The Medicare plan of Paul Ryan, Republican nominee for Vice President, has been discussed, praised, maligned and largely not been understood. The reason is simple; Rep Ryan has replaced his original plan for a singular voucher system with a new and diverse plan for future seniors.
Thanks to Michael Ramirez - August 15, 2012 Townhall Cartoons
This will be a major point in the continuing presidential campaign and could affect the voting decisions made in November, especially for the millions of senior citizens that will be voting across the nation.
Let’s look at the plan details and put the praise and disparagement of the real Ryan Medicare plan into perspective.
http://www.factcheck.org/2012/07/no-end-to-end-medicare-claim/ gives us the following summary of the most current Paul Ryan Medicare Plan:
- For seniors who are now in Medicare, nothing changes. They can stay with the traditional program as it is.
- Beginning in 2023, 65-year-olds would have their choice of insurance plans — private and traditional — on a new Medicare exchange. A premium-support payment, like a subsidy, would be sent to the plan of their choice.
- If the chosen plan costs more than the premium-support, the senior would pay the difference.
- The Medicare eligibility age would be slowly raised to 67 by 2034.
- All plans on the Medicare exchange would offer a base level of benefits, and they would be regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- The premium-support payments would be tied to the second-cheapest plan, which can’t grow more than gross domestic product plus 0.5 percentage points. If the cost does grow faster, Congress would be required to step in and take some action to keep costs down.
So no one 55 years old or older would be affected whatsoever, the senior citizen (actors) in the Democratic campaign ads who are talking about losing the coverage they currently have are wrong and the end of “Medicare as we know it” is a lie since the traditional Medicare plan will be one of the choices seniors have starting in 2023.
No one is pushing Granny off a cliff.
No one is asking anyone “to just die quickly”.
The CBO, an oft quoted source of fact in the current campaign, goes a little further and says that the Ryan Plan and the current law (regarding Medicare) could lead to the same consequences and that there is uncertainty in making such predictions. The CBO cited factors like technology, health-care delivery systems, quality of care, accessibility and other things as factors in making these predictions.
There was much to dislike about the old Ryan plan for Medicare and “ending Medicare as we know it” was an apt description, but that is not true of the new Ryan Medicare Plan since the current Medicare coverage is an option for seniors of the future.
Thanks to Glenn Foden - August 15, 2012 Townhall Cartoons
Time for the conversation about the Ryan Medicare Plan to embrace these facts rather than vitriol and conjecture.