We’ve seen this movie before. For all their talk about supposedly protecting seniors and Medicare, the progressive left in particular views the program as a slush fundthey can raid to pay for their big government scheme du jour. Here are several ways we’ve seen exactly that since Obamacare was enacted.
- Over its first ten years, Obamacare raided Medicare to the tune of at least $716 billion—not to improve Medicare’s solvency in any meaningful way, but instead to fund new entitlements for the young and able-bodied.
- Democratic lawmakers are currently fighting not over whether to raid Medicare, but instead how much to raid it—that is, how much of the drug pricing savings, the vast majority of which come from Medicare, should get redirected to programs like Obamacare coverage.
- The single-payer proposal endorsed by more than half of House Democrats, and originally proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, would actually abolish the current Medicare program, and liquidate the current Medicare trust funds. This move would effectively take money dedicated towards seniors, many of them poor, and siphon it away to help fund socialized medicine for all Americans—including young billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg. It also makes the proposal not “Medicare for All” but “Medicare for None.”
If those examples don’t provide enough proof, recall too that President Biden and his wife Jill over the past four years have used a questionable tax loophole to avoid paying nearly $517,000 in Medicare and Obamacare taxes. To illustrate the point visually, the Bidens thought renting this mansion more important than helping fund Medicare benefits for seniors.
As it is, the House’s prescription drug “negotiation” bill contains procedural flaws that should result in major changes—and lower budgetary savings. As I outlinedearlier this summer, the 95 percent tax against drug companies that do not “negotiate” is so onerous that it likely does not comply with the procedural guardrails of budget reconciliation in the Senate.
Changing this structural flaw to bring the program into compliance could reduce the savings substantially from current levels, meaning Democrats may have to lower the scope of their health-care ambitions regardless. But even if the current House proposals have little chance of getting enacted into law, they demonstrate how little Democrats think of the Medicare program.
In that sense, these revealed preferences should echo in seniors’ minds as they head to the polls next November.