Matt Yglesias tweets:
Yes, I think converting Medicare into a straight cash grant to seniors makes sense.
They might rather have a servant, or a better car, or an apartment which doesn’t require them to drive, or to eat a better diet or join a better gym. Or maybe they would rather live it up, travel, and perhaps die at a younger age. That’s what pro-choice means.
That's not what prochoice means. Prochoice has to do with giving women control over their own bodies. It does not mean giving people the choice to die unnecessarily young because they hoped that this year they wouldn't get too sick, so this year they'd buy actual food and turn the thermostat up to 58. Sorry about that heart attack, better luck next year.
Medicare is for two groups: people over 65 and the disabled. These are not groups known, by and large, for having servants and "better" cars or going to the gym. Or "living it up". Seriously, it's like he's describing rich frat boys.
On the public choice side, this suggestion would turn seniors into an active constituency for health care cost control.
Nonetheless I propose a more modest version of the idea. When people turn a certain age, allow them to trade in the current benefits package for a minimalistic package (set broken limbs and offer lots of potent painkillers), plus some of the rest in cash, doled out over the years if need be. For some people, medical tourism will fill the gap.
Painkillers are hilarious! HAHAHAHAHA!
But if a person wishes, he or she can keep the extant benefit structure and forgo the cash altogether. No one is forced to take this deal.
Really? No one will be forced to take this deal. Forced. Forced. Forced by the government at gunpoint, probably not. Forced by circumstance? Oh, yes, there are many who will be forced.
Do you know how many seniors there are right now choosing between food and heat, between medication and shelter, between electricity and running water? Right now that is happening. Probably within a 50' radius of you. Now imagine telling that person who freezes through every winter, who starves at every meal, who is in treatable pain that they can have some extra money. All they have to do is cut back on their health care.
This idea is so breathtakingly evil, I have to wonder if someone resurrected Mengele to come up with it.
Now imagine the other group on Medicare: the disabled. I know disabled people on Medicare. They're getting a minimal SSDDI check, Section 8 and food stamps. Rolling in dough, they are not. And the ones with children? They spend every day ashamed and stressed out that their illness impacts their children's lives so constantly. They don't want their children to work nearly full time. They want to let their children participate in extracurricular activities at school, but they can't afford the uniforms and fees and such. They want to buy their children the latest clothes, the coolest cell phones, and all that other stuff so very important to teenagers, but they can't. They hope that their children will get scholarships to go to college, because otherwise it's not happening.
Now offer that parent this choice: cut back on your health care and your child can cut back on their work hours. Cut back on your health care and your child can have a pretty prom dress. Cut back on your health care and your child can join softball this year. Cut back on your health care and die a little sooner and your kid can go to college.
This choice will kill people. I'm sure our Randiot friends will tell us that they chose to die and that's prochoice, but no, we will have killed them. We will have killed the most vulnerable among us and we will call it a triumph.
We are beyond wicked.