Rep. Broun: Replace Medicare With Vouchers

October 22, 2009 2:24 pm ET — Walid Zafar

On Wednesday, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) introduced his own health care reform plan.  Broun, one of the most vocal and persistent critics of comprehensive health care reform, calls his legislation the "only true free-market reform alternative."  And free-market it is.  While most of his legislation mirrors other Republican proposals, Broun's plan for Medicare seems rather revolutionary.  He wants to completely get rid of Medicare and replace it with vouchers:

5)  Reform Medicare from being a Government Administered Health Care Program to a Market-Based Voucher System

Presumably, seniors would then use their vouchers in the private insurance market.  Unfortunately, since nothing in Broun's OPTION Act deals with the issue of preexisting conditions, insurance companies would deny seniors, who are more likely to have a chronic health problem, left and right. 

What sorts of things are considered preexisting conditions?

Suffering from domestic violence? Check.
Having toenail fungus? Check.
Being an expectant father? Check.
Being a woman? Check.
Needing mental health treatment?  Check.
Being a big, healthy baby? Check.
Being a small, healthy toddler? Check.
Having arthritis?  Check.

If people with acne are denied coverage, what makes Broun think that senior citizens, who often suffer from debilitating diseases and other chronic ailments, would then be accepted by the private insurance companies?  They won't be, and that is what makes his plan so market-based.

Paul Broun's free-market reform throws seniors to the free-market wolves.