The Quiet Plan to Kill Medicare

(My esteemed colleague Amy Traub wrote this post for us so I can't take credit). President Bush's new health care proposals have so many destructive features it took DMI nine pages to outline them all in our State of the Union rapid response last month. And we were really trying to brief. But it appears that the President didn't even mention all of the harmful plans he has in store for the nation's health care system. Like getting rid of Medicare as we know it.

You read that correctly. The President's proposed 2008 budget includes a plan to do away with Medicare.

Why haven't you heard this before? On his blog, "Beat the Press" economist Dean Baker takes the media to task for failing to report on the plan to phase out one of the nation's most crucial -- and treasured -- public programs even as he cogently explains just how the President aims to drive guaranteed health care for our nation's seniors into the sunset. The plan involves means-testing many Medicare benefits so they won't be available to anyone making over $80,000 a year. That income level isn't indexed to inflation, so over the years the income threshhold will drop in real terms, reducing Medicare to a program for only the poor, then only the very poor... and Medicare is gone as a vital support for all seniors.

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