An open and a sent letter to Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)
Dear Congressman Ryan,
Please explain your Medicare plan to me and my wife. We are in our early fifties and are concerned about how your changes to Medicare will affect us. We know that Washington can seem disconnected from the real world but, for people of our age, your plan to do away with Medicare is very real.
Getting rid of Medicare feels like a free markets experiment to us and neither of us wants to be a “lab rat” for a social and economic experiment gone awry. Lab rats are usually expendable and we don’t want to be part of a discarded generation.…
.…Congressman Ryan, please feel free to provide as much detail as possible on how, as a practical matter, your plan will be implemented. I understand that your objective is to save money — I just wonder if there isn’t a less radical approach that would work.
For example what’s wrong with modifying the current Medicare system to include means testing on co-payments and deductibles, increasing the eligibility age by a few years, restricting payment of certain elective procedures and working to reduce hospital and provider administrative costs. Tort reform relating to end of life care couldn’t hurt either. These changes would be easy to implement, fair to all and still provide protection for the elderly.
When I was a child I read stories about how animals that that get old walk into the forest to die. They are never heard from again and as a result aren’t a burden on their herd. The remaining animals have better survival odds because they are not forced to waste precious resources on old animals that are going to die anyway.
For better or worse, a long time ago we decided that we were different than animals and that old people shouldn’t be asked to “take one” for the team.
Congressman Ryan, I am worried that your plan basically is telling me and my wife to get ready for that long walk into the forest. Please tell me it isn’t true and that I am over reacting.
Read the rest of this post and the questions I ask Congressman Ryan at Forbes.com.