Seniors Should be Frightened of Paul Ryan and Trump

Senior citizens and any American who plans to live long enough to retire should be very frightened at the prospect of a Trump presidency. The problem is not Trump itself; it is House speaker Paul Ryan. It the Republicans win the presidency and retain control of both the House and Senate, there will be no one to stop Ryan’s plan to eliminate Medicare and replacing it with vouchers and private health insurance exchanges much like the exchanges that are presently part of the Affordable Care Act, popularly know as Obamacare.

The health insurance exchanges are not working very well with Obamacare, and House speaker Paul Ryan has rightly criticized them. If fact, he wants to scupper Obamacare altogether including the dysfunctional health insurance exchanges. Yet, knowing that the exchanges do not work, he wants to implement them as a replacement for Medicare. In order to do that, he will need a Republican president who will not veto his plan and a Republican majority in both the House and Senate to get his bill passed. The plan would reduce the federal budget by supplying lousy health care to senior citizens.

What would Speaker Ryan do with the money saved by gutting Medicare. His plan is to give big tax breaks to the very rich, a plan that Donald Trump also supports. We are already living with government policies that transfer wealth from ordinary Americans to the super rich. If Speaker Ryan and Donald Trump get their way, the wealth transfer will accelerate.

Medicare obviously needs reform. As it is presently constituted, it is underfunded. However, there is a big difference between reforming Medicare and scrapping it altogether.

What can Americans do to prevent this travesty? Vote! Anyone who has any affection for the United States cannot possibly vote for Donald Trump for a long list of reasons including the preservation of Medicare. However, the presidency is not the only important office to be decided to protect Medicare. Americans who want to have adequate medical care in their retirement years should also consider for whom they vote for the House of Representatives and the Senate. Have the candidates that you plan to vote for promised not to scrap Medicare? If not, perhaps you should rethink your vote. Most Republican candidates can be expected to go along with Ryan’s plan. Most Democrats can be expected to oppose it.

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