Richard Burr Profile Doesn’t Mention His Medicare Voucher Plan for Seniors

This morning’s News and Observer features a front-page profile of Senator Richard Burr who is not up for election this year and is content apparently to have “kept such a low profile that he’s barely been visible.”   I guess Burr is fine with a low profile partly because he doesn’t want to advertise some of those unnamed “bold things” he talks about that aren’t so popular.  In fact, the profile doesn’t mention his biggest “big idea” in a bill filed this year that got more press than anything else he has ever done – the Burr plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program by 2016.

In the Burr plan seniors on Medicare would get a fixed amount in a voucher to spend on a health plan.  Then they could go onto the private health insurance market and see what sort of a deal they could get.  They could also try for a government plan “modeled on Medicare” but benefits wouldn’t be spelled out in any plan – that would be left to the magic of the market.  He’d also raise premiums and the eligibility age for Medicare.

Vouchers to replace traditional Medicare along with higher premiums aren’t very popular with any seniors I know.  Maybe that’s why Burr is keeping so quiet about what was just a few months ago his biggest idea.



  1. Jeff S

    August 30, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Clearly Burr is bought and paid for by the “health” industry, but just in case there are any doubts: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=n00002221

    Keeping people in poor health is a profitable business.

  2. david esmay

    August 30, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Richard Burr,”Top of the line socialized taxpayer funded healthcare is great for me, the rest of you can go screw yourselves.”

  3. […] The Progressive Pulse […]

  4. Frank Burns

    August 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    The Obama plan is not acceptable, Medicare should not be plundered to pay for Obamacare. That is not fair to seniors.

  5. Doug

    August 31, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I think we’re already in a voucher plan for Medicare. Why do fplks think Medicare is a free service ? I pay $ 99.00 for Part B coverage which you have to get. Then I pay $133.00 a month for Medicare Supplement coverage to handle the large deductibles and coinsurance. On top of that , I pay $31.00 for a prescription Drug plan, and then since Medicare doesn’t pay for dental services, I have another dental plan for $39.00 a month. This still doesn’t cover either long-term care or nursing home care, and I don’t qualify for Medicaid.Why is this package even called an entitlement since I paid the Medicare tax for years. Before, I had an HSA plan with BCBS that only cost me $183.00 a month, and I got some huge tax deductions from the plan , but nothing for Medicare. Now Obamacare will probably insure that I won’t be able to find a doctor who wants these low reimbursement rates. The Democratic position on Medicare is plain foolish.

  6. david esmay

    August 31, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Frank, medicare will not be plundered, you’re repeating a Faux news lie, again. Medicare part D is an unfunded Bush program that’s costing hundreds of billions, 190 B by 2011 alone. Medicare Advantage, another inefficent Bush program that is draining the system. The Republican programs, like the party itself, were foolish and costly.

  7. Adam Searing

    August 31, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I love Doug’s comment! Doug – by your own account you are over 65 and paying $263 a month for comprehensive health coverage with no annual or lifetime limits and you can never be charged more – just like everyone on Medicare – if you have a pre-exisiting condition. Think you can get that kind of deal on the private market? If your dreams! Go right back to BCBS and see what your premium will be.

  8. Doug

    August 31, 2012 at 10:09 am

    You obviously don’t get what I’m saying Adam ! I paid into Medicare for 40 years with my payroll taxes, and now I’m still paying much more than my private HSA policy that I had last year before going on Medicare . With that HSA policy, I had much easier access to the physicians of my choice, and I enjoyed huge tax savings that I don’t get with Medicare. In addition, everything with Medicare except the Part A coverage goes up significantly each and every year, and Part A is only good for catastrophic inpatient stays. If you can’t afford all of the supplements, Medicare is almost worthless since it has no long-term coverage provisions. A competitive voucher system would appeal to many seniors, and would be much more flexible.

  9. Adam Searing

    August 31, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Doug – if you are like most people, the cost of the health services you are going to use that will be paid for by Medicare as you age costs much, much more than the Medicare taxes you paid for years – and, by the way, everyone else pays, including people who are working but still in poverty. And the polling is clear – no one likes the idea of vouchers in Medicare. That’s why you don’t hear anything about it from political candidates!

  10. Adam Searing

    August 31, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Oh, and Doug, why not man up and back your opinions and commentary with your full name?

  11. Doug

    August 31, 2012 at 10:32 am

    I noticed that you danced around the issues that I brought up. The reason you don’t hear anything from Democrats is they will not address the fundamental issues with Medicare and Social Security. They would rather pander for votes by leaving a broken system intact, and kick the can down the road. If the cost of Medicare is going up faster than the payroll taxes being collected as you say, isn’t that a reason to look at some better alternatives ?

  12. frances

    August 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Democrats should be ashamed of lying to the taxpayers about Medicare. If you look at the numbers of people working to the number of retirees, you don’t have to be a math whiz to figure out that the programs cannot be left intact the way they are now. There’s a baby boomer retiring every 10 seconds, and very few people entering the work force.

  13. Adam Searing

    August 31, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    “Doug” – are you so timid that you still need to hide your convictions behind your anonymity? Come on man, if you really want to have a discussion then don’t cower behind the curtain! Stand tall for what you believe in for goodness sake and just let us know who you are.

  14. Adam Searing

    August 31, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    You too “frances” – come on out! Or are you really the same person?

  15. Doug

    August 31, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    What’s important Adam is the message, and not the messenger. I’ve been around long enough to hear a lot of promises, but I evaluate things strictly on results. Trying to divert my attention away from the argument, although humorous, might work with some folks but not me. Remember that if you believe everything you’ve been told without questioning anything, then you will be nothing but an echo of someone else. What a terrible waste !

  16. Adam Searing

    September 4, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Well “Doug” – since you are just a made-up person who doesn’t really exist, you don’t have anything relevant to say anyway. Your cowering behind made up names and changing aliases shows you lack the courage of your supposed convictions and are not a true American in my book.

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