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August 13, 2012

The Ryan Plan Is Somehow ... 'Radical'? Better Think Again!

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Don't be fooled by the Democrats' 'Mediscare' tactics against the Ryan Plan [actually the Wyden-Ryan Medicare plan -- so named because it was coauthored by progressive Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.)].

As Avik Roy aptly notes in his must-read piece today at Forbes, the bottom line is that if Romney and Ryan leave you the option to remain in the 1965-vintage, fee-for-service, traditional Medicare program, and you claim that Medicare has somehow "ended as we know it," ... what you've really ended is the English language as we know it. Simply put, Paul Ryan's plan only applies to Americans younger than 55 years of age, and gives those younger individuals the option of remaining in the traditional Medicare program, or choosing a comparable private-sector insurance plan.

According to the latest estimates from the Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare will reduce Medicare spending by $716 billion between 2013 and 2022, relative to prior law. These cuts directly affect current retirees. By contrast, both the Romney and Wyden-Ryan plans only affect retirees younger than 55. In other words, for better or worse, President Obama cuts Medicare more than Romney would.

... Obamacare reduces Medicare spending using a government-centered approach. The law creates a new panel, called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will be composed of 15 unelected government officials, who will be charged with rationing care to seniors, primarily by underpaying doctors and hospitals.

The approach advocated by Ryan and Romney, by contrast, gives seniors more control over their own health dollars, allowing them to choose the plan that provides the best value for their money.

Jim Geraghty points out:
Those who denounce Ryan must ignore that Obamacare will reduce Medicare spending by approximately $743 billion, and because Paul Ryan understands the issue so thoroughly.

So Paul Ryan puts forth a plan to raise the eligibility age by two months per year until it reaches 67. For those 55 and older, no change to the program. For everyone else, you get an $8,000 voucher. If you're in the wealthiest 8 percent, you get less; if you're in the wealthiest 2 percent, you get much less. Payments would be adjusted for inflation based on the consumer price index.

Is that radical? Not nearly as radical as doing nothing. President Obama and Joe Biden have had four years to address this issue and they have done what Democrats have always done: act as if the current system is fine and demonize anyone who puts forth a plan. They are the antithesis of hope and change.

Related:
Dear Florida Seniors: You Should Be THRILLED By Paul Ryan (... if Florida seniors were thinking rationally and self-interestedly, the Democratic attacks against Ryan would utterly flop.)
Video: Romney, Ryan play offense on Medicare in 60 Minutes appearance
PolitiFact 2011: How Ryan's Plan Would Work

Posted by Hyscience at August 13, 2012 10:28 AM



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