3 things every voter needs to know about Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan–in 100 words

In his most excellent post on the Paul Ryan vice presidential pick, AEI’s Andrew Biggs highlights some key facts about Ryan’s approach to saving Medicare. These are clip and save:

1. No one over the age of 55 would be affected in any way.

2. Traditional Medicare fee-for-service would remain available for all. “Premium support”—that is, government funding of private insurance plans chosen by individuals—is an option for those who choose it. No senior would be forced out of the traditional Medicare program against his will.

3. Overall funding for Medicare under the Ryan-Wyden plan is scheduled to grow at the same rate as under President Obama’s proposals. Is this “gutting Medicare” and “ending Medicare as we know it”? In reality, it’s the market giving seniors cheaper, higher quality choices they can take if they wish, with the traditional program remaining an option.


68 thoughts on “3 things every voter needs to know about Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan–in 100 words

      • It’s questions like this that confirm that none of the critics of Ryan’s plan have even bothered to read it. Why do we take any of them seriously? If they really cared about the problem, wouldn’t they have taken the time?

    • There is an important nuance missing in this statement: traditional Medicare will remain available for all…to purchase with the voucher that is provided of (when) you don’t find affordable insurance in the marketplace. The voucher will not completely cover the cost of Medicare either, since Ryan’s plan caps the voucher at a much lower rate than the projected growth of the cost of Medicare. This is where he gets the savings – by giving the seniors a smaller amount to pay for the insurance than what it will cost.

  1. If Medicare, Medicaid and Soc Sec have to be reined in if we have any chance of saving the country, how is it that Rep Ryan says same amount of funding for Medicare?

    • the difference is that with the Ryan plan, there is more efficiency (because of the OPTIONAL vouchers) which will reduce future cost growth.

  2. Let me take a stab at this: If you’re 55 or older today and Ryan’s plan was in effect today you would never see any difference in the medicare plan you are currently using. WHATEVER YOU ARE USING STAYS IN EFFECT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

    In 2023 as people reach the age of 65 they will have a choice. Assisted insurance premiums based on retirement income, so that retirees can choose their own insurance policy, or just go with regular medicare.

    • Since all the so-called reforms don’t kick in for many years there is plenty of time to repeal/change/tweak, etc. Those of us currently recieving Medicare are very happy with it and that’s why the proposed changes won’t happen during our lifetime. Everyone over 55 band together and keep what we have for our kids. Or, Insurance for everybody, (Obama Care,) for example.

  3. Look, it is very simple… One thing that Paul Ryan has been passionate about is the costs of Medical procedures and operations. With this plan, people can take their business to whatever hospital or private practice they desire, therefore leaving the private market to decide the prices for itself. If people find the cheapest option, they will take it, and that will force the higher priced hospitals and practices to lower their prices. Economics 101….
    And if we did not go with the Ryan plan, Medicare would be Bankrupt by 2022 anyway! We need a bold plan, because the old plan does not work efficiently, as do all the other government plans and projections.

    • Andrew, if you can figure out how to get medical providers – especially hospitals – to tell you the actual price of procedures so you can “price shop”, I will nominate you for the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

      Also, let’s get real: when you or a family member are dying, are you going to stop and say “Hm, let me shop around for the best deal”? Or are you going to say “save my life and I’ll worry about the cost later”?

      • Susanna, get the Nobel prize ready cause this is pretty much a done deal. I was an Insurance Agent (retired now) who helped a lot of my clients set up Health Savings Accounts and we would routinely call several hospitals in our area and would price shop for any given procedure. Once they understood that we were price shopping and would compare prices, and that the third party (insurance company) would not be paying, they had a price every time we asked and it was normally at least 25%-35% cheaper than they were paying Blue Cross Blue Shield because it was a cash transaction.
        Perhaps that is why the new Obama plan will be doing away with HSA’s

      • Susanna K. said: ” if you can figure out how to get medical providers – especially hospitals – to tell you the actual price of procedures so you can “price shop”, I will nominate you for the Nobel Prize in Medicine.”

        Huh? This is VERY easy to do and I’ve been doing it for at least 20 years. Are you seriously telling us that you’ve tried to get a medical provider to disclose a cost and they refused? I”ve NEVER had anyone do that.

        My insurance provider just made it easier via their database – I select the local providers and a procedure/treatment and presto, I get comparative quotes instantly.

        • It’s because most of the time when people are criticizing health care providers they’re talking out their asses. Most people have never even tried to save money on health care, they just complain about their insurance providers instead.

  4. I believe a good start would be a mandate requiring insurance companies to offer insurance in all states, rather than serving only a selected few – competition would drive down the price

    • Competition will occur when it makes sense, if it is permitted. The issue now is that insurance companies cannot sell policies across state lines. They have to establish a presence and become licensed and regulated by each state in which they operate (ever wonder why there is a Blue Cross/Blue Shield NY, BC/BY CA, BC/BY IL, etc.?).

      It’s completely impractical to mandate that all firms operate in all states. Allow those which want to do so without all the red tape.

      Some insurance companies are too small to handle all states.

  5. What is the Social Security plan under the Romney-Ryan presidential team. Social Security benefits are not entitlements…we have paid into this all or working life along with our employers. It is my understanding money was borrowed by the Federal Government and never repaid…Why is this not mentioned ever?

    • Social security is an entitlement — not a welfare program — since we paid into it and are entitled by law to receive benefits according to what we and our employers paid in each quarter. People are confused about the difference between getting handouts and what is entitled to us.

    • Julie, Why muddy the waters when the discussion here is about the fact that Obama “gutted” medicare with his $700 Billion cut while he and the Progressives are liars in that they are saying that Paul Ryan’s plan guts medicare when it does nothing of the sort. In fact, he not only keeps in place but gives people options in addition to the traditional medicare! The NYT’s ran a story about a year ago that points out that Paul Ryan’s plan mirrors current Federal Employee’s options!

      AND – to go back to your off topic question…why don’t you share Obama and the Progressive’s plan before you ask about or attack Romney/Ryan’s!!! Cheers!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>