The CBO verdict: RyanCare or ‘Mediscare’

Only four Republicans in the House and four in the Senate have voted against adoption of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare as we know it and replace with a private voucher plan. Congressional Republican leaders have also made it clear that they will insist on Medicare reform as the price for allowing an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling.

The issue has also had a major impact politically, with public opposition to RyanCare credited with handing an overwhelming Republican district in New York into Democratic hands last month. As a result, GOP leaders are now accusing their Democratic colleagues of using “Mediscare” tactics to exaggerate the impact of Ryan’s plan.

The controversy has led me to re-read the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of RyanCare and its impact, released in April. The report is based on descriptions of the plan provided to CBO by Ryan and his staff, and was done at Ryan’s request.

A brief bare-bones review before we get started: For those born in 1956 and earlier, RyanCare would change nothing. For those born in 1955 and later, RyanCare replaces Medicare with a government voucher that senior citizens can use to subsidize their purchase of private health insurance plans.

The CBO report is 29 pages, but as it turns out, the agency provided a succinct, if somewhat dense, summation of its major findings in a single paragraph, which I’ve broken into sections and reprinted below. The CBO language is in plain text; my own commentary follows in italics.

Here goes:

“A private health insurance plan covering the standardized benefit would, CBO estimates, be more expensive currently than traditional Medicare. Both administrative costs (including profits) and payment rates to providers are higher for private plans than for Medicare.”

(In other words, because it privatizes coverage, RyanCare would drive total health-care spending on senior citizens considerably higher than it would be under Medicare. As CBO notes, administrative costs are considerably higher in private plans. In addition, because private plans lack the market power of Medicare to control costs, they pay more than Medicare for the same services.

How much would costs rise? By 2022, CBO numbers estimate, the cost of a Medicare-equivalent health insurance plan purchased from a private company for a 65-year-old would be $20,500. If that same coverage were provided through Medicare, total costs would be just $14,500. That’s an extra $6,000 in costs to be paid by the recipient, on top of the $6,500 in out-of-pocket expenses already required under Medicare.

To get some idea of the impact of that additional cost, Social Security predicts that in 2022, SSI recipients aged 65-69 will have a median income of just $34,000 from all sources. Again, that’s the median income. Half will have higher incomes; half will have lower incomes. And again, according to CBO, out-of-pocket health expenses for a 65-year-old under RyanCare in 2022 will total $12,500.

$34,000 – $12,500 = not very much)

“Those higher costs (of private health insurance) would be offset partly but not fully by savings from lower utilization stemming from two sources. First, private health insurers would probably impose greater utilization management than occurs in Medicare.”

(In other words, to borrow the bluntly misleading terminology of the right, “death panels.” Private companies would try to offset their greater administrative costs and other inefficiencies by denying treatment more often.)

“Second, private plans might restrict enrollees’ ability to purchase supplemental insurance plans; enrollees would thus face higher out-of-pocket costs than they do in Medicare, and that increased cost sharing would encourage lower utilization.”

“Lower utilization” means less health care. And as CBO warns, that could have other consequences. For example, “beneficiaries’ greater cost-sensitivity could result in a slower introduction or less frequent use of new, costly, but possibly beneficial, technologies and techniques than would occur under current law. Instead, technological innovation might focus increasingly on cost-saving rather than cost-increasing technologies.”

“On net, for a typical 65-year-old in 2011, CBO estimates that average spending in traditional Medicare will be 89 percent of (that is, 11 percent less than) the spending that would occur if that same package of benefits was purchased from a private insurer.” (see Figure 1 below.)

In more direct English, if Medicare were to be privatized today, costs would immediately jump 11 percent. As Figure 1 from the CBO notes (see below), by 2022, total health insurance costs under RyanCare would be 33 percent higher than under Medicare. By 2030, total health insurance costs would be 40 percent higher than under Medicare. And again, all of that additional cost and then some would come out of the pockets of senior citizens and into the pockets of the insurance industry.

figure1

– Jay Bookman

411 comments Add your comment

Granny Godzilla

June 1st, 2011
9:11 am

Privatization: Bah Humbug.

stands for decibels

June 1st, 2011
9:15 am

In more direct English

…if the Dems somehow can’t beat the Republicans like a yard dog on this issue in 2012, the fix is in.

josef nix

June 1st, 2011
9:16 am

I was born before the magical year, so I guess I don’t have anything much to say, eh? But nice graphs…

And that age cut off? I guess the GOP is just pandering to its old f*rt base…?

ty webb

June 1st, 2011
9:18 am

“…plan to end Medicare as we know it…”

hmmmm…wonder where jay got that one from.

Bosch

June 1st, 2011
9:18 am

Looks to me like there’s going to be more and more folks like us in the next coming decades — taking care of your old folks at home!

Good luck!!

Peadawg

June 1st, 2011
9:18 am

“Congressional Republican leaders have also made it clear that they will insist on Medicare reform as the price for allowing an increase in the nation’s debt ceiling.”

Very nice, Republicans! I’m not sure what exactly needs to be done but it’s paying out more than it receives so it obviously needs fixin’ somehow.

Doggone/GA

June 1st, 2011
9:21 am

“wonder where jay got that one from”

From Ryan’s proposed budget, where else?

Paul

June 1st, 2011
9:22 am

So we now have the reason Republican leaders and talk-show types use emotional comebacks like “Mediscare” rather than address Democrats’ assertions, supported by the CBO, that the Ryan plan does not solve the problem.

If the NY 26th’s district is any indication, maybe voters are more intelligent than the establishment gives them credit for -

ty webb

June 1st, 2011
9:22 am

“From Ryan’s proposed budget, where else?”

Doggone, you just lied.

Misty Fyed

June 1st, 2011
9:23 am

I read about how bad the Republican’s budget plan is….How bad their medicare fix is….What I don’t seem to see is any Democrat plan? Just more of the same. Spend what we don’t have. Who cares if our debt is over $14 trillion. Let our kids worry about that. We need to get ours because we are special.

Don’t you dems ever get tired of not having any real leadership? Do you really accept this criticize the republicans but not address the problem tactic? Is that what you expect out of your leaders?

josef nix

June 1st, 2011
9:25 am

PAUL

“If the NY 26th’s district is any indication, maybe voters are more intelligent than the establishment gives them credit for -”

Maybe. But it’s doubtful.

Jay

June 1st, 2011
9:25 am

FYI, I’ll be in meetings, etc., for the next couple of hours at least, and will try to catch up with the discussion once I emerge.

Quick

June 1st, 2011
9:27 am

1956 and earlier and 1955 and later. Huh? Isn’t 1955 earlier than 1956? In grade school they said it was.

Zedd

June 1st, 2011
9:27 am

Throw-granny-from-the-cliff ad asks what the U.S. would be “without Medicare”

PolitiFact: But the notion that the Paul Ryan budget proposal would leave the country “without Medicare” merits a rating of False.

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/may/25/agenda-project/throw-granny-cliff-asks-what-country-would-be-with/

Doggone/GA

June 1st, 2011
9:28 am

“Doggone, you just lied”

Nope…but YOU did by accusing me of lying.

robert

June 1st, 2011
9:28 am

good morning liberals- have a great time patting yourself on the back all day. It is your highest and best use.

Mary Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
9:30 am

josef @ 9:16

“I was born before the magical year, so I guess I don’t have anything much to say, eh?”
——————————–

Don’t be too sure about that. Some commentators are saying that those 55 and over would soon, thereafter, be significantly effected – adversely – if the Ryan plan, which dismantles Medicare as we know it, were to be implemented.

ty webb

June 1st, 2011
9:30 am

Doggone,
show me where in his budget proposal, Ryan uses those DNC talking points(”end medicare as we know it”.

Doggone/GA

June 1st, 2011
9:32 am

“Ryan uses those DNC talking points(”end medicare as we know it”.

I see you haven’t actually read the proposal. Try it, you might learn something. Or even…just read Jay’s piece on which you are commenting.

Mary Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
9:34 am

Here are my comments on Jim Garrison’s blog yesterday on Ryan’s Medicare change:

June 1st, 2011
12:22 am
south ga. possum @ 9:29
“So please, hurry up and qualify, select which party you’re gonna be a party of and let us know how easy it is to fix this mess we’re in.”
———————————————————-
Here is your answer, south ga. possum: Vote the Democratic ticket in 2012. Voting the Republican ticket would insure the death of Medicare, as we now know it, and would probably, also, be the death of Social Security, as we know it.

Don’t vote against your own best interests. Don’t be fooled by those politicians who are looking out for the interests of the very wealthy and corporate interests, not your interests. By working together, middle/working class Americans can again flourish, but you must break free of the ideology of the Republican Party and its easy slogans that have misled many.

————————————————

May 31st, 2011
9:20 pm

The average income for seniors over 65 is $14,000. per year. Under the Ryan plan, Medicare payments for senior’s health insurance would be $12,000. per year. That, of course, would not include costs for catastrophic illness, if one could not qualify for private health insurance at that advanced age.

I think pooling together, as a national “group,” as in the present Medicare plan – with adjustments made to improve it – is a more effective plan than Rep. Ryan’s plan for “every man/woman for him/herself” for medical expenses after age 65.

Don’t be swayed by easy slogans; use your common sense and vote accordingly.

Notice how “pooling together” for a public insurance plan for all Vermonters is not only more effective, but also more cost effective, for all Vermonters:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJLvL1JReN4&feature=related

josef nix

June 1st, 2011
9:35 am

robert

But where would you be without us? What would you have to kvetch about then? Glad to be of service.

Paul

June 1st, 2011
9:35 am

morning, josef nix

What’s it called when one swings between periods of extreme cynicism and bouts of eternal optimism?

Reality?

off for a bit -

Doggone/GA

June 1st, 2011
9:35 am

“Um, Jay, prices do matter”

Yep, and the current Medicare plan is cheaper

Mick

June 1st, 2011
9:36 am

I spit on the ground paul ryan walks on, his solution divides the country and generations. Not to mention, gives more money to the well off. Dems should be able to retake the house on this issue alone. After all, the repubs rode the anti obamacare fake tea party all the way to 2010. This is our chance to fix the problem and vanquish the conservative repubs back to the minority, where they rightfully belong.

Some people are stupid

June 1st, 2011
9:37 am

Misty Fyed

You do realize that Ryan’s budget continues to “spend what we don’t have” as well right??

Doggone/GA

June 1st, 2011
9:37 am

“If it showed a significant ability to reduce our National Debt AND maintain (or increase) the quality of care for ALL our citizens…would ‘Christians’ and/or ‘Conservatives support it?”

I can answer part of this. I WON’T help reduce our debt…BUT, if we can expand it to cover all citizens without significantly increasing the debt, it will be worth it in the long run.

DebbieDoRight

June 1st, 2011
9:38 am

robert: good morning liberals- have a great time patting yourself on the back all day. It is your highest and best use.

Ha! funny!! :lol:

but hey, you republicans like to pat each other on your backs, knees, in bathroom stalls, in S. America (while supposedly “hiking” in the mountains), on Craigslist…………

jm

June 1st, 2011
9:39 am

“In addition, because private plans lack the market power of Medicare to control costs, they pay more than Medicare for the same services. ”

so individuals don’t have pricing power and the companies don’t either? one wonders how supply and demand ever works. totally weird…..

Um, Jay, prices do matter…

Soothsayer

June 1st, 2011
9:39 am

This — the Ryan Plan — is the best thing ever to happen to the Democratic Party. Like I said, NY26 was going to be the bellwether for the entire 2012 elections. And, the Democrat won handily. Yet, the Republicans — like stubborn mules — have refused to budge from their nutty ideology. My advice to Republicans: KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! We ain’t hardly gonna miss you come 2012!

Some people are stupid

June 1st, 2011
9:40 am

jm-
so individuals don’t have pricing power and the companies don’t either?

It’s called the walmart effect. Like how Walmart has influence over it’s suppliers due to its enormous size, so to does medicare. Would you rather have 100 patients at 100 or 1000 patients at 50

Lord Help Us

June 1st, 2011
9:40 am

I wonder if there is a credible analysis of the costs and level of care that would be provided via a real Single-Payer (yes, socialized medicine)…

If it showed a significant ability to reduce our National Debt AND maintain (or increase) the quality of care for ALL our citizens…would ‘Christians’ and/or ‘Conservatives support it?

Just wonderin…

jm

June 1st, 2011
9:41 am

Status quo: not an option

poison pen

June 1st, 2011
9:42 am

Why don’t our sleazy politicans have the balls to go after all the cheats in Medicare, SS and all the other Govt sponsered programs, this is what’s killing us.
60 minutes did an excellent piece on Medicare several months ago ( Steve Croft ) 1 guy alone scammed Medicare out of 20 Million and the FBI believes there are thousands of these scam shops around the country.

Our sleazy politicans always want to change something instead of going after the real problem, and when I say sleazy I mean both sides.

ragnar danneskjold

June 1st, 2011
9:42 am

Good morning all. Dear Jay, the error in the CBO analysis you quote is called “static analysis.” The genius of the Ryan plan, which I obviously favor, is that it introduces market discipline, now sorely lacking and causative of explosive increases in medical costs. People who spend only “other people’s money” have no constraint on behavior; by making sure the spenders have skin the game, cost increases are constrained. While the CBO cannot reasonably estimate the magnitude of the constraint, government economists always err by underestimating market effects.

DebbieDoRight

June 1st, 2011
9:42 am

Mary Elizabeth: Don’t vote against your own best interests. Don’t be fooled by those politicians who are looking out for the interests of the very wealthy and corporate interests, not your interests. By working together, middle/working class Americans can again flourish, but you must break free of the ideology of the Republican Party and its easy slogans that have misled many.

but, but, but, Rush TOLD ME that Ryan’s plan was great!! He even hinted that he’d use it himself, (although he’s a millionaire and wouldn’t really need it).

jm

June 1st, 2011
9:42 am

“Instead, technological innovation might focus increasingly on cost-saving rather than cost-increasing technologies.”

god knows this is what we actually need…..

Normal

June 1st, 2011
9:43 am

Those born with the silver spoon in their mouths won’t ever have to worry about medical costs. The young doesn’t have to worry either…yet. But when they finally reach that “magical” age of 65 when mortality starts looking back at them from the mirror;
if they haven’t properly planned financially, if they never had a finanical set back, and if they hadn’t had every lucky break in life there was, then they just might end up wishing for the “good ol’ days of Medicare”. Just a thought.

Mary Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
9:44 am

Lord Help Us @ 9:40
“I wonder if there is a credible analysis of the costs and level of care that would be provided via a real Single-Payer (yes, socialized medicine)…”

————————————-

Be sure you listen to the following link which describes Vermont’s cost effective single payer insurance plan, for individuals and for the state.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJLvL1JReN4&feature=related

Joe Mama

June 1st, 2011
9:45 am

Ragnar — “The genius of the Ryan plan, which I obviously favor, is that it introduces market discipline, now sorely lacking and causative of explosive increases in medical costs. People who spend only “other people’s money” have no constraint on behavior; by making sure the spenders have skin the game, cost increases are constrained.”

Huh. I guess this didn’t happen then.

“2010 Health Insurance Premiums Include Major Increases: A fall 2009 survey of state insurance regulators by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners found that average insurance policies will increase between 11% to 16%—and as high as 25% to 30%—annually in most states.”

http://www.ncsl.org/Default.aspx?TabId=14509

Yep, those market forces are sure doing a bang-up job of holding medical costs down.

Soothsayer

June 1st, 2011
9:45 am

josef nix

June 1st, 2011
9:47 am

Mary Elizabeth

Tried to respond, but seems I’m going too fast…would take it personally, but seems everybody’s getting it. I guess the other AJC blog spots put up a fuss that the Bruin’s was laying them in the shade…

Anyway, as I said, I’ve already picked me out a trash heap I want to be dumped on. But what really tickles me is how they keep yapping about “return to traditional family values.” Unmentionable says they sure do, the really traditional ones, give you a piece of blubber and slap your tired and useless ass on a passing ice floe..at least the Thulsas of the world will admit it…talk about your death panels…

Hey, Paul…

Reality’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Tried it once. Didn’t much care for it! :-)

Peadwag, The Second

June 1st, 2011
9:47 am

Thank you, Doofus Paul, for gifting the Democrats their 2012 election campaign meme. President Obama’s reelection was never in doubt, but the Democrats’ performance was, admittedly, an open question. That question now has an affirmative answer: DEMOCRATS RETAKE CONTROL OF THE HOUSE AND REGAIN THEIR SUPERMAJORITY IN THE SENATE.

For entertainment purposes, let us all hope and pray that Sarah the Pathetic runs for and wins the Republicrazy nomination. I have come to realize there is no finer spectacle than a herd of elephants gouging and engorging themselves on the rancid flesh of their own.

jm

June 1st, 2011
9:48 am

Some people 9:40 – you don’t get it. When the user doesn’t pay for the service, yes, the only people with pricing power might be the hospitals and doctors and drug companies (though I think that’s bogus, see shrinkage in private practices).

Point is, prices increase exponentially because the user doesn’t pay. That has to change.

jm

June 1st, 2011
9:48 am

ok gotta go, cheers.

ty webb

June 1st, 2011
9:49 am

“I see you haven’t actually read the proposal…”

wrong again, Doggone.

AmVet

June 1st, 2011
9:49 am

Josef, yep, this older dog just sits back and says, “Sure must suck to be young!”

The worst healthcare that tons of dirty money can buy. So, let’s double down on it!

And the fiscally irresponsible far right wing is still clueless. Even though they just suffered their third straight humiliation:

1) The birth certificate punking
2) The Uppity Muslim gets the Killer Muslim a third eye
3) The GOP loses a congressional seat that they had controlled almost non-stop since before the Civil War – primarily on this very issue

It’s been a really bad stretch for the cons, and augers to get worse…

Normal

June 1st, 2011
9:50 am

Doggone/GA

June 1st, 2011
9:51 am

“Point is, prices increase exponentially because the user doesn’t pay. That has to change”

Single-payer would fix THAT

Get Real

June 1st, 2011
9:51 am

What part of the “status quo is unsustainable” is confusing everyone.

OK, if the Ryan plan does not get us there, then the democrats should come up with a reasonable alternative but they have not. Trying to take away or more precisely modify an “entitlement” once it is provided is beyond difficult and we are seeing that fact played out in the many reactions to Ryan’s actual plan as well as the many outright lies describing Ryan’s plan.

Bottom line, it is going to take adults to make some very difficult decisions to safeguard our future and I am afraid there are no longer adults in DC; we even heard Clinton indicating that precise concern, something has to be done before truly drastic draconian measures are required.

The clock is ticking….

getalife

June 1st, 2011
9:52 am

Never, ever allow corrupt congress to get their filthy hands on Medicare or SS.

Only brainwashed cons want them to steal them.

Keep yelling at them because they don’t listen to you.

The majority will vote against the gop because of this issue.

buck@gon

June 1st, 2011
9:52 am

One will notice the eternal O-promise to eliminate “waste” fraud and abuse in this coming campaign season of handpicked townhall meetings. One might, if one were a diligent journalist, also note that such w.f&a amounts to far more than ins co profits.
In other words, the fact that democrats are capable of only the worst money handling ought to lead us to doubt COO claims. Like Obamacare and the prescription drug plan, any legislated plan is only as good as the unaccountable careerist bureaucrat incompetent running the program at the behest of Washington elites.
Personally, I’d rather give my money for medical care to AFLAC.

ragnar danneskjold

June 1st, 2011
9:52 am

Dear Joe Mama@ 9:45, good morning, your fallacy is your assumption that market forces exist now. They don’t. The Ryan plan creates that which does not exist now – true market discipline, across the board.

Mary Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
9:53 am

More of my comments on Jim Garrison’s blog yesterday:

Mary Elizabeth
May 31st, 2011
6:01 pm
I wonder if Rep. Price is aware of the fact that after 2030, seniors would have to pay 68% of their medical expenses under the Ryan plan? I recommend that readers read the following link to understand, more fully, how the Ryan plan would dismantle Medicare – as we know it today.

Ryan’s plan is an inhumane one for seniors, as they age, in my opinion. Please read the following:
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Stories/2011/April/06/CBO-Seniors-Pay-More-Medicare-Ryan-Plan.aspx

Mary Elizabeth
May 31st, 2011
8:23 pm
I am presently on Medicare. I care about future generations as they age, not simply about myself. Conservatives have been trying to dismantle all “entitlements” since the 1970s. Therefore, they have politically, shrewdly, limited the dialogue to a budgetary “box” which includes only entitlement cutting.

Break out of that “box” and think instead in a larger “box” for budgetary improvement, such as cutting tax subsidies to corporations and returning to the tax rates of the Clinton years for all Americans, causing the Bush tax cuts to expire. (Also, today, I might add, cut the military budget as we withdraw from Afghanistan and Iraq.)

Recon (2nd.and 3rd.)

June 1st, 2011
9:53 am

Jay goes on about the cost comparisons between traditional Medicare and Ryan’s proposed reform. The problem is that Medicare can’t continue in the form that it exists today. Kyle had a good piece on his blog a few days ago. Paraphrasing his topic on “mediscare” he said the what’s really scary is pretending that Medicare doesn’t need to be reformed. That indeed is scary because if we choose to believe that no reform is necessary than one day Medicare won’t exist for anyone. When Democrats intend to slash half a trillion dollars out of Medicare to fund the new Obamacare entitlement, they’re really trying to scam the public into believing that they’re the saviors of Medicare, when in reality they’re the ones destroying it.

getalife

June 1st, 2011
9:54 am

The American people will send the same message to the gop when the gop tried to steal SS.

Lets send them a message to end these robberies once and for all.

con Seniors unite with the rest of the real American people and demolish the gop in 12 so they will never try to steal Medicare and SS again.

The gop are the whig party and should be disbanded.

Some people are stupid

June 1st, 2011
9:54 am

jm-

I didn’t know supply and demand theory cared who paid. Must have missed that in my economics class.

lovelyliz

June 1st, 2011
9:54 am

Preaching number and facts to the crowd that doesn’t believe in math is rather frustrating, isn’t it?

Libtard

June 1st, 2011
9:55 am

Is it a suprise to anyone that the DemocRATS have proposed NOTHING to solve this problem? Like Jay, all they have done is blast the attempts to solve it. At least one party is in washington doing what the people elected them to do. It’s so classic to watch. Just like how democRATS don’t do their job and propose a budget, then blast republicans that pick up the task MONTHS after a democratic controlled house and senate had a chance to pass something unopposed.

I find all this funny. Luckily, I am living my life with no expectation of a government tit being there for me to suck on. All my own needs will be provided for, while the entitlement nation will stand by in shock as the nanny state’s milks is sucked dry by moochers and looters, leaving them wondering who will wipe their asses? Pathetic parasites.

@@

June 1st, 2011
9:55 am

But jay left out an important fact:

Stephen Spruiell, a spokesman for the Republicans on the Committee on the Budget: “Elsewhere in the letter, CBO makes clear that the comparison is making unrealistic assumptions in order to construct a future for Medicare under the status quo –- a future in which Medicare goes bankrupt, seniors suffer from reduced access to care, and the nation enters a debt crisis.”

Indeed, the CBO clearly states that both of its scenarios, by keeping benefits largely as they are, would create “pressures over the long term that would make them difficult to sustain.” Without Medicare reform, the CBO warned “the government’s debt would skyrocket to levels unprecedented in the United States.” That would result in either rising tax rates or “surging federal debt.” And that, in turn, might lead lawmakers to reduce Medicare benefits.

Said Spruiell: “Comparing our plan to save Medicare to an unsustainable status quo means comparing a real plan to a false reality. The president’s comparison is not valid, because he ripped the CBO number out of context and omitted the director’s clear warnings about the unsustainability of the status quo.”

For those who have never negotiated routine medical costs, it can be loads of fun.

Another truth that the Dems avoid mentioning. Thomas Sowell fills us in.

The desperately poor elderly conjured up in political and media rhetoric are– in the world of reality– the wealthiest segment of the American population. The average wealth of older households is nearly three times the wealth of households headed by people in the 35 to 44-year-old bracket, and more than 15 times the wealth of households headed by someone under 35 years of age.

If the wealthiest segment of the population cannot pay their own medical bills, who can? The country as a whole is not any richer because the government pays our medical bills– with money that it takes from us.

Mary Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
9:56 am

And, today, I posted this on Cynthia Tucker’s blog:

Mary Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
9:09 am

“That way, Scott can concentrate on solidifying his support among overwhelmingly white tea partiers.”
——————————-

Rep. Austin Scott may be in for a rude awakening when the “white tea partiers,” who are his south Georgia base, vote the Democratic ticket in 2012 because they realize that voting the Republican ticket will ensure the dismantling of Medicare, as we know it (and even, perhaps Social Security, as we know it.)

WrteStufLA

June 1st, 2011
9:56 am

“For those born in 1956 and earlier, RyanCare would change nothing. For those born in 1955 and later, RyanCare replaces Medicare with a government voucher that senior citizens can use to subsidize their purchase of private health insurance plans.”

Is there a typo in that? Should the “1955″ be “1957″?

The Thin Guy

June 1st, 2011
9:56 am

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we will all (excepts for those given waivers such as labor unions and people who live in Nancy Pelosi’s district) be forced into Marxist Medicine in 2014. To give you an idea how this works, the waiting time is now down to 18 weeks in Scotland

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/news/39No-patient-will-wait-longer.6777648.jp

A waiting time of 18 weeks will look really good in 2014 as our nation’s healthcare system is destroyed and the national debt drives a stake through the heart of what used to be the greatest country on Earth.

As Long John Silver said in Treasure Island: Them that dies will be the lucky ones.

Bosch

June 1st, 2011
9:56 am

“then the democrats should come up with a reasonable alternative but they have not.”

Well, they have, but the wingnuts like to scream “socialized medicine” and scare everyone just like the Dems are doing now with RyanCare.

The single payer system is the only way to actually lower costs.

AmVet

June 1st, 2011
9:58 am

“…market discipline…”?

ROTFLMAO!!!!

In case you Rip van Winkle’s missed it, we’ve all seen the disastrous results of this “market discipline” lately!

Or as it was less euphemistically known, “A sustained orgy of greed and reckless behavior.”

There is virtually no market discipline anymore.

No more enlightened self-interest by BIG business.

Just pigs at the trough…

carlosgvv

June 1st, 2011
9:58 am

The Republicans have made it clear they will never stop giving their Corporate sponsors tax breaks and other perks, even if it means taking money from the poor and elderly. Many words could be used to describe this. Sociopathic is my choice.

Granny Godzilla

June 1st, 2011
9:58 am

Funny,

I haven’t had any problems finding info on the Democratic Plans for medicare…..

But if Eric Cantor says they don’t exist, weak minds don’t bother to look.

Normal

June 1st, 2011
9:59 am

Get Real,
Come on now…The Democrats have proposed elimination or severe reductions of agra and oil subsidies, elimination of defence spending waste and the return to the Clinton era tax scales.

The problem is, and the Republicans can’t sell it, the fact that they are ideology opposed to programs that help those in need, especially the elderly. And the gall of it all is that they call themselves “Pro Life”.

But you are right sir…the clock IS ticking. The “Boomers” are a pretty big voting block. We want what we have paid into, sure, but we also want it there for our Grand kids.

Mr_B

June 1st, 2011
10:00 am

The only thing about Medicare that republicans are interested in saving is the name. In the republican lexicon “reform” = “evisceration.” Ryan exempts those over 55 because we are old enough to remember an America without Medicare, and it wasn’t always pretty.

Get Real

June 1st, 2011
10:00 am

Bosch….ObamaCare and/or universal healthcare is not the answer….I appreciate your response but you are barking up the wrong tree…

Government controlled healthcare…aka, single payer can only control costs if access were significantly constrained

Soothsayer

June 1st, 2011
10:01 am

Bosch

June 1st, 2011
10:02 am

Mrs. G.,

And they say Democrats haven’t come up with a plan, but yet keep screaming “Obamacare!” — I wonder if they ever tire of talking out two sides of their mouths? That would exhaust me.

josef nix

June 1st, 2011
10:02 am

BOSCH

Socialized medicine? Would that it were…

Mary Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
10:03 am

Recon @ 9:53

“Kyle had a good piece on his blog a few days ago. Paraphrasing his topic on “mediscare” he said the what’s really scary is pretending that Medicare doesn’t need to be reformed.”
——————————-

Of course, Medicare needs to be reformed, but there is a HUGE difference in cutting the waste and fraud from the present day Medicare and overhauling it entirely to a voucher program which in effect woould throw the old, as they age, “to the wolves.”

To readers,
Who do you trust more with your Medicare, Republicans who have had as their agenda, for 35 years, to dismantle all entitlements (government programs) or Democrats who have supported the American people with these baseline securities since FDR?

Be wise in your choice. Trust whom you know you can trust.

Don’t vote the Republican ticket simply because it represents the majority in Georgia. If you do, you will be voting against your own best interests.

Granny Godzilla

June 1st, 2011
10:04 am

Beavis

June 1st, 2011
10:05 am

How stupid can one person be, if I told you every day that the sky was orange how long till you believe me? That is like CBO numbers, they have NEVER been correct, not even once.

josef nix

June 1st, 2011
10:05 am

Mr B

Shalom! You know, I hadn’t thought of that angle, but I daresay there’s more than a modicum of truth in it.

Uncle Jed

June 1st, 2011
10:06 am

End government assisted inefficiencies at all levels and kill all these nanny-state programs. Return to being self-sufficient. And what is wrong with taking care of your parents in old age anyway? Man up and take care of your own damn business and quit looking to government for support, which is nothing more than asking your neighbor to take care of you because you didn’t have plan.

Have a nice day.

BlahBlahBlah

June 1st, 2011
10:06 am

Let’s just do nothing and leave Medicare exactly as it is. What’s a $30 trillion unfunded liability among friends anyway!

Doggone/GA

June 1st, 2011
10:07 am

“And what is wrong with taking care of your parents in old age anyway?”

And what if “your parents” AREN’T parents? Or what if they were, but their children are DEAD?

J Wellington Wimpy

June 1st, 2011
10:09 am

I have come to realize there is no finer spectacle than a herd of elephants gouging and engorging themselves on the rancid flesh of their own.

Ewwwwwwww!!

jm: Point is, prices increase exponentially because the user doesn’t pay. That has to change.

The user doesn’t pay in the case of the military either. The VA / GAO makes deals with big pharma, etc. for the best prices and comes away with the best deal. This is wher VOLUME comes in over price.

I would glady pay you tuesday for a hamburger today………

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

June 1st, 2011
10:09 am

Well, this country is going to the dogs. You can’t even put the shaft to the old geezers without people getting all bent out of shape.

Me, I figure a geezer making $14,000 could afford a $12,000 premium with a couple thousand to spare to waste on stuff like food and housing and clothing. But no, most people just won’t listen to reason.

Have a good Wednesday everybody.

buck@gon

June 1st, 2011
10:09 am

Also it is important to remember: medi-governmemt “saves” money by underpaying. What perpetuating Medicare does is to prolong and extend government coercion and control over those who provide the care.

Rightwing Troll

June 1st, 2011
10:09 am

“The Ryan plan creates that which does not exist now – true market discipline, across the board.”

Even if there were a modicum of truth in that assumption, you’d also have to assume that they would do as they say. That’s not a good bet.

getalife

June 1st, 2011
10:10 am

Attention Seniors:

You yelled at the gop and they ignored you.

Never vote gop so they can steal Medicare and SS.

Unite with the majority and vote against the gop in 12 so they will never try to steal them again.

They will listen when they lose big in 12.

Thank you Seniors.

Doggone/GA

June 1st, 2011
10:10 am

“What perpetuating Medicare does is to prolong and extend government coercion and control over those who provide the care”

Do you realize you are actually saying that the medical community should be allowed to profit from the sick and dying without any sort of restraints?

josef nix

June 1st, 2011
10:10 am

Granny

We could all use a little Marxism…thanks! That was great!

Bosch

June 1st, 2011
10:11 am

“….ObamaCare and/or universal healthcare is not the answer”

Well, for one thing, Get Real, the new HC law is about the furthest thing away from universal healthcare.

“Government controlled healthcare…aka, single payer can only control costs if access were significantly constrained”

That’s not what every other industrialized country on the planet says.

Get Real

June 1st, 2011
10:12 am

Normal…even if the Bush/Obama tax cuts were eliminated for the so called wealthy and tax subsidies were eliminated for selected industries it would be the equivalent of throwing a brick in the grand canyon as far as having an impact on the overall debt.

Entitlements in their current form have got to be reformed or modified for there to be any future programs at all (Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security). It is a matter of simple math not ideology..

Doggone/GA

June 1st, 2011
10:13 am

“Entitlements in their current form have got to be reformed or modified for there to be any future programs at all (Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security). It is a matter of simple math not ideology”

Social Security is a fully funded system with it’s own revenue stream. It is not directly involved in the debt at all.

Soothsayer

June 1st, 2011
10:14 am

“Let’s just do nothing and leave Medicare exactly as it is. What’s a $30 trillion unfunded liability among friends anyway!”

Could you please post something that substantiates your claim of a $30 trillion unfunded liability?

1811/1801 - 0311/0317

June 1st, 2011
10:14 am

Jay:

I think you need to adopt a new rule.

No drinking before noon and no charts before noon.

What say ye?

Red

June 1st, 2011
10:14 am

This issue is not difficult to fix. A national levy, (gasp! I really did mean tax) on every financial market trade and post trade transaction that does not include deferred income (retirement funds) or physical delivery. (Fuel for airlines or cocoa to make Hershey bars)

Recon (2nd.and 3rd.)

June 1st, 2011
10:15 am

Democrats attempt to scare seniors on the implementation of a voucher system even though it wouldn’t effect anyone over age 55. The scam is that they try to sell government as the solution and paint the private insurance sector as evil. Take a look at how well the federal government has managed Social Security and Medicare as both are rapidly going broke and it tells any clear thinking individual that the Democrats aren’t capable of finding workable solutions.

J Wellington Wimpy

June 1st, 2011
10:16 am

industries it would be the equivalent of throwing a brick in the grand canyon as far as having an impact on the overall debt.

Only if the brick weighed 13K megatons.

I will glady pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today……….

Get Real

June 1st, 2011
10:16 am

Bosch….and how are those entitlement costs working out for the EU??

Mr_B

June 1st, 2011
10:16 am

Uncle Jed@10:06. Been there-done that. Didn’t work very well.

Get Real

June 1st, 2011
10:16 am

That has been recklessly borrowed from for the last 30 years so now when we are facing more revenue outflow than inflow it is going to have a limited shelf life if not modified.

Please get your head out of the sand…

Bosch

June 1st, 2011
10:16 am

“What perpetuating Medicare does is to prolong and extend government coercion and control over those who provide the care”

Except that isn’t even remotely true. The people who provide that care have very little to no input over the price of their services, which is why the system we have now does not in any way espouse free market principles.

More and more doctors are now working as salaried positions and no longer own their own practice and from this article I read yesterday, more and more are in favor of the new HC law.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/30/health/policy/30docs.html?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.mc_id=BU-SM-E-FB-SM-LIN-DST-053111-NYT-NA&WT.mc_ev

Mary Elizabeth

June 1st, 2011
10:17 am

Recon @ 9:53

“When Democrats intend to slash half a trillion dollars out of Medicare to fund the new Obamacare entitlement, they’re really trying to scam the public into believing that they’re the saviors of Medicare, when in reality they’re the ones destroying.”

——————————

Recon, In all due respect, the money Democrats are “slashing” from Medicare is from the Medicare Advantage program which subsidizes private insurance companies. Democrats are not destroying Medicare. They are the only party trying to preserve it. Obamacare and Medicare as we know it work together to secure medical insurance, which is not profit based with no governmental check and balance, for the American people in a cost effective way. They must work together.

Personal example. I have a 57 year old first cousin who has liver cancer. He was diagnosed terminal almost two years ago. Chemo has surprisingly helped him significantly. His employer fired him because of his condition. My cousin would pay, as a monthly premium, $200.+ as a private citizen on private health insurance with himself, alone. However, with his private health policy, along with his wife, the premium is $657. per month. That is too much for him to pay monthly, especially without work. His private insurance carrier will not let him drop his wife from his policy to bring it down to $200.+ a month. My cousin has decided not to fight any longer and to stop the chemo.

Bosch

June 1st, 2011
10:18 am

Get Real — well, I can tell you that those who live in the EU want to keep them — so for them, it seems to be working out well.