The Romney/Ryan ticket cares little for the most vulnerable among us. How can I say that? Look at this chart showing how their spending on Medicare and Medicaid compares with the Presidents:
Now, you may say big deal, it’s not like Romney’s cutting them both. Well, yeah he is. At least 20% of Medicare recipients are also reliant on Medicaid.
As Jon Cohn points out, cuts of this size will have a huge impact on “dual eligibles,” elderly patients who rely on Medicaid to pay their nursing home bills. This is not a minor point of technocratic disagreement. It represents a massive change in our commitment to providing decent medical care for those who can least afford it. Medicaid, much more than Medicare, demonstrates what’s really at stake in November’s election.
Cutting the one drastically will make the cost of the other skyrocket. If California reflects national trends, then 7 out of 10 of the “dual eligibles” are over 65 and the majority are women–women live longer than men and that causes them to need more assistance in their elder years. Dumb women, they should just hurry up and die because Romney and Ryan are sick of their mooching). One in three are younger people with disabilities. Disabled, unable to care for yourself and too young to live on your own? Well your parents are most likely relying on that government assistance. How dare you be born with a disability? Romney and Ryan don’t want to foot the bill so you can live an even remotely normal life. More than half live on $10,000 or less per year. I guess Romney and Ryan want America to look like Afghanistan where old women without family are expected to sit on the street begging for money. How else will they be able to live? I guess they want America to look like a Dickensian World the poor are put into prison or forced to work in deplorable work houses.
So I don’t fall into this “dual eligible” category and I don’t personally know very many people who do. That’s doesn’t stop me from having empathy for them and believing that there is a better way to reduce our spending that doesn’t push Granny out into the street. Like taxing the rich at the same rate they tax the rest of us. The Limbaugh’s of the world may think it’s okay to live in a U.S. modeled on Dickensian England or Afghanistan under the Taliban, but I would hope that decent people would not. I think the President will protect this population of the vulnerable. That’s why he has my vote.