefits.

    With your boy, more than any other politician, pay attention to what is done, not what is said.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The lesson is pay attention to what he does and what he campaigned on.

    He wants to accomplish all the tings he campaigned on. This will make him stand out from politicians in the last 90+ years.

  • some guy||

    Medicare is only mostly socialist. Mostly socialist is slightly capitalist. Now, all socialist, well, with all socialist, there's usually only one thing that you can do: Wait for it to collapse on its own.

  • JFree||

    No it is not socialist. Socialist means owning - de jure or de facto - the means of production so that the decision-making must therefore be non-private. The VA system is socialist. NHS in the UK is socialist.

    Of course I don't expect Americans to understand any of this at all because a stupid people will do whatever is necessary to ensure they remain stupid - and conflating health care financing with health care delivery is exactly the sort of thing that can ensure perpetual stupidity.

    Medicare is welfare or a transfer program. Welfare has in one form or another been around since ancient times. Long before capitalism and long before socialism - which are both purely post-industrial systems. Welfare systems are actually more akin to religion/culture expectations than they are to economics.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    When people say Medicare is Socialist, its the de facto government ownership of the means of production (Health insurance and Medical care).

    While I would say that they are welfare, the US health insurance system and medical care does not operate without government control. Medical prices are mainly set based on government control via Medicare discount pricing for medical care. That means everyone else has to pay the difference.

    I pay cash for minor medical treatment and I get a cash discount. My cost is still higher than it would be if Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare paid what their medical care actually cost.

  • JFree||

    Medicare is socialist only if you also think food stamps and grocery stores (and hell - go back a bit in the production chain to processors, farmers, etc) are the same thing.

    The whole point imo of calling that socialist is precisely to confuse people into thinking that medical financing is the same thing as medical delivery.

  • buybuydandavis||

    There are degrees of control.

    A welfare program would just write checks. Medical care is regulated up the yin yang. More than food. Regulation is control. More regulation, more control over delivery.

  • JFree||

    Medicare is, explicitly in some cases de facto in others, PROHIBITED from exerting the market power that it does have by virtue of the large checks it writes and the large share it has of the consumer side of the market. If it were socialist in orientation, it would emphatically exert that power because it would view itself as the owner of those means of production. Instead, it becomes a patsy and negotiates very little - so unlike every other country, our Medicare system is a major reason why our costs get driven higher and why producers have enormous control over that market.

    To give one example of this. Medicare covers roughly 100% of the potential patients who would need geriatricians. There is zero market-based demand for that outside Medicare. That is also the type of doctor who could hugely control medical overutilization for their patients as they get older and get more chronic stuff with slower recovery. Help them think more about their bucket list and their life quality rather than aggressive treatment of everything. Instead - because Medicare is a patsy, the US has very few geriatricians and the elderly overutilize instead.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Your link fell off. Too much opinion stated as fact.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    Look at the big brain on JFree!

    That's right, JFree!

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Medicare pays 80% of the claim, you are responsible for the other 20%. People get the supplemental to cover that 20%. Also, it does not cover preventive service.

    In some states if you are below a certain percentage of Federal Poverty Level, you might get Medicaid to cover the 20%.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I also made a solemn promise to our great seniors to protect Medicare. That is why I am fighting so hard against the Democrats' plan that would eviscerate Medicare. Democrats have already harmed seniors by slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare. Likewise, Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care.

    As usual, Suderman lies again.

    Trump did not say that he was saving Medicare to save Medicare.

    He didnt want Medicare funds to be used for ObamaCare.

    Cutting Medicare budgets is not something Trump can politically afford to do right now. 100% getting rid of Obamacare is something he can politically do. Congress wont do it though.

  • Tony||

    You don't get to lecture anyone about principles then.

  • TuIpa||

    He's Donald Trump?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Hey NPC Tony.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Poor Tony has had a rough 22 months since Trump has been president.

    Lefties like him are just so desperate.

  • Tony||

    Tucker Carlson: smart philosopher, or the smartest philosopher?

  • TuIpa||

    Here we see Tony mad that yet another person born with less privilege than he was made out better than he did.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony, Who's Tucker Carlson?

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Hey NPC Tony.

  • Tony||

    Just what this board needs, more dickless 4chan bullshit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony, we tolerate your dicklessness.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    He's the tuckiest Tucker.

  • Cy||

    If only the boomers would just take their Harley's, jacked up F350 duallies, crappy nanny state mentality and NIMBY bullshit and just ride off into the sunset.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There will be a huge drop off in Boomer voters as the die off in the next 10 years.

    Good riddance to that generation. Mostly Socialist assholes fucking the USA up.

  • retiredfire||

    FDR was no "boomer".
    Even the "Great Society" welfare programs were when "boomers" were barely out of high school.
    You're blaming the wrong people.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Boomers pushed to expand the welfare state starting in 1965.

    The Greatest Gen and their parents started and expanded the FDR era socialist policies.

  • Vince Smith||

    I read somewhere that most young people support single payer, according to polling. How do we fix that?

  • Crying Zelda Morning Link||

    As my wife and I read up on and sort out our finances, we've come across some ridiculously depressing stats on the Boomers' retirement savings. It's no wonder they love our Medicare taxes and don't want to dilute any of the money coming from it; the median Boomer household has about as much saved for retirement as we make in a year.

    Despite popular misunderstanding, Medicare is not "paid for" by seniors over their "entire lives." It is a generational transfer program that forces younger workers to pay for health benefits for current retirees. Most of today's seniors will get far more out of the program than they put in.

    This is the part that drives me mad. My dream political ad would be called "The Real Welfare Queen" and would start with (1) a single mom dropping her kids off with her own smiling mother, and (2) a Boomer twat playing pickleball in Florida surrounded by other Boomer assholes. Later, the single mom would serve the Boomer twat a pork chop at her second waitressing job and the amount of public benefits each is paying/will receive (single mom) or has paid/is receiving (Boomer twat) would be displayed. Then the Boomer twat would get up without leaving a tip because she needs it for the slots later that afternoon. Of course Team Red would scream "Muh Medicare!" and Team Blue would scream "More Medicare!".

  • ||

    Yeah - the Boomers spent the first half of their adulthoods blowing through all the money their parents saved up after the Depression, and now that their parents have died and they've consumed the inheritance, they "need" the younger generations to lend them a hand as they face the vulnerabilities of being Seniors.

    We in Gen X, with another mega-generation of voters behind us who are going to need us to pay off their student loans for them, are well and truly fucked.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    well put.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    X's student loans are chump change compared to what comes after.

    X's are are also a lower population generation.

  • retiredfire||

    Do you, really think that the "boomers" are "playing pickleball in Florida" on what Social Security pays out?
    Even with the current proposed increases, SS payments are roughly $1300 per month. Where I live, renting a 3Br house is three times that.
    We are mostly living on pension plans, that subsequent generations destroyed by not keeping up the employer contributions and the equity in our homes, that have gotten too expensive for your average younger people to be able to afford, driven up by the few, who could afford it, low interest, government subsidized loans, and foreigners, wanting to live in America from money they earned in their home countries.

  • Lester224||

    Pension plans were eliminated over time since the 80s by employers in favor of 401Ks which are riskier for employees and much less expensive to the employers. Employer matches to 401Ks have also gone down since they were introduced in the 80s. Many 401Ks now have only a 2 or 3% max match. Employees near retirement with modest 401Ks are screwed if the stock market takes a dive. If you put your money into CDs or stable value funds to reduce risk as you age you lose money to inflation.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    Or run for congress. 80 year olds are whippersnappers in congress.

  • newshutz||

    Havent seen a jacked up dually. One of the points to the dually is not to have to jack them up to take the higher load.

    I am a late boomer, I have not bought my HD truck and 5th wheel, yet.

    But I am thinking about it. Likely get a Dodge, though.

  • Tony||

    Republicans are cowards and hypocrites, duh. What a fun project it must be figuring out how to make the pros outweigh the cons in having a president as fucking stupid as their voters.

  • Cy||

    Do you ever get laid?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony barely survived a brush with AIDS.

    Luckily, his $20,000 trust fund got him through.

  • Tony||

    I'm on a libertarian website. Draw your own conclusions.

  • TuIpa||

    You have a skin-suit made from your victims?

  • Cy||

    Settle down there Wild Bill! he only goes for the tasty ones.

  • TuIpa||

    I just meant he likes to grotesquely impersonate things he's not.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    ""I'm on a libertarian website. Draw your own conclusions."'

    But not for any honest debating. It appears to me that you like jumping on here and saying stupid crap because you think you are fucking with the libertarians.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Uh oh Tony. A truck load full of ladies just came to my gate and were asking about me voting for Brian Kemp as Georgia Republican Governor. They were black ladies Tony.

    Libertarian Ted Metz seems descent.

    I can vote Libertarian AND have the Lefty Democrat Governor candidate lose!

  • Longtorso, Johnny||

    Hey NPC Tony.

  • Just Say'n||

    "What Trump's pro-Medicare framing makes abundantly clear is that he does not oppose socialism in its current, age-limited form"

    Kind of like an ostensibly libertarian writer who totes opposed Obamacare, but then trashed any and all alternatives as somehow worse than Obamacare because it would increased the population of uninsured.

    This article should be renamed "Pot Meets Kettle"

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Well, yes. But that's different.

  • Zeb||

    But when the pot and kettle are both, in fact, black, can you fault the one for accurately describing the other?

  • Mickey Rat||

    Trump is not wrong that expanding MediCare to include everyone were would destroy MediCare. Its financial structure is not designed to accommodate everyone being on it.

    Of course, the other problem is that seniors have bought into MediCare's and Social Security's dishonest selling points that their money was set aside for themand don't want to hear that it is a pay as you go system transferring wealth between working people and retirees.

  • retiredfire||

    While it is true that, Ponzi-style, payments are coming from current, and past, contributions, if the total payouts have exceeded the total contributions, since the beginning, the systems would be declared bankrupt, which they assure us, they are not.
    What the systems are is a big slush fund for government to borrow against, and then call the repayments "spending on Social Security".
    If each of us had put away the amount government takes in contributions - look up what FICA stands for - and invested it in a conservative rate-of-return plan, we would be able to collect four times what SS pays out, and still have money left over, when we die.

  • ThomasD||

    Wait, is Peter trying to warn us that Trump is not actually a libertarian? Heaven's to Betsy!

    Why, for a moment there I thought Sudemran was actually trying to present himself as some sort of honest broker in all this.

  • Just Say'n||

    I think what Suderman is saying as that someone who defends a socialist healthcare program from reforms (even bad reforms) should be ignored.

    So we should stop listening to Suderman

  • Just Say'n||

    Or do we need to dig up all those "This Reform to Obamacare is Actually Worse or Something- Hands Off Obamacare" that Suderman keeps crapping out

  • ThomasD||

    I mean, this sort of behavior surely means that nobody at Reason can credibly make a 'libertarian case' for anyone who ever runs to the left of Trump, amirite?.

  • Just Say'n||

    No. They'll make a case for Bill Weld

  • ThomasD||

    To be sure.

    But, it's does tend to lessen one's credibility when, having argued that opposing the expansion of some government entitlement program is socialism, you turn around and endorse anyone who supports expansion of entitlement programs.

    Because being a weak socialist is so much less libertarian than being a full on socialist.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "In a new op-ed attacking single-payer, Trump inadvertently reveals that he's in favor of socialism—as long as it's for his supporters."

    I've tried to make this point in various ways over the last couple of years, but maybe this will put it into crystal clear focus.

    Trump may be wrong about what's in our best interests, but at least he's concerned about our best interests. That is not the case with the progressives who run the Democratic party--and it's been that way for a long time.

    Again, Barack Obama didn't push the Paris agreement because he thought it was in our best interests. Barack Obama believed that the point of good leadership was to force the American people to make sacrifices to benefit others--in the case of the Paris agreement, he wanted the American people to make sacrifices of their standard of living in order to benefit poor people in developing countries.

    That's just one example. I can think of dozens of others, for instance, the purpose of ObamaCare was not to make quality healthcare more affordable for middle class Americans. The purpose of ObamaCare was to force middle class Americans to make sacrifices on behalf of poor people who can qualify for Medicaid. For goodness' sake, he slapped a tax on new technology purposes and "Cadillac" insurance plans.

    Trump is wrong about what's in America's best interests, but at least he's using that as his criteria.

  • ThomasD||

    Obama wanted the American people to make sacrifices of their standard of living in order to show off on the world stage.

    There were plenty of other ways to actually benefit the third world, he didn't give a shit about any of it.

  • Crying Zelda Morning Link||

    Trump may support socialism, but at least he supports national-socialism.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That isn't what I said.

    What I said is that he's wrong about what's in our best interests, but at least he cares about what's in our best interests.

    This is not the case with progressives. They need to be persuaded to care about what's in our best interests before we can convince them that what they're doing is wrong.

    If you can't follow that argument, get off the internet and go read a book.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    he's wrong about what's in our best interests, but at least he cares about what's in our best interests.

    So Trump's wrong, but his heart's in the right place, so he gets a pass. Is that about it?

  • TuIpa||

    So jeff is also an ingrate. No surprise.

  • Ken Shultz||

    What I wrote was plain.

    If you don't understand it, it's because you don't want to understand it.

    Am I throwing pearls before swine?

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    Yes, chemjeff status quo collectivist is swine.

  • Bubba Jones||

    No. It means you can engage him on the question of how to achieve what's best for Americans.

    For Obama (and Democrats) that simply isn't a topic of discussion.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Because Democrats hate America, right?

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Democrats hate America. That is true.

  • DesigNate||

    Democrats want to turn America into Europe, and have said so on ultiplr occasions. If you love something, you don't try to force change on it, you prove why changing is in its best interest.

  • retiredfire||

    Dude!
    Go tell your spouse that you are wanting them to change, because it is in their best interest, and see how that goes.
    First, make sure you have a place to move to.
    People change because they see for themselves what is in their best interest.
    The more they are pushed into it, the more they will resent it.
    That's the big difference between conservatives, who want change to happen naturally, and progressives what to push the change they think needs to be done on everyone.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I have found that it's far easier to persuade people to do what's in their own best interest than it is to persuade them to do what's in someone else's (or my) best interests.

    That being said, there is sometimes some resistance to the idea--because people are unaccustomed to being treated that way. If you're in a relationship with someone who genuinely can't get her head around the idea that you want what's in her best interests, then get out.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Trump may be wrong about what's in our best interests, but at least he's concerned about our best interests. That is not the case with the progressives who run the Democratic party--and it's been that way for a long time.

    Or it could be that Trump, and progressives, and Republicans, and Democrats, and libertarians, and socialists, and anarchists, and communists, etc., all have different ideas about what constitutes "our best interests", and some of them at least act in good faith on what they perceive those best interests to be.

    I'm pretty sure that a guy like Bernie Sanders genuinely believes single-payer health care would be in "our best interests". He's wrong, but I don't doubt his sincerity on the matter.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Or it could be that Trump, and progressives, and Republicans, and Democrats, and libertarians, and socialists, and anarchists, and communists, etc., all have different ideas about what constitutes "our best interests""

    No.

    Slapping a "Cadillac tax" on healthcare insurance plans that are too generous and another tax on the purchase of new technology by healthcare providers in order to expand Medicaid is not indicative of someone who cares about the middle class getting better quality healthcare at lower prices. It's indicative of someone who want to force the middle class to make sacrifices for the benefit of the poor.

    You might argue that the progressives care about the best interests of the poor, but none of that indicates that they have different ideas about what's in the best interests of the middle class. The point is to force the middle class to make sacrifices for the poor, and they don't give a shit about whether that benefits the middle class in some way. Benefiting the middle class simply isn't the point.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    No.

    Yes. You said "our best interests" and "America's best interests". I didn't see "middle class's best interests" in there. You're moving the goalposts. Furthermore, there is no single thing which is "our best interests" anyway. That is what is so great about libertarianism - we don't have to concern ourselves with what the collective self-interest is, because it doesn't matter anyway! What matters is that individuals are free to pursue whatever they perceive their own best interests to be.

    Even still, because many other people have different perceptions about what their own best interests to be, it stands to reason that they also have different perceptions of what they perceive is "our best interests" in a collective sense. It doesn't make them right or wrong, just different.

    The point is to force the middle class to make sacrifices for the poor, and they don't give a shit about whether that benefits the middle class in some way. Benefiting the middle class simply isn't the point.

    You know, you should really read up on some of the arguments in favor of single-payer. Not to persuade you, but at least so you understand what the arguments are. The true believers out there genuinely believe that socialized medicine will lead to better outcomes for everyone, and they do have some evidence on their side. I don't find their evidence persuasive, and I don't agree with their ideas, but I don't doubt their sincerity in what they believe in.

  • ThomasD||

    In once I think Jeff is correct. Obama doesn't give a fig about Sumner's forgotten man, in his mind he's always going to be Mr. A, and would prefer Mr. C just stay forgotten.

  • ThomasD||

    In one sense I think...

    Fucking autocorrect.

  • ThomasD||

    On second thought there is an alternative.

    Obama has considered both parties and truly believes he makes Mr C a better man by compelling him to 'help' Mr. D. Thus helping both and also thereby displaying his own virtue via his 'judicious' use of force.

    Although, I'm not sure which is a worse indictment.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Yes. You said "our best interests" and "America's best interests". I didn't see "middle class's best interests" in there. You're moving the goalposts. "

    You're making a meaningless distinction.

    Again, progressives may be about using the coercive power of government to force people to make sacrifices for what they sell as the common good, but when that translates into policy, it invariably leads to forcing most Americans to make sacrifices for the benefit of some minority. If "us" is the American middle class, then, yes, he doesn't give a shit about what's in America's best interests. He cares about forcing average Americans to make sacrifices for the benefit of minorities, like the poor, up to and including siccing the IRS on average Americans who don't buy health insurance.

    When Obama was looking at agreements with the rest of the world, it translated directly into forcing Americans to make sacrifices for the benefit of people in other countries. I mentioned the Paris accord, but that was hardly an exhaustive list. Obama's prime directive was making Americans sacrifice for the benefit of others around the world. He even extended that logic to American security policy. Obama refused to work with Putin in Syria, for instance, largely objecting to Putin's treatment of LGBTQI+ in Russia--as if that were somehow more important than the security interests of the U.S. in fighting ISIS?

    Example, after example, after example, . . .

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The true believers out there genuinely believe that socialized medicine will lead to better outcomes for everyone, and they do have some evidence on their side."

    No they don't

    Anything done by force is a zero sum game.

    It is only possible for voluntary transactions to exceed zero sum.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I do not believe socialized medicine will lead to better outcomes.

    I do believe, however, that the 'true believers' in socialized medicine sincerely believe that it will lead to better outcomes.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    My comment was referring to the "they have some evidence on their side" portion of your comment.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The true believers out there genuinely believe that socialized medicine will lead to better outcomes for everyone, and they do have some evidence on their side."

    Because some people are honestly deceived by lies doesn't make the lies true.

    What are we even talking about here?

  • TuIpa||

    "some of them at least act in good faith"

    AHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAH

    FROM YOU!

    They should call you FIFA with all the goalpost moving you do.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Chemjeff, You people dont like America and dont have good ideas to make America better.

    The Anarchists, like Sarcasmic and KMW want the USA to burn, so Anarchy-Land will replace it. These Anarchists cannot get any other place to start their failed-before-it-starts Anarchy-land going, so they want to use whats left from Americans to make a go of it. They are literally too scared to pool their money, buy some island and start Anarchy-Land. They will just tear down the USA every chance they get.

    Lefties are mostly Socialists and they need the USA to become a Socialist state or fail. Socialism cannot be the prominent political ideology as long as Capitalism and a free-ish state like the USA is around. People will just leave the Socialist shitholes for America. But if all nations were socialist shitholes....

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    "you people" lol

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yup. You laugh because you know its true.

    America haters. Those that hate being American and those foreigners that hate Americans.

  • MoreFreedom||

    You're right politicians have different ideas, and they always claim it's in our best interests (whether telling us the truth in their hearts or intentionally lying about it). But it doesn't address that Trump's claims are contradictory, or why he promised to save Medicare in the first place (obviously because he didn't think he could get elected otherwise, same for Social Security).

    In defense of Trump, only Paul and Johnson talked of reform. Paul suggested that people should be able to join their member of Congress' plan. Which is socialist, but at least it puts Congressmen on a more equal footing with everyone else. I think Trump sensed he couldn't threaten these impossible to keep promises without losing the GOP nomination and election. So like almost all the others, Trump is just repeating their lies.

    I think the only hope for reform, is a huge financial crash in Trump's 2nd term, and he attacks the plans because they're lousy deals for seniors anyway. Consider, David Goldhill, in "How American Health Care Killed My Father" wrote that seniors getting their free medicare, actually pay a greater portion of their income on healthcare than they did before Medicare existed. That suggests abolishing Medicare would be better for seniors. And it's an indication of how much government can mess up the market.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "You're right politicians have different ideas, and they always claim it's in our best interests (whether telling us the truth in their hearts or intentionally lying about it)."

    I don't believe that's necessarily true--especially if we're talking about progressives and the way they deal with "deplorables".

    They don't want to force you to sacrifice your standard of living to save the polar bears because they care about your best interests.

  • Fairbanks||

    There is no such thing as "our best interests." A country of over 300 million people has a wide range of circumstances and preferences. No policy can satisfy everyone. Trump is wrong about what's in America's best interests because no such policy exists.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There is no such thing as "our best interests.""

    This is absurd.

    This is to suggest that some policies aren't a net good or bad for American security policy, the American economy, etc. It's just ridiculous.

    Wal*Mart has 2.3 million employees in 27 countries. Imagine the CEO telling stockholders that he shouldn't make strategic decisions anymore because figuring out what's in Wal*Mart's best interests is too complicated.

    While it's true that most people's interests are optimized in markets, where each individual can pursue their own best interests from an individual perspective, the idea that the president shouldn't take its own best interests into consideration when it decides to not invade Syria or decides to invade Iraq is preposterous. All of these decisions need to be made with America's best interests in mind.

    Trade agreements, the Paris accords, the Iran nuclear agreement, immigration policy, ending the drug war, etc., etc., etc.; if you're not taking America's best interests into consideration because you think working out our best interests is too complicated as to be impossible, then you're a crank.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    So what is your objective definition of "America's best interests"? Whatever the president says it is? Whatever Congress says it is? Whatever the majority says it is?

  • Ken Shultz||

    In every situation? Are you serious? Are you 14 years old?

    There can and should be an open debate about what's in our best interests at any particular time. Those interests can and do change and they can be specific to certain situations. Working with Stalin may have been in our best interests during World War II. Brinkmanship over them placing missiles in Cuba might be in our best interest at another time. Situations change. Interests change. It's as complicated as the real world around us.

    I argued against invading Iraq because it wasn't in our best interests.

    The drug war is not in our best interests.

    If all this is really new to you, then you've been thoroughly indoctrinated. Don't you ever think about your own best interests?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I do think about my own best interests, but I am not so arrogant as to believe that my best interests also happen to coincide with the best interests of 350 million other people.

    For example:
    Working with Stalin may have been in our best interests during World War II.

    I happen to agree with this statement. But I can also easily imagine that there were pacifists who didn't think America should be involved in the war at all. I can also easily imagine that there were pro-Nazi Americans who didn't want America to be allied with Hitler's enemies. TO THEM, the government was not acting in America's best interests. But, they were in the minority.

    It sure does seem like you're saying "America's best interests" are whatever the majority, or the president, or the government, says it is.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "It sure does seem like you're saying "America's best interests" are whatever the majority, or the president, or the government, says it is."

    Are you out of your fucking mind?

    There's this thing called the real world around us. Our interests are what they are regardless of whether the majority thinks so.

    Still, our presidents should take our best interests into consideration when they make their decisions. Progressives consider that selfish and racist. They're about forced sacrifice rather than pursuing our own selfish interests. Figure it out already.

    Confronted with these facts, you're acting like a child. If you can't make a case for why fiscal conservatism, small government, ending the drug war, free trade, capitalism, free speech, etc., etc. is in our best interests using the real world around you along with reason and logic, then I hope you don't tell people you're a libertarian. That's a real big part of what it's all about.

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    There's this thing called the real world around us. Our interests are what they are regardless of whether the majority thinks so.

    So what are they, objectively? You can't say, because you appeal to "changing circumstances". Okay, so what is the process at least for deciding what they are, based on the circumstances?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Are you suggesting that the right policy is always the right policy regardless of changing circumstances?

    Are you 14 years old?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Are you suggesting that the right policy is always the right policy regardless of changing circumstances?

    You tell me. You are the one who seems to be saying that there is some objective thing called "America's best interests" that is independent of the will of the president, or Congress, or the people.

    I am saying that there is no such thing as "America's best interests" as an objective term, instead it is all relative to the people advocating for whatever it is they are advocating for. Libertarians will tend to believe that free markets are in "America's best interests". Socialists will tend to believe that state-run industries are in "America's best interests". They are both right and both wrong from their own points of view. I side with the former against the latter, but I do not doubt the sincerity of the latter's point of view.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "You tell me. You are the one who seems to be saying that there is some objective thing called "America's best interests" that is independent of the will of the president, or Congress, or the people."

    You might be retarded.

  • Fairbanks||

    Some policies are a net good or bad according to whom? You say Obamacare was a net bad because it disadvantaged the middle class. Others would argue it was a net good, for different reasons. And everyone has a different measuring tool. For some it's simply what benefits the most people, for others it's weighted average benefit/cost, etc. I'm not suggesting that leaders shouldn't take stands and enact policy based on their views (and their constituents' views), I'm simply saying that those policies won't be viewed as worthwhile, or in the country's best interests, to everyone. I don't think that's controversial.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Because persuasive cases can sometimes be made on both sides of an argument as to what's really in our best interests, that doesn't mean that it isn't necessary to take our best interests into account.

    Incidentally, decisions need to be reevaluated constantly on that basis as well. Maybe you made the wrong choice before. Maybe the situation changed and what was in our best interests during the Cold War isn't in our best interests anymore.

    Regardless, the idea that we shouldn't take our own best interests into consideration when we make policy decisions is absurd, and it's a big part of what being a progressive is all about.

    Ask a progressive how much sacrifice we should be forced to make for climate change, and they'll either say something ridiculous or look at you like it's a crazy question. The correct answer as to how much sacrifice we should make is "more".

  • Fairbanks||

    I never said or suggested that we (meaning whoever is making the call) shouldn't take their opinion as to best interests into consideration when making policy decisions. In fact I said just the opposite above. But keep flogging that straw man.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There is no such thing as "our best interests." A country of over 300 million people has a wide range of circumstances and preferences. No policy can satisfy everyone. Trump is wrong about what's in America's best interests because no such policy exists."

    That's what you wrote. Then you replied to other things I wrote.

    "While it's true that most people's interests are optimized in markets, where each individual can pursue their own best interests from an individual perspective, the idea that the president shouldn't take [America's] own best interests into consideration when it decides to not invade Syria or decides to invade Iraq is preposterous. All of these decisions need to be made with America's best interests in mind.

    Trade agreements, the Paris accords, the Iran nuclear agreement, immigration policy, ending the drug war, etc., etc., etc.; if you're not taking America's best interests into consideration because you think working out our best interests is too complicated as to be impossible, then you're a crank.

    ----Ken Shultz

    The point is that because our best interests are always debatable and uncertain, that doesn't mean taking our best interests into account isn't the correct criteria.

    Obama, for instance, did not take America's best interests into account. Obama did not care whether bringing refugees into the United States was in America's best security interests. He did it for the sake of the refugees.

    That is just one example.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    For the USA, the more freedom and free market, the better.

    We thrive on it.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The purpose of ObamaCare was to force middle class Americans to make sacrifices on behalf of poor people "

    Make that MORE sacrifices for poor people than they already were - which was plenty before Obamacare came along

    For one example, the social security benefit formula acts like a steeply progressive income tax - giving lower income people higher benefits relative to what they've paid in FICA taxes than is the case for higher income people. Most middle class and up people if they had been able to keep that FICA tax money (plus the amount supposedly paid by their employer but is actually also paid by them in forgone wages) and invest it in an stock index fund in an IRA.

    They would have far more wealth at retirement age than they will ever receive from social security and it's wealth they have a property right to that is not subject to the whims of politicians to pay out.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Most middle class and up people would be far better off if they had been able to keep that FICA tax money I meant to say.

    When is Reason ever going to get up to speed and ever create an edit function for comments?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I think an acceptable way to get rid of Social Security and Medicare is to pay off all Americans who have paid in via a lump sum payment. After that, everyone is responsible for taking care of themselves.

    Set a national debt payoff period and amend the Constitution to not allow unbalanced budgets and national debt baring a Declaration of War and 100% of Congress must vote Yea. Every 1 GDP in debt must be approved with that same 100% Yea vote.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Make that MORE sacrifices for poor people than they already were - which was plenty before Obamacare came along"

    Correct.

    I just don't want it to get lost in the shuffle that ObamaCare was forced sacrifice for the expansion of Medicaid.

  • Cathy L||

    There is no such thing as "our best interests."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Sure there are. Freedom to do what you want under a few rules of the game.

    Good luck!

  • Ken Shultz||

    Because our best interests are debatable, changing, and never 100% certain doesn't mean they don't exist or that policies shouldn't be debated and accepted or rejected based on what our best interests are.

    For goodness' sake, some of you are just being retarded.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Of course people disagree on what "best interests" are, but Trump has it right on *whose* interests the federal government should be concerned with - American citizens.

    And yes, Trump believes in a welfare state for US geezers. Like all US politicians. And like all politicians, he believes in the regulatory state controlling medical service provision. Our "free" health care market is 85% socialist. Medicare is 99%.

    The Left believes in crushing the vestiges of free market medical care. And Trump opposes them.

    And who does Reason complain about?

    Trump.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Trump may be wrong about what's in our best interests, but at least he's concerned about our best interests.

    Jesus Christ.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The progressives, of which Obama was emblematic, think caring about our own best interests is selfish and probably racist, as well. Being progressive is about using the coercive power of government to force people to make sacrifices for their idea of the "common good", which always translates into us making sacrifices for the benefit of others. We can persuade people who are wrong about our best interests to see the error of their ways. How do we even approach people who don't care what's in their own best interests?

  • buybuydandavis||

    The Left are theocratic totalitarians.

    The government shall force you to do good. Shall constrain you from doing evil. They're fundamentally opposed to you having values of your own, and living by them.

  • ||

    Remember when the GOP tried to cut medicare several times and were rebuked by calls about throwing grandma to the wolves? How about when they pointed out that the ACA was gonna require death squads to balance the numbers?

    If you don't [stop Medicare] and I don't do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free. Ronald Reagan

    Fuck your grandma Suderman. Let the wolves have her.

  • Bubba Jones||

    GW was thrown to the wolves for suggesting we needed to reform Social Security.

  • creech||

    Just goes to show how quickly government give-away programs take root and how it becomes impossible to root them out.

  • ThomasD||

    Especially with the Suderman's of the world fighting rear guard actions like this.

    Or was he ever going to get around to entertaining us with ways we might actually get rid of these entitlements?

  • SIV||

    Only Trump supporters are eligible for Medicare?

    MAGA

  • ||

    But the notion that Medicare-for-all should be opposed because it would inject socialism into Medicare is bizarre and contradictory.

    Absolute horseshit. "The idea that wet roads should be opposed because they cause rain is bizarre and contradictory."

    Trump didn't pass medicare and repeated attempts to prevent its enactment and subsequently curtail it prior to him have gone nowhere, costing more than one politician their career. The most solid gold libertarian candidates won't even touch it. The idea that because Trump wouldn't set fire to his own Presidency in pursuit of the Sysiphean task you just dreamed up demonstrates less that he's a socialist and more that you're a dishonest hack.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    As usual, the bar is set lower for judging Trump than for judging any other politician.

    Any other politician who repeatedly and consistently opposed any cuts to the entitlement state whatsoever would be labeled a progressive socialist around here. But Trump gets a pass, because Trump.

  • Just Say'n||

    What do you call someone who would rather attack a politician for maintaining our current socialist welfare system rather than attacking those who want to drastically expand said socialist welfare system?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    No enemies to the right, is that it?

  • Just Say'n||

    Hey, good non-answer that makes literally no sense

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    You are complaining that Suderman is criticizing Trump when he could be criticizing someone else further left instead. That there are plenty of targets worthy of criticism doesn't mean criticism of any particular one is unjustified in some way.

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm criticizing Suderman for giving tacit cover to a socialist expansion of the welfare state by pretending as if maintaining the current system is somehow as bad as wanting to drastically expand it.

    The illogical argument being made here is that a person who doesn't support a $15 minimum wage, but also doesn't support eliminating the minimum wage, is somehow equally as wrong and their criticism should be discounted.

    You mushy moderates have really exposed yourselves

  • Zeb||

    Is he saying it's as bad, or is he saying that they are both bad?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I'm criticizing Suderman for giving tacit cover to a socialist expansion of the welfare state by pretending as if maintaining the current system is somehow as bad as wanting to drastically expand it.

    So in other words, "no enemies to the right" as I said. Don't criticize Trump the quasi-socialist for his socialism, because he is opposed to the hardcore socialists further left than him. Right?

  • Just Say'n||

    I believe you are the only person here who gets defensive about bad mouthing socialists. So, it's cute how you're pretending that others believe in "no enemies to the right" when you clearly believe in "no enemy to the Left"

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I don't believe in classifying political opponents as enemies AT ALL, either left or right.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Which would include both you and suderman eho opposed any barrycare reform short of full repeal.

    THEY PROMISED!!!

  • ||

    As usual, the bar is set lower for judging Trump than for judging any other politician.

    Which is weird considering how I judged him relative to other politicians. Jesus Christ has the TDS given you guys brain damage or something? Trump is the low-bar. The fact that you think the bar was set exceptionally high and anybody expected Trump to clear it says more about your fucked up worldview than anything else.

  • Just Say'n||

    By Suderman's "logic" (the term being used extremely loosely here) if you oppose raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but you don't support eliminating the minimum wage in general then you are a hypocrite and we should ignore your opposition to raising the minimum wage. And all of your arguments for why the minimum wage should not be increased to $15 an hour should be discounted.

    Congrats to woketarians for suddenly becoming selectively applied ancaps.

  • ||

    selectively applied ancaps

    This is a kind euphemism for 'disingenuous shitbags'.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Incidentally, I find Suderman's concern about getting rid of Medicare a little hard to swallow--given his apparent refusal to cut Medicaid spending. To whatever extent Medicare is socialist, Medicaid is even more so.

    Suderman, as I recall, opposed this bill:

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

    It cut $772 billion from Medicaid, and it cut $1.022 trillion from direct government spending!

    The reasons given for this opposition were so absurd*. One was objections about what the bill didn't do and another was that future congresses might reinstate the spending--which is an absurd objection . . . an excellent reason to never cut spending!

    I came to the conclusion that Suderman simply didn't want to cut Medicaid spending.

    That bill would have represented the biggest spending cuts to the nation's biggest socialist program, and, AFAIK, it would have represented the first time any such cuts to the program were made.

    Not only did Trump promise to sign that bill if it got to his desk, Trump actively lobbied the senate to pass it.

    Suderman opposed it.

    If Trump isn't out there pushing for the abolition of cutting of socialist programs now, maybe it's because people like Suderman exacted such a hefty political price for sticking his neck out to cut those programs in the past.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Are you referring to the bill that left most of the structure of ObamaCare intact, but just took money away from it? That bill? The bill put forth by the party which had promised for 8 full years to repeal ObamaCare, and that was the best they could come up with? Gee I don't know why anyone would think that was a bad idea!

  • Just Say'n||

    I'm confused now. So, you don't care about spending reduction now or what?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Ken Shultz is leaving out a lot of context when he throw around that $1.022 trillion figure.

  • Just Say'n||

    FYI:

    Gary Johnson, essentially proposed the exact same change to Medicare and Medicaid, ie devolving the system to the states.

    "As for Medicare, Johnson told 60 Minutes correspondent Steve Kroft, "We're not looking to eliminate Medicare. We do believe in a safety net." But, he said to The Washington Examiner, "Medicaid and Medicare both need to be devolved to the states." Johnson has referred to those programs as "the worst runaway expenditure in the federal government today."

    I know that's different because "yay- team!", but Johnson's proposal is indistinguishable from the Republican proposal (with the exception of devolving Medicare).

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Are you referring to the bill . . . "

    Did you not see the link?

    Did you not read where I wrote that it was absurd to object to a bill that $1.022 trillion in spending., $772 billion of it from Medicaid--because of what it also didn't do?

    What context am I leaving out?

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    The proposed bill kept most of the structure of ObamaCare, but just took money away for paying for it. The whole repeal effort was just a giant con. They wanted to try to have it both ways - tell their base "promise kept, we repealed ObamaCare!" but also tell everyone else "see we're not heartless monsters, we are keeping the social welfare state intact!". And since the spending cuts were all backloaded, the real con was on the spending cut side of things. You just elide over all of these details and pretend like that $1 trillion in spending cuts was going to be a sure thing. It was even less of a sure thing than the typical DC budgeting gimmicks.

  • Just Say'n||

    Can you explain how mushy moderates like yourself could have supported this exact same proposal when Johnson proposed it, but are now appalled when a Republican Congress proposes it?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "And since the spending cuts were all backloaded . . .

    You're regurgitating horseshit.

    The cuts were set to take place after the midterms. Am I to understand you only support cutting spending if it's done before the midterms? You oppose cutting spending after midterm elections on principle for some reason?

    The idea that we shouldn't cut $772 billion from Medicaid or $1.022 trillion from direct spending because the cuts would have to wait until after the midterms is stupid.

    "You just elide over all of these details and pretend like that $1 trillion in spending cuts was going to be a sure thing."

    The House had already passed deeper cuts. The president had promised to sign the legislation. All that was required was for the senate to pass it. That's how spending cuts happen. There's no extra step beyond that. You're just regurgitating horseshit again.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    There were never going to be any spending cuts, Ken. IT WAS A CON. The only reason they proposed to postpone the "cuts" until after the election was because they were never serious about the cuts, they just wanted to use the issue one more time in order to gin up votes for the midterms. It was completely devoid of any serious ideas or reforms. It was simply "let's accept the premise of ObamaCare, take money away from it, do nothing to address the underlying issues, and campaign on fear of Democratic gains". It was cynical and worthless.

    Didn't we just go through an entire episode where we had people shouting in these forums that they demanded that Republicans confirm a certain SCOTUS judge just so they wouldn't be rewarding Democratic bad behavior? Well, supporting that travesty of a "repeal bill" would be rewarding Republican bad behavior.

    I however am not at all surprised that people like you think Republican bad behavior should be rewarded, whether it be Congressional Republicans' phony ObamaCare repeal, or Trump defending entitlements, but we should draw the line at Democratic bad behavior.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Republicans have always supported tax credits for premiums as part of any health insurance reform...are you familiar with Mitt Romney?

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The only reason they proposed to postpone the "cuts" until after the election was because they were never serious about the cuts"

    They wanted to mitigate for the risk of having to pay for the cuts with their seats in the midterms. They didn't want to give the Democrats something to hit them over the head with so soon.

    And, again, your belief that there's some higher power that can reach in above the House voting something into law, the senate voting for the same cuts, and the president signing those cuts is weird, mind warped, shit.

    You oppose the senate voting to cut spending because congress cutting spending and the president signing it dosen't cut spending?! You're a victim of some kind of propaganda. You're making yourself into a laughing stock. You believe in things that don't seem to have any basis in reality. If it's because of what you read from Suderman, then he might owe you an apology.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    And, again, your belief that there's some higher power that can reach in above the House voting something into law, the senate voting for the same cuts, and the president signing those cuts is weird, mind warped, shit.

    That higher power is - the very next session of Congress, when they come up with the next lame excuse for why they just can't cut spending.

    See the Budget Control Act of 2011 (aka "The Sequester") for an example of what I mean.

    They promised to cut spending. They really promised! And then they reneged on their promise just a few years later.

    Guess some of us have some really short memories.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    As long as Trump is in the White House Obamacare is safe—Kushner's brother has invested hundreds of millions into the Exchanges.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Comgress saved obamacare not Trump.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "That higher power is - the very next session of Congress, when they come up with the next lame excuse for why they just can't cut spending."

    Do you work for a living? I hope you don't eve say anything so ridiculous to your boss.

    Tell your boss that he shouldn't try to cut his costs because even if he does, they might go up in the future.

    The idea that we shouldn't cut spending because future congresses might reinstate it is retarded. It makes you a laughing stock. It's indefensible.

    If you're repeating that shit because you got it from Suderman, then you've let Suderman make a fool of you.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    The idea that we shouldn't cut spending because future congresses might reinstate it is retarded. It makes you a laughing stock. It's indefensible.

    Oh no Ken, that is not at all what I'm saying.

    What I'm saying is, we should not support a plan that only pretends to cut spending. Furthermore, we should not reward people who duplicitously claim to cut spending when they really don't, by their own actions.

    Sorry, Ken, but they have lost all credibility with me.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "What I'm saying is, we should not support a plan that only pretends to cut spending."

    This is delusional and retarded.

    The suggestion that the Senate shouldn't pass a bill to cut spending by $1.022 trillion--a bill that the House has already passed and the president is pressuring them to get to his desk so he can sign--because it doesn't really cut spending? That's delusional, and it's retarded.

    I've met creationists that are smarter than you. You're a fucking retard!

  • TuIpa||

    "Ken Shultz is leaving out a lot of context when he throw around that $1.022 trillion figure."

    So elaborate. Right now it looks like you're hiding behind "'context" like progs are wont to do.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Relativistic goalposts. At least he's consistent in his malleable purity tests.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    You have it backwards—Ryancare spent more than Obamacare...granted it was accidental which is why it was quickly pulled. The reason you think it cut spending is because you don't understand that the CBO scored the individual mandate as a $300 billion COST! The individual mandate is innocuous which Obama wisely opposed but Gruber convinced him to support it because the CBO exaggerated its impact and made the coverage numbers look better for his 2012 re-election. That was probably Obama's biggest political blunder supporting the individual mandate.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There's the link

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

    The CBO scored the revenue cuts as "cost", which is how they should look at it from the government's perspective.

    $1.022 trillion in direct spending cuts.
    -$858 billion in revenue cuts (ObamaCare taxes, Individual Mandate revenue, etc)

    You can't be in favor of repealing the individual mandate, for instance, and then also fault a bill because the government will subsequently get less revenue from individual mandate penalties.

    In other words, the bill cut real spending by $1.022 trillion and cut penaltaxes and taxes, as well; i.e., it made the government smaller. My fellow libertarians objecting to this because of what it didn't also do is absurd.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    The repeal of the individual mandate was included in the tax bill because its repeal allowed an additional $300 billion in tax cuts. So the CBO scored the individual mandate as a cost because they exaggerated its impact on getting people to sign up for Obamacare policies.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I can't help but wonder if you're just ignoring the link.

    The CBO report I linked shows revenue from the individual mandate as $210 billion of lost revenue.

    It is not listed as a cost savings due to cuts.

    They're subtracting that $210 billion from costs cuts and counting it as lost revenue.

    Look under "penalty payments". It's right there, listed as "Reduced collections of penalty payments from employers and uninsured people".

    The biggest savings from cost cutting are as follows:

    $772 billion cut from Medicaid
    $408 billion cut from subsidies for nongroup health insurance

    $210 billion in revenue from the individual mandate, etc. is listed as lost revenue by the CBO.

  • Ken Shultz||

    From the CBO link:

    "The largest savings would come from reductions in outlays for Medicaid—spending on the program would decline in 2026 by 26 percent in comparison with what CBO projects under current law—and from changes to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) subsidies for nongroup health insurance (see Figure 1).

    . . . .

    The largest increases in deficits would come from repealing or modifying tax provisions in the ACA that are not directly related to health insurance coverage, including repealing a surtax on net investment income and repealing annual fees imposed on health insurers."

    The problem with that argument that full repeal was a better alternative is that the alternative wasn't full repeal. The alternative was ObamaCare.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    "CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 15 million more people would be uninsured under this legislation than under current law—primarily because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 22 million in 2026."

    So that makes clear why the CBO scored the individual mandate as COST which is why Ryan was able to get an extra $300 billion in tax cuts with its repeal.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I don't know where you're getting this, but the reason the CBO scored eliminating the individual mandate as a cost is because getting rid of it represents a loss of revenue.

    Cutting costs is a gain.

    Losing revenue is a cost.

    They're looking at it from the government's perspective, and that is as it should be. Penataxes to us is revenue to them. Why would they score a loss of revenue as a gain?

    Eliminating the individual mandate, according to that CBO report, means the federal government will lose out on $210 billion in revenue over 10 years, and that's why it's listed as a cost to the government.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    You don't understand the CBO report you linked to—overall the individual mandate COST the government money.

    So yes the individual mandate provided revenue to the government, BUT the fact the individual mandate forced people to sign up for policies that were either Medicaid or heavily subsidized Exchange policies meant the overall effect of the individual mandate was a COST to the government. So the fact the individual mandate meant more people would sign up for Obamacare is why it was listed as a COST and if repealed it could be used for extra tax cuts.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "You don't understand the CBO report you linked to—overall the individual mandate COST the government money."

    I think you're trying to make some point about how the insurance mandate itself actually costs the taxpayers money?

    But, no, the fines the government charges individuals for not buying health insurance and employers for not offering their employees health insurance is not a cost to the government. It is revenue not cost.

    I'm not misreading anything. The CBO report shows $210 billion in lost revenue as a cost--because the bill would have eliminated the individual mandate and that means the bill they were analyzing would cost the government $210 billion over ten years from lost revenue.

    If you believe that tax revenue is a cost to the government, then you are wrong. If you believe that forgoing tax revenue isn't a cost to the government, then you are wrong. There is a penaltax in place. Eliminating that revenue is a cost to the government, and the CBO is accounting for it just as it should.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Omg, the repeal of the individual mandate allowed Republicans to get an extra $300 billion in tax cuts!! I agree this is convoluted but I promise you I am not trying to pull a fast one over on you.

    So Republicans cut that particular tax and forgo a little revenue which is a tax cut, but because fewer people sign up for Obamacare they get savings (government spending less on Obamacare) that leads to $300 billion in more tax cuts on top of that!!

  • Microaggressor||

    You know who else was in favor of socialism as long as it's for his supporters?

  • TuIpa||

    Suderman.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Welch?

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are establishment Republicans. Trump's presidency has been fairly innocuous outside the two justices McConnell was able to get approved...the Obamacare reforms improve the program a little.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Right now we mostly have "Medicaid for all without a better option". In states like Maryland and Massachusetts Republican governors thrive because the states expanded Medicaid but the Republican candidate in Florida will probably lose because Scott didn't expand Medicaid. The Medicaid expansion has already helped Democrats win several governorships with more to follow.

    The dumbest people in America are conservatives that oppose the Medicaid expansion along with the liberals that advocate "Medicare for All".

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    "Free shit is politically popular, therefore it's good."

    Great principles there, buddy.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Medicaid primarily benefits hospitals and doctors and their respective BMW dealers. Maybe one day you will need to go into the hospital or get dialysis and you will be thankful those providers had the Medicaid revenue stream. Also if you are 63 and have enough retirement savings you can now quit your job and get Medicaid or an Exchange policy instead of having to work until your 65.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Also if you are 63 and have enough retirement savings you can now quit your job and get Medicaid or an Exchange policy instead of having to work until your 65."

    You have to be pretty poor to get Medicaid and a lot of doctors won't take it.

    And if you have a lot of income from investments or other sources after you quit your job you don't qualify for Obamacare tax subsidies. And the full premium price and high deductables of Obamacare make it vastly overpriced for the "value" received.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    In Florida the investment advisors help their clients adjust their retirement income to hit the subsidy jackpot which is why Florida has a fairly robust Obamacare Exchange.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Well one would need to do some spreadsheet analysis to determine whether the subsidy saving exceeded the cost of arranging investments not to produce countable income.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Quite a few articles have been written about well off Republicans in Florida taking advantage of the subsidies for a few years before they hit 65.

  • CE||

    At least Medicaid goes to people who are needy. Medicare is just a handout to the politically powerful elder class, regardless of how rich they are.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "At least Medicaid goes to people who are needy."

    "From each according to their ability, to each according to their need."

    Isn't that half the equation of socialism?

    No thanks.

    Incidentally, Medicaid is also, by far, the biggest factor distorting the insurance and healthcare markets. There can be no adequate solution to the problems with our healthcare markets without slashing Medicaid.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    No it isn't, Medicaid is just crappy health care coverage but it is free so people generally don't complain about it. Doctors are free to accept it or not but many pediatricians and obstetricians have figured out how to accept it and be profitable.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Medicaid pays a fraction of the cost of care. Hospitals in poor neighborhoods close all the time because they can't cover their costs with Medicaid. The reason other hospitals survive is that they have more private pay patients and can gouge private insurers to make up for the difference.

    This is why ObamaCare needed to force people to buy health insurance. It was to protect the insurers from the Medicaid expansion. Providers must gouge insurers to make up for the money they lose treating Medicaid patients, so expanding Medicaid, as ObamaCare did, necessarily meant they would be gouged even more than before.

    When the Obama administration argued before the Supreme Court that the ObamaCare system couldn't survive without the individual mandate, they weren't lying.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Where do you get your information?? Hospitals in all states support the Medicaid expansion and many state hospital organizations advocated taxing themselves to pay the 10% the state must kick in.

    The individual mandate is innocuous and Obama and other liberals always opposed it until Gruber explained how the CBO exaggerated its impact.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I ran reimbursement for a private hospital for seven years. After that, I spent years working at a software company QC'ing the payer information for some of the biggest hospitals and largest hospital chains in the country.

    Incidentally, because hospitals in areas with a lot of private pay patients were suffering more losses treating the uninsured through their ERs than if they were getting at least something from Medicaid, maybe they lose less money than they did before expansion. Taking a lower loss by qualifying people for Medicaid doesn't push average hospitals over the edge, especially if they were getting nothing for the care they gave to those uninsured people before.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Don't think I buy that argument that the hospitals wanted Medicaid expanded--even if the states did. Even the Mayo Clinic is losing money on Medicaid patients:

    "For while the Affordable Care Act has reduced the number of uninsured patients, it has increased the share covered by Medicaid, which pays around 50 to 85 cents on the dollar of the actual cost of medical care.

    . . . .

    In his speech, Noseworthy said a recent 3.7 percent surge in Medicaid patients was a "tipping point" for Mayo.

    . . . .

    Mayo reported a sharp increase in the amount of unreimbursed costs related to Medicaid patients, from $321 million in 2012 to $548 million in 2016. The figures include its campuses in Arizona and Florida. Mayo nonetheless remained profitable in 2016, with income of $475 million.

    http://www.startribune.com/may.....416185134/

  • Ken Shultz||

    That's basically it in a nutshell right there.

    The Mayo Clinic lost $548 million dollars in 2016 treating Medicaid patients--which is a huge increase from what they were losing on Medicaid patients before ObamaCare. How did they make up for it? Well, they remained profitable by gouging the fuck out of private pay patients. The Mayo Clinic can do that. They're one of the world's most renowned healthcare systems.

    If your local hospital on the shitty side of town can't gouge private pay patients because there aren't enough of them to make up for the losses they suffer treating Medicaid patients, they close. And the expansion of Medicaid under ObamaCare made that situation worse.

    If you need any more information, go look it up yourself. I'm not getting paid for this.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    You are clueless, if the url doesn't show up Google "Oregon approves new taxes to cover Medicaid costs".

    "The measure creates a 0.7 percent tax on some hospitals and a 1.5 percent tax on the gross health insurance premiums and on managed care organizations. The nonpartisan voter pamphlet said if the measure failed, the state might lose an additional $630 million to $960 million in federal Medicaid matching funds that flow to the poorest in the state.

    That possibility was enough to galvanize health care providers, doctors and nurses associations and insurers behind Measure 101. Hospitals said the costs of treating uninsured patients in emergency rooms would be more than the taxes imposed."

  • Ken Shultz||

    "Hospitals in all states support the Medicaid expansion"

    That's what you wrote.

    You're supporting this argument with the suggestion that states want more revenue, and you're calling me clueless?!

    Why don't you quote calculations of the earth's circumference? That's also irrelevant.

    The fact is that hospitals lose money on every Medicaid patient they treat. Because they can't make up for those losses in volume, they either gouge private payers or they go out of business.

    If what you believe doesn't account for this fact, then you're making a fool of yourself--in front of anyone who knows what they're talking about.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Omg you are a dumbass! We are discussing the Medicaid EXPANSION!! Hospitals want the Medicaid EXPANSION in their state!! Obviously hospitals would like Medicaid reimbursements to be higher but that is not what we are discussing. Don't bother replying to this because I am done wasting my time with you.

  • Ken Shultz||

    You don't want me to talk to you because you believe in stupid things that you can't support with facts. It makes you feel stupid because it is stupid. That's what stupid is--continuing to believe in things even after they're contradicted by facts. How's it feel to be so stupid?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Here, maybe you'll learn something by looking at pictures?

    http://www.aha.org/system/file.....art4-6.pdf

    Feel the facts. Know the facts. Understand the facts. Use the facts.

  • James Pollock||

    "Don't think I buy that argument that the hospitals wanted Medicaid expanded"

    Because you were biased from your experience with for-profit hospitals?

    The non-profits are treating the people who are sick whether they can pay or not. They'd welcome expanded payments, because even if Medicaid reimbursements are low, they are higher than zero.

  • Vince Smith||

    Medicaid is theft from the taxpayers by government. Forced altruism is theft. End Medicaid.

  • Vince Smith||

    Medicaid involves government taking from me by force to pay for other people's healthcare. End the program.

  • James Pollock||

    "When the Obama administration argued before the Supreme Court that the ObamaCare system couldn't survive without the individual mandate, they weren't lying."

    Duh. If you have a medical insurance system that lets people who are fully healthy avoid paying until they get sick enough to actually need coverage, they will avoid paying until they get sick enough to actually need coverage. This means that the only people paying in are the ones sick enough to need coverage.
    This is like allowing people to avoid buying life insurance until they're dead, or avoid paying for car insurance until they're in an accident. That's not insurance, that's a bailout.

    We have publicly-funded insurance because we have some members of society who cannot earn enough money to pay for their own insurance. This means they get sick, and then they STAY sick, because they can't get treatment. A funny thing about sickness is that it spreads from person to person, so we ALL benefit from having fewer sick people wandering about.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    There is nothing in the constitution that allows government to force people to buy insurance.

    Obamacare is unconstitutional.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    Just keep in mind Obama and the liberals always opposed the individual mandate and the Daily Kos almost refused to endorse the ACA because it included an individual mandate. The individual mandate will prove to be innocuous over the next several years because Americans want quality health insurance through their employer and then at 65 they qualify for Medicare.

  • James Pollock||

    "'From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.'

    Isn't that half the equation of socialism?"

    Actually, the socialists lifted that bit from the Bible.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Jesus didnt want to use roman soldiers to take 50% of your wealth to redistribute.

  • Vince Smith||

    Yeah, and it was voluntary, not by government force.

  • Echospinner||

    If you think like a surgeon the principle of "first do no harm" is a practical guideline not a moral one. We may be better off tweaking what we have rather than jumping in and causing more damage.

    Often the claim goes that we spend more per person than other developed countries. Why? Nobody seems to agree on the answers so like the surgeon there is no point in drastic measures when we do not know what we are aiming for.

    "Turns out your friend here is only MOSTLY dead. See, mostly dead is still slightly alive."
    Max the wizard

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    We spend more than other countries through a little dumb luck we have substantial private sector involvement in health care. We can trace the private sector involvement to legislation promoted by the UAW and their allies the New Deal Democrats that created one of the most business friendly markets in history—the group health insurance market. Why anyone would advocate removing the private sector from a market that is functioning satisfactorily is beyond me but liberals advocate a lot of irrational things like a carbon tax and lifetime alimony for same sex couples.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "We spend more than other countries through a little dumb luck we have substantial private sector involvement in health care"

    Government meddling is the only reason health insurance ever became tied to employment. During WW2 the federal government enacted wage controls (which it had no Constitutional authority to do by the way) but didn't regulate fringe benefits. So in order to compete for workers companies started offering health insurance as fringe benefit. Then it got cemented further via the tax code that allowed employers to deduct those costs and exempt those costs from taxation for the employee but didn't allow insurance premiums to be fully deductable for individuals who bought individual insurance policies instead of getting it through an employer.

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    I agree but I seriously doubt a 100% individual market would work. So the reason we avoided single payer health care is because we have the group market. The health insurance companies and big business certainly appear satisfied with the group market. Ironically the only sector it has really harmed is Big 3 and UAW because it made American manufacturing more expensive.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Pay cash for minor medical care. Get catastrophic health insurance for major stuff.

    It would be about $60 per month for insurance and a few thousande per year for family preventive healthcare.

  • James Pollock||

    Your numbers are suspect, and don't deal with the biggest problem... obtaining insurance for people who have chronic conditions.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You get onsurance when you are young, so if you get a chronic condition, youre covered.

    Why would insurance allow you to jump onto a plan AFTER you find out youre sick?

  • James Pollock||

    "Why anyone would advocate removing the private sector from a market that is functioning satisfactorily"

    The healthcare market is functioning satisfactorily? Is it healthcare or markets generally that you don't understand?

  • Sebastian Cremmington||

    We have the best health care in the world thanks to significant private sector involvement—thank you New Deal Democrats and UAW for getting the private sector involved in our health insurance system because otherwise we would have crappy single payer like the European countries.

  • Vince Smith||

    Are you trolling?

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    The Trump admin has expanded access to insurance for small companies through Association Health Plans that allows small businesses and self employed workers to band together to obtain coverage as if they were a single large corporation.

    Isn't that a good thing?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    yup.

  • CE||

    Trump loudly and repeatedly said during the campaign that he wouldn't touch Social Security or Medicare. Which is why he won and Romney/Ryan lost.

  • James Pollock||

    The problem is that Trump will say loudly and repeatedly whatever the audience directly in front of him wants to hear, and what he says has no relationship to what he actually subsequently does.

    Yes, both of these behaviors are quite common among politicians.

    Trump says the reason to vote for him is that he is not a politicians. Some people fell for that shit. Some did not.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Yet Trump has tackled numerous things to rollback socialism in our government.

    The Lefties hate Trump so he must be doing well.

  • mchughjj||

    This article is semantic. The US, as it currently exists, is the least socialist nation in the first world. Medicare can certainly be described as socialist, as can our public school system or even post offices. Libertarians, if that word means anything, should oppose the EXPANSION of Medicare, unless it is tied to real reform of the healthcare market, which has become non-competitive in most places.

    What Trump thinks about these real issues no longer interests me, as he doesn't know much about much and doesn't listen to people who do. If there's a lesson to be learned, the country can run on autopilot pretty well. Gnarly issues like healthcare and immigration will have to wait for some future visionary leader. I don't know who that's going to be.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Trump is handling immigration great. Deport illegals amd demand immigration laws be enforced.

  • mchughjj||

    No, he decidedly is not and cannot, given his 'base's', such as your, predisposition.

  • James Pollock||

    "Trump is handling immigration great."

    Trump is handling immigration exactly the same as his predecessor did, who did it the same as his predecessor, etc. back to Reagan.

    It was Obama who asked for authority to deport more illegals faster, and Republicans in Congress who snubbed his request. They didn't even bother to debate it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Maga

  • Uncle Jay||

    According to the GAO, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security accounts for almost 60% of the federal budget and is predicted to grow as more people age and fewer die.
    If some sort of change isn't done in either replacing or repairing these three programs, the USA could implode economically like the old USSR did.
    Then what?

  • JeremyR||

    Socialism is when the government runs something, not just pays for it.

    Calling something like Medicare "socialism" is why socialism has a good name these days. My father and mother both died of cancer. My father had medicare and my mother had private insurance. Medicare was far more efficient from his point of view, while my mother constantly had to fight with the insurance company and we'd have to do things like check her out of the hospital after a few days (because they stopped paying for it), then take her to the emergency room to get her re-admitted.

  • James Pollock||

    "Calling something like Medicare "socialism" is why socialism has a good name these days."

    Public roadways are socialist, too. And schools.

    "Medicare was far more efficient from his point of view, while my mother constantly had to fight with the insurance company"

    That's the difference between having a faceless government bureaucrat involved in your medical care, and a faceless private bureaucrat with a profit motive in keeping you from spending anything on medical care involved in your medical care. You don't have to like the one toe recognize that the other one is worse.

  • Vince Smith||

    James Pollock, I shouldn't have to pay for your education or your kids' education either. Schools should not be taxpayer funded.

    Public roadways should be funded by a user fee system.

  • Vince Smith||

    Medicare should at least be voluntary to join.

  • posmoo||

    It's incredibly embaressing that reason has writers and editors don't even know what socialism is. Medicare is no more socialist than the u.s. military.

  • Tony||

    Which is to say totally socialist.

  • Vince Smith||

    I get a benefit from the military that makes it reasonable for the government to mandate that I pay taxes to fund it. Government has no business forcing me to pay for other people's healthcare.

  • jerryg1018||

    Social Security and Medicare are in trouble because Congress didn't keep the employee and employer contributions up with the increasing cost of living. That and the fact that those contributions went into the General Fund rather than being held in special accounts that could have been invested for monetary return like private retirement accounts are.
    Congress used those monies for general spending banking on the fact that most retirees didn't live more than two years after retirement and the balances in their accounts went to the government.
    Single payer would be the same type of Ponzi Scheme. More money paid in than paid out with the government spending the balance.
    A privately run health insurance plan where policy holders receive a refund for maintaining good health would be a better plan.

  • Truthteller1||

    Seems that the author and others don't really grasp the term "socialist".

  • n00bdragon||

    Donald Trump contradicts himself and shows a bias towards big government liberal interventionism and nationalism. Film at 11.

  • James Pollock||

    The sad part is that for a substantial portion of the population, "Keep government out of Medicare!" is a slogan that WORKS.

  • 720p full hd izle||

    No matter what anyone says, I love Trump.

  • Tina Marie||

    I understand that Medicare is considered an entitlement, among many Libertarians. What's I don't understand is why. I've been on SSDI for many years, and have Medicare. I paid into the "system," when I did work, whether I wanted to or not. Much like taxes. My parents paid into the "system" and didn't even live long enough to get Social Security or Medicare. Anyway, I pay a monthly premium to have Medicare. When I see a doctor, or have a procedure done, I have to pay a copay, and afterwards am responsible for 20% of the remaining bill. That doesn't cover dental, eye exams, or prescription, unless I purchase extra insurance, which isn't worth it for me. They don't cover many of my medications, so I just use GoodRx for the discounts on prescriptions and pay cash for the rest (eye clubs help). I don't know how these Democratic Socialists think they'll be getting something for free, unless they're going for Medicaid for All, which is 100% free.

    As for Social Security, wouldn't it be easier if Government offered a choice of a private retirement savings instead of people paying for their future Social Security, etc? I can't see them doing that to people who are currently on Social Security or using Medicare. IDK, maybe it's because I am already on it and didn't prepare, when I was younger, to be permanently disabled.

    Sometimes I don't feel like I can call myself a Libertarian, because I am receiving entitlements.

  • Tina Marie||

    Oops, sorry. I can't edit the typos.

  • Vince Smith||

    You make a good point. Social Security and Medicare should be optional programs, though. Forced insurance is a form of theft.

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