In 2015 there were 53.8 Million Americans on Medicare (seniors + disabled) The numbers are even higher in 2016. Trump was committed to not cutting this plan. Getting rid of Medicare was always on Paul Ryan and many of the Republicans radar. However, several Republicans in Congress are opposed to switching Medicare from its current form to a Privatized system. Seniors that go from a single-payer health insurance to having to shop on a free market for medical insurance is risky. Aging seniors and disabled persons unable to work may lack the abilities to gather the necessary information or cognitively decipher complicated health insurance options from various companies.
A universal healthcare plan was put in place Medicare, 1965, to help address this issue and because many were flat out not able to obtain insurance. At the time, only 1 out of 4 had even adequate hospital insurance for a demographic group that prone to heart attacks. Face it: insurance companies DO NOT want elderly people on their policies or sick/disabled people either. They want to make money! They can either refuse them coverage or make the rates sky high. Medicare helped regulate those rates.
Medicare helps the most vulnerable, elderly, disabled & those on fixed incomes at the tail end of their life. These are the people who are over 65 and worked their entire life. This program is also for future generations when they age. The notion that Medicare is going broke due to Obamacare is false. The ACA extended the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by over a decade. Medicare has been better able to control medical costs than private plans because it negotiates its massive leverage of users to keep the costs down. That is partly why the program works. Medicare is separate from Obamacare though people want to throw it in the same basket. When Obamacare was written there were mentions of Medicare, including preexisting conditions not being allowed to be excluded, which is why Paul Ryan is now using the opportunity to say Medicare must go also as if it is part of Obamacare.
It is important to know that those who have worked most of their lives or until they became disabled have paid into Medicare with each paycheck. There are deductions on each paycheck for Medicare. This is not a benefit that is a totally a free hand-out no American has ever worked for or given anything towards. Revenue is continually generated for Medicare for now and for future generations to care for elderly health needs. The fallout from a healthcare program like Obamacare that Republicans want revamped should not be removing a program that is working. Also, having a voucher given to a senior accomplishes nothing when insurers set rates 5-6x higher than normal because of the aging population having a greater propensity of health issues. Fixed income for the poorest demographics of the country can’t make these types of premiums, copays and medications and then live. Let’s not forget, this is the population that has the highest rate of health issues. Many will be without insurance if Medicare is privatized. God bless.