Although it looks like it, the title of this article is not an eye chart. It is actually a new name for an old entitlement program. Since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society the program has been referred to as Medicare. However, when Paul Ryan (R- Frozen Tundra) released his budget road map in early 2011, the Democrats began referring to Medicare as "Medicareasweknowit." Nancy Pelosi said, "The Republicans want to end Medicareasweknowit." Barack Obama repeated the Medicareasweknowit mantra. For a while the Democrats said little else, except "It's George Bush's fault."
Let's be frank: Medicare [as-we-know-it] will cease to exist in its present form anyway. Medicare, as well as Medicaid and Social Security (or Medicaidasweknowit and Socialsecurityasweknowit, if you like) will simply run out of money. Yet, regarding entitlement reform, the Democrats have modified an old adage. They say, "If it's broke, don't fix it."
Now that Mitt Romney has selected Paul Ryan as his running mate, the "end Medicareasweknowit" campaign is back - and on stilts! How many times in the last three days have we heard a Democrat utter that Paul Ryan wants to end Medicareasweknowit? Obamacare dealt with Medicare by making no structural changes and relying on price controls instead. Paying less for medical services will have the effect of doctors offering less of it. They don't make it up in volume.
Perhaps Obama can deal with skyrocketing Medicare costs by encouraging Americans to take up bad habits - smoking, excessive drinking and much more couch time. This could actually become a new federal program - AGED (Assisting Grandma's Early Demise). Massive federal dollars could be spent on AGED programs to encourage bad habits, especially smoking. If all Americans get back into the smoking habit, we'll all die sooner. No seniors, no Medicare problem. This will work for Social Security and Medicaid also. By implementing AGED, the Democrats can keep Medicareasweknowit. There won't be anyone around to avail themselves of it.
Author's note: This article was adapted from my book, The Constitution - I'm Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly.