If we had the same per person health care costs as people in Germany, Canada, or any other wealthy country we would be looking at long-term budget surpluses, not deficits. But controlling costs involves reducing the income and profits of the 1 percent. It means reducing payments to insurers, drug companies, medical equipment manufacturers and highly paid medical specialists.
Rather than control costs, the folks in Washington would rather make people pay even more for health care. This is why we see proposals like raising the age for Medicare eligibility to 67 or turning the program into a voucher system. Both plans are likely to protect the income of health care industry, while making it even more difficult for current or retired workers to cover their health care costs.
The public should realize that “generational warfare” is an agenda that was deliberately designed by the 1 percent to distract the rest of us from the class war that they have been successfully waging over the last three decades. Rather than have a public debate on the policies that have redistributed so much income upward, the 1 percent want to pit children against their parents and grandparents, forcing them to fight over crumbs.
In this context, the only victory that the supercommittee can hand to the 99 percent is a blank sheet of paper. People will have enough things to worry about this Thanksgiving without adding a Congressional plan to slash their Social Security and Medicare.