Re: Medicare: To ‘End’ or Not to End

I say don’t just “end” it, end it. That is the subject of my column this weekend. Even allowing that they are false, these ads accusing Republicans of wanting to end Medicare are so effective precisely because Republicans act as if the accusation is akin to being called a pedophile. Perhaps this is to be expected, for Republicans have done their own share of Medicare demagoguery. In any event, Medicare is — and has always been — a fraudulent scheme that makes Enron look like three-card-monte. It is driving the country into insolvency and it can’t be “reformed” and remain Medicare because if you leave government in place as a key player in the reformed system, you will inevitably end up undoing the reform.

It is amazing that being in favor of single-payer, government-controlled, fully socialized healthcare is a completely acceptable position in the public debate, but being in favor of ending Medicare (a position that at least has the virtue of financially viability) means banishment from polite company. When some drone scowls, “You want to end Medicare!” It can’t be that the only acceptable answer is, “How dare you slander me like that! How can you question my deep and abiding commitment to our sacred inter-generational trust?” We ought to be able to say, “You’re damn right I want to end it — and why do you favor a politicized pyramid scheme that is bankrupting the country?” 

UPDATE: Powerline’s John Hinderaker has some kind words for my column (for which I am grateful) and adds some characteristically insightful points of his own.  

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