The Republican party is hopeful that they will be able to throw out enough misinformation about their plan that the average person will be confused and just chalk it all up to “they’re all the same”. But – they’re not. It’s not even close. The Republican party is constantly talking about how we need to address “entitlements” because they claim they’re bankrupting the government. In the same breath – Romney and Ryan are saying they are going to do an even BETTER job “protecting” and “preserving” Medicare for our seniors and the rest of us not yet in our twilight years.
They want to appear to be the heroes regarding Medicare except … would their plan pass – it would permanently end the Medicare guarantee for seniors.
Under the Romney/Ryan plan – each year you would receive a certain $ amount in vouchers to use towards medical services of your choice. Let’s say they give you $10,000 the first year their plan would begin (it only affects those of us 54 and under). Now – under their plan – if you need to go to the doctor and you have $15,000 in prescription and medical services …. tough luck – you need to pay that $5,000 out of pocket. For the government budget – this is GREAT because there are no more liabilities. Private insurance companies would LOVE to prey on seniors … strike that – bleed them dry … strike that – service their medical needs.
Now each year as medical costs increase … the value of those vouchers will decrease slowly. So 10 years later – services that would have cost $15,000 now cost $25,000 and instead of receiving $10,000 in vouchers – you’ll get $12,000 as an example. So when it first starts – you’re out of $5,000 in out of pocket expenses but because the Romney/Ryan program is intentionally created to give vouchers at a rate that is less than the inflation of medical costs … 10 years later for the same services you’d be out $13,000 out of pocket expenses. But great news – the government doesn’t have any liability … just the old people stuck trying to pay medical bills.
All of those numbers are just examples but it gives you insight into how their plan transfers the cost of healthcare directly to seniors.
The net-net of it is that the poorest seniors will end up choosing between food and medications. The poorest among us will end up choosing between food and necessary medical care. Compare that to President Obama’s plan which will completely eliminate out of pocket expenses for seniors in 2020 (source). I mean TODAY 49% of American Seniors are living on a food budget of $5 a day (source); they simply can’t afford it. It isn’t being hyperbolic to say that the Romney/Ryan plan literally will lead to people dying. Americans should vote them out in mass and send a message.
Krugman writes HERE:
The Republican Party is now firmly committed to replacing Medicare with what we might call Vouchercare. The government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance. And, if the voucher proved insufficient to buy decent coverage, hey, that would be your problem.
Moreover, the vouchers almost certainly would be inadequate; their value would be set by a formula taking no account of likely increases in health care costs.
Why would anyone think that this was a good idea? The G.O.P. platform says that it “will empower millions of seniors to control their personal health care decisions.” Indeed. Because those of us too young for Medicare just feel so personally empowered, you know, when dealing with insurance companies.
Politifact has rated the Obama campaign’s claim that the Ryan plan (Romney’s plan) “could raise future retirees” cost more than $6,000 out of pocket; they rated that “mostly true” (source). Politifact has also rated Romney’s claim that Obama robbed Medicare of $700 billion; they rated that “mostly false” (source).
CBS News fact checks Romney’s claims and says his plan is going to cost future seniors a LOT more.
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