We’ve all seen the old video footage of FDR mocking Republican claims that if only the American people would put them in charge … they would run these social programs like Social Security and unemployment benefits much better than the Democratic party despite being against them from the beginning … and he further mocks them for essentially claiming “the doing of them will not cost anybody anything”. If you haven’t seen that video – watch it HERE (and get out from underneath a rock).
But – just as it was true in FDR’s time …. it’s true today. The Republican party is fundamentally against socialism and “an entitlement society”; well – they’re talking about Social Security and Medicare among many targets. Fundamentally – they’re against it. They claim we need to transition to a voucher system “in order to save Medicare”. Yeah – so we have to end Medicare as a guarantee to seniors in order to save it; makes NO sense whatsoever. Worse yet – polls have shown that Americans really don’t believe Republicans will actually be stupid enough to end these important social programs. Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike all love these programs in high numbers, so they assume – that’s just politics. I’ve actually heard people make this very claim … that there is no way Republicans would do such a thing. The NY Daily News does a great job of illustrating that HERE.
If you believe that – you’re not paying attention. Last year – Republicans voted to privatize Social Security … 235 House Republicans voted for it and 4 Republicans voted against it. Zero Democrats voted for it. Don’t believe me? See it yourself HERE. Republicans are trying to slowly kill these programs … and at the end of the day – it’s going to cost you more money. Under a Romney/Ryan Medicare plan – future seniors would have to not only pay more money out of pocket … many would have to essentially choose between eating food or paying for their prescriptions. People will die from this plan.
Compare President Obama’s plan which will remove out of pocket costs by 2020 for Seniors relative to Medicare (source) with Romney’s plan which will increase seniors costs immediately with the repeal of Obamacare (source) and put a cap on expenses for individuals leaving future seniors having to pay whatever their voucher will not. Under Romney’s plan – 59% of seniors would see an increase in out of pocket costs according to Kaiser.
The Kaiser Family Foundation is highly respected and non-partisan -you can see their study HERE; an excerpt:
Assuming full implementation of such a system, and assuming current plan preferences among beneficiaries, the study estimates that:
- Nearly six in 10 Medicare beneficiaries nationally could face higher premiums for Medicare benefits, assuming current plan preferences, including more than half of beneficiaries enrolled in traditional Medicare and almost nine in 10 Medicare Advantage enrollees. Even if as many as one-quarter of all beneficiaries moved into a low-cost plan offered in their area, the new system would still result in more than a third of all beneficiaries facing higher premiums.
- Premiums for traditional Medicare would vary widely based on geography under the proposed premium support system, with no increase for beneficiaries living in Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, but an average increase of at least $100 per month in California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada and New York. Such variations would exist even within a state, with traditional Medicare premiums remaining unchanged in California’s San Francisco and Sacramento counties and rising by more than $200 per month in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
- At least nine in 10 Medicare beneficiaries in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts and New Jersey would face higher premiums in their current plan. Many counties in those states have relatively high per-beneficiary Medicare spending, which would make it more costly to enroll in traditional Medicare rather than one of the low-bidding private plans in those counties. In contrast, in areas with relatively low Medicare per-capita spending, it could be more costly to enroll in a private plan.
There are a few things that it doesn’t account for in Paul Ryan’s plan … as in the 10 year transition period so presumably this is what would happen in 10 years not immediately.
The Washington Post gives a great explanation on the Romney/Ryan Voucher plan HERE:
Step two was looking at whether that check would cover the cost of providing Medicare benefits under the traditional or private plans, in a given area. For 59 percent of seniors, it wouldn’t: 25 million seniors would pay more for their current benefits if the government enacted this premium support model right now.
In the middle column above, you see that about half of seniors on traditional Medicare would end up paying more. There’s a split for seniors on the same plan because the Medicare benchmark gets set differently for different areas of the country (health care in California tends to be more expensive than medical services in neighboring Nevada).
And as Politifact already acknowledged as “mostly true” HERE … the Ryan Plan for Medicare “could raise future retirees’ costs more than $6,000.
AARP says the Romney/Ryan plan for Medicare is bad for seniors HERE:
(Paul Ryan’s) proposal, rather than tackling skyrocketing health care costs, would simply shift these costs onto the backs of people in Medicare. It would undermine Medicare’s promise of secure health coverage—a guarantee that future seniors have contributed to through a lifetime of hard work. If Congress is serious about reining in Medicare costs, it can start by allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and speeding up access to generic versions of expensive biologic drugs.
And as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows HERE – under the Paul Ryan plan … seniors pay a LOT more for their out of pocket Medicare costs:
In 2022, the first year the voucher would apply, CBO estimates that total health care expenditures for a typical 65-year-old would be almost 40 percent higher with private coverage under the Ryan plan than they would be with a continuation of traditional Medicare. (See graph.) CBO also finds that this beneficiary’s annual out-of-pocket costs would more than double — from $6,150 to $12,500. In later years, as the value of the voucher eroded, the increase in out-of-pocket costs would be even greater.
CBO wrote that “Paying more for health care would be particularly challenging for elderly people with less savings and lower income.”5 And Alice Rivlin said that she does not support Ryan’s new proposal. Rivlin observed that it would result in a massive cost-shift over time to beneficiaries and that the growth rate Ryan set for his vouchers is “much, much too low” and “I don’t think that’s defensible.
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