Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The Boomer Revolt

Here is what GOPer political strategists probably thought they were doing with the Ryan budget proposal to kill Medicare: by exempting those 55 and older, their proposal would not touch and therefore not interest much of the Baby Boomer population. Those hitting 65 wouldn't care because their Medicare is unaffected, but those more than a decade away wouldn't even be thinking about it yet.

But various polls show that it didn't work. Boomers in their 60s and boomers in their 50s and even 40s are united not only in opposition but in revolt against the GOPer proposal. They were the ones speaking angrily about it at GOPer town halls, and they still are.

The family values GOPers didn't reckon with actual family values. Elders don't want their children to be without Medicare. Those approaching old age don't want their children to have to be responsible for the inflated expense of medical care and nearly worthless insurance, even if you can get it.

Boomers who aren't elders are quite possibly caring for elder parents in some way. They know just as well as elders do what Medicare means.  The threat to destroy Medicare unites older and middle aged boomers in revolt.

I'm about to apply for Medicare myself. What I've learned so far is that Medicare is not really free. There's Part A, that's akin to what we and our parents used to call hospitalization. That's "free." But Medicare Part B covers costs of doctors, and for most elders that requires a monthly payment of more than $100, which just a few years ago was a reasonable premium in the private insurance market. Medicare Part C is the vaunted private insurance, and it's something of a minefield as far as I can tell. I'll keep you posted.