If I were a GOP candidate I would prefer to talk about everything but Medicare between now and November. And so it has been. But now, since Charlie Bass did us the service of making the issue controversial again, I want to quibble with the analogies that have become popular to explain what exactly Paul Ryan’s plan does.
The Ryan plan, after all, has something in it called Medicare, so it is a touch complicated to say that it ‘ends’ Medicare. The most popular response says that Ryancare steals your bimmer and gives back a crappy Yugo with a bimmer badge taped to the hood. I find that analogy not only inaccurate but also too generous to Republicans. It suggests that Ryancare replaces the current comprehensive coverage program with a stingier comprehensive coverage program, but the actual defined benefit plan in Ryan’s plan is a lot worse than that. It is more accurate to say that Paul Ryan wants to take your bimmer and replace it with a coupon towards buying into a car share program like Zipcar (call it Zoopcar). Will the coupon cover enough of the bill to matter? Who knows. Prices change all the time. You might find a car when you need it. Maybe there is no Zoopcar where you live. Maybe they don’t have the kind of car you need. Have some accidents in your history? Maybe Zoopcar doesn’t feel like selling you a membership. Say that you suddenly need to drive a lot and Zoopcar cuts you off. Too bad. Not the government’s problem.
Oh, and the coupons get smaller every year. Enjoy your Medicare, seniors!
A good point in the comments. Zoopcar and Zeepcar and Sipcar and the other two or three car share companies really do not want to do business with the coupon people and the government can’t make them.
Alsotoo. Set aside for a moment that in real life this would be a really great program (except for the taking away beemers part). For this to work you have to imagine that public (option) transit does not exist, virtually nobody could hope to buy a car retail and that if you need a car and cannot get one then you will die in pain.