Republicans are using their usual scare tactics, including deliberate mislabeling, by invoking the bogeyman of a government take-over of health care or socialized medicine. In reality, Obamacare is not even socialized health insurance (which is what most other industrialized countries have). Our real concern should be continuing a system where private, for-profit insurance companies act as the gatekeepers to health care, deciding which doctors we can see, what treatments will be approved for payment, etc.
The Ryan Plan to “save” Medicare (whether you call it a voucher plan or a “premium support” plan) simply moves tax dollars for Medicare from the government-run plan to private health insurance companies. It does nothing to contain or limit the cost of health care.
In fact, by moving seniors to private, for-profit insurance companies, with their higher overhead costs, the Ryan plan will actually either increase the amount of tax money spent on health care, or alternately, reduce the amount spent on actual medical care.
So, we the voters are left with a clear choice with regard to the issue of health insurance:
If the Republican party gains control of both houses of Congress and the White House, Obamacare will be repealed, Medicare will be turned into a voucher system, and funding for Medicaid will be altered to block grants to the states. The cumulative effects of theses changes would be to further line the pockets of private insurance companies, increase the cost of health insurance to seniors, and limit the availability of health care for the poor.
As long as we have divided government, the status quo will be as good as it gets. The Affordable Care Act will remain in place, but there will be nothing more done with regard to limiting further increases in the cost of health insurance or health care.
If the Democratic Party gains control of both the executive and legislative branches, we might (I emphasize might) see some movement toward a public option. That is one of the reasons I plan to vote a straight party (Democratic) ticket for the first time in my life this November.