[Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of news reports from the year 2016 based on Mitt Romney winning the Presidency and Republicans Taking control of the Senate and retaining control of the House. These stories are not a predictions of what will happen, but they are indications of what could happen. That in itself should be scary enough.]
Republicans Dissolve the Congressional Budget Office – CBO Charged With Forcasting Huge Deficits, Higher Medical Costs
Contrary to Romney-Ryan Plans
The Medicare proposal enacted by the Republican Congress and signed into law by President Romney would replace existing Medicare with private insurance. Seniors would get a direct subsidy to offset the cost of the insurance, but the CBO analysis found that the subsidy would cover only a small part of the premium and that low income seniors would be priced out of the health insurance market altogether. The study also found that insurance companies, free to set premiums at whatever level they wanted would generate huge profits.
Speaking from the White House Vice President Ryan said that “It is clear that our plans will do no such thing, because we know they will do no such thing and for an independent objective group to conclude otherwise just shows how out of touch they are with the American people.” Ryan went on to say that although no reputable research organization had supported the administration’s conclusions, “basic economic theory says we are right and they are wrong”.
Under the program seniors could still stay in traditional Medicare, but the Part B premium for major medical health care would rise from its current level of $137.50 per month to $862.37 per month. Low income seniors would get a $150.00 subsidy which according the President Romney would be more than enough for even destitute seniors to afford health insurance, even if they were living solely on Social Security. “If my family can afford it, anyone can afford it” said Mr. Romney.
In a related action Congress moved to strip the American Economics Association of its tax free status, because no member of that group who was not an administration employee or adviser would accept the administration’s numbers. “Groups that work to undermine economic policy by using data, analysis and facts are simply not American enough to be accorded tax free status” said House Speaker Eric Cantor.
In a closed session Congress also passed a law which mandates that members of Congress would continue to receive their existing government provided health care insurance regardless of any change in national programs.