Paul Krugman has been steadfast in his commitment to calling out the Republican plan to destroy Medicare in the Ryan budget for what it is: a plan to destroy Medicare and replace it with vouchers. The GOP has been pitching quite a hissy-fit since Krugman and many Democrats have started to correctly label their Vouchercare plan for what it is. But Krugman doesn’t back down and today’s column is a good look at exactly why the Ryan budget destroys Medicare and how calling the GOP Vouchercare plan Medicare is nonsense.
Towards the end of his column, Krugman turns towards Canada’s universal healthcare system (also called Medicare) as an example of what a genuinely improved version of our Medicare could look like by reducing waste and increasing efficiency. Krugman writes:
Canadian Medicare, then, looks sustainable; why can’t we do the same thing here? Well, you know the answer in the case of the Republicans: They don’t want to make Medicare sustainable, they want to destroy it under the guise of saving it.
One thing that could emerge (at least an a sane, alternative reality version of America) from the current fight over the Ryan budget’s destruction of Medicare and the wholesale voting of House Republicans in favor of this destruction is a debate about why Medicare works and why it needs to be expanded, not destroyed with vouchers. This, in turn, could actually open up the door for a policy debate that says, “Well if Medicare is this great for seniors, why don’t we expand Medicare to cover all Americans?” Of course there is no cohort of Democrats in federal elected office with any power who support this or would argue for it. But I’d love to hear the anti-Vouchercare crusading Democrats make a convincing argument against Medicare for All that doesn’t use the words “political capital,” though I doubt that’s possible.