Medicare and Philately

Philately has increasingly become and older man’s hobby. Linn’s subscribers and members of the American Philatelic Society get older and older so that the average age of serious collectors is now over 65. It is appropriate to ask then what effect the Ryan Medicare plan will have on philately if it is enacted. The plan calls for no changes in Medicare for anyone over the age of 55, but for a voucher system and private insurance for those under 55 when they reach retirement age.
The plan if enacted would have little effect on seniors for at least ten years. As the plans got phased in after the first decade you would have a two tiered system of health care-older Medicare recipients receiving traditional benefits and newer Medicare recipients receiving lower benefits. There are two factors here. First, the plan doesn’t do anything to solve the budget problem for at least a decade so it is more than a plan to solve a problem rather than a solution. And second, like any political plan it will be amended. Does anyone think that increasingly numerous younger generation voters are going to be eager to pay taxes to a plan from which they receive reduced benefits?
But the effect on philately will be strong when the plan is phased in. Stamps are mainly purchased by seniors and they are purchased with discretionary income. And any plan that lowers discretionary income among seniors hurts our hobby.
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