How is raising the Medicare age not a tax hike?

I’m sorry, but if the Republicans are going to call everything that costs the taxpayers more money a “tax hike” then they’re proposing a historically large tax hike by trying to move the age at which people are eligible for Medicare.  A good number of us work for ourselves, or are unemployed, and thus have no choice but to buy our own health insurance directly from insurance companies.  By the age of 65, private insurance is exorbitant on the individual market.  But that doesn’t matter to the Republicans.  They’re happy to force you to pay $2000/month to Blue Cross for another two years, costing you $48,000 more than it would have cost you to go on Medicare.

I’d call a nearly $50,000 tax hike per person pretty darn historic.  But for the Republicans, tax hikes are bad if the money goes to the government, but they’re good if the money goes to their rich buddies in corporate America.

That’s why the GOP is happy to keep socking Americans for the prescription drug tax we pay pharmaceutical companies to compensate them for all the subsidized drugs they sell to Europe.  You see, pharmaceutical companies sell the same drugs in Europe for 1/5th to even 1/6th the price they charge Americans.  Then they just up the price five or six times when they sell the drug here in states, to make up for their losses in Europe.  So we make up the difference, and the Republicans refuse to fix it.  And they can fix it.  The government can simply negotiate with drug companies and get drug prices lower, at least for Medicare recipients, but they don’t because the Republicans (and some Democrats) are in the pocket of Big Pharma.  (We also could allow the importation of cheap drugs from abroad, which would also help lower prices, but again, Republicans and some Democrats refuse.)  So Americans keep paying their prescription drug tax, oblivious to the fact that we are literally paying six times more than we need to for many of our prescription medicines.

The Republicans are only against taxes when the proceeds aren’t going to their rich buddies, who then funnel it back to the GOP in contributions.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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