AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (68 comments)

  1. Anthony Warnick

    The truth is all most of us are looking for James, great short truth.Keep it up, I’ve always enjoy your articals and sense of humor.

  2. Larry Lawrence

    Informational TV spots needed to educate seniors and help then identify scare tactic arguments.

  3. Jerry Wells

    Most people should know thos if they get their news from some other sourse than the “lamestream” media, i.e, ABC, CBS, NBC and any sourse affiliated with these.

  4. The truth is Obamacare “ended Medicare as we know it” by raiding $700B from that program going forward. How will the quality of care be maintained based on those lost dollars?

  5. David B. Mitchell

    Keep pounding this in the media buys until even the Liberals get it! Three short bullet points. You may want to add a fourth: Under the current system, which Obama has no interest in changing, Medicare will go bankrupt in X years. Period. Also, I believe the core of Ryan’s Medicare reform plan was part of a recommendation from a commission establ’d by then-President Clinton. If so, why not call it the ‘Clinton Commission Plan’ and let’s see Obama go after that bait.

    1. Excellent reply!

  6. Ralph Fluchel

    Consider point number 3: “Overall funding for Medicare under the Ryan-Wyden plan is scheduled to grow at the same rate as under President Obama’s proposals.

    If this is true how does Ryan’s plan save us from bankruptcy? At some point there must be a difference between Ryan’s Medicare growth rate and the President’s. Otherwise, why implement the Ryan plan?

    1. Ken Richey

      The funding will remain the same. The expenditures will be reduced, based on the costs savings from the competitive premiums for the services covered in the chosen plans.

  7. Chien DeBerger

    Jim-
    Thank you, I have passed this article along with a request to the recipients to pass it along to those who need to hear the truth. Keep up the fight!
    Remember in November!
    Semper Fi!

  8. Sam Manheim

    Your “excellent post” link is linking to a preview/draft version of the article that most of us can’t see. The proper URL (I assume) is http://www.aei-ideas.org/2012/08/quick-thoughts-on-the-ryan-pick

  9. Stella Ross

    Excellent! Think I’ll print this on cards and/or Post-It Notes for handing out as needed (and give credit, of course).

  10. Then why change it? It’s obvious something changes. The devil is in the details.

  11. Paul Hopkins

    I agree with Ralph. Ryan’s plan is a START, but we have to slow the growth rate of Medicare spending, otherwise whats the point? The country is broke already!

    1. When the insurance companies figure out they can make a profit while charging a lower premium than the Medicare cost per customer they will, in order to beat their competitors to those customers. Patients will also look at the care they are receiving and asking themselves if they can go with a cheaper policy and pocket the difference. If for some reason insurance companies are unable to turn a profit at the Medicare cost per customer then we’ll know Obama and the left wing was right all along, but it wouldn’t cost the Treasury any more than traditional Medicare.

      1. Medicare already operates in this way-it’s called Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage. It’s been in place for about five years and-so far-it works. It allows the Fed budget to accurately predict costs, and from what I’ve seen, only increases the options and benefits for seniors. It’s a win/win-especially compared to the option of insolvency.

        1. Lfletcher

          Medicare Advantage is the plan that Obama is taking out in of medicare in order to fund Obamacare.
          I am also super concerned about the unaccountable people who will decide if I’m too old for a particular treatment or surgery….the death panel are real under Obamacare

  12. Eddie the Eagle

    The fact that it’s the Ryan-WYDEN (Dem – OREGON) should also be emphasized at every opportunity. If it’s such a radical plan why is one of the mot liberal senators on board with?

  13. The administration is condemning the Ryan plan saying it will “end Medicare as we know it.” The truth is “Medicare as we know it” is going broke, and when it does (not if, but when) it will take our entire economy down with it. If Obama doesn’t believe this, then let him look the American people in the eye and tell us that “Medicare as we know it” is doing fine. If not, he needs to tell us how exactly how he plans to avert this disaster, or why he is option to do nothing. Either way, whether we adopt some kind of reform to transform Medicare as we know it into Medicare as we can sustain it, or whether we simply let the economy be driven off the cliff by unrestrained entitlement spending, Medicare as we know it will end.

    1. Ryan and those at the Heritage Foundation are the ones who have actually READ Obamacare, and they know that it will bankrupt the country if implemented. Along with that, it will seal the deal on Socialism forever. We will NEVER be able to come out of it. Hardly anyone, including Republicans, know what is in Obamacare, and a large portion of it hasn’t even been WRITTEN yet. If Democrats knew this, they wouldn’t be for it either…..

  14. Mary Mueller

    Getting rid of ObamaCare which steals from the Medicare “trust fund” to pay for ObamaCare, then bankruptcy is a moot point. Medicare Trust Fund is protected as long as ObamaCare is overturned.

  15. Mary Mueller

    To back up Point #2 — Social Security and Medicare accounts for 33.4% of federal spending, yet payroll taxes paid in to the govt for both “trust funds” is 40%. Left untouched, that fact proves that both “Trust Funds” will be available for all, as Ryan states.
    http://www.factcheck.org/2011/07/fiscal-factcheck/
    Next, they need to address a “Hands-off” policy, which should be item #4 in the future.

  16. Michael Riordan

    Re:Wyden

    Read article in Business Week and Wyden says he does not support plan. Which is it?

  17. Charles S.

    I remember Donald Rumsfeld said the total cost of the Iraq war would be under $50 billion and would be paid by the coalition. That’s the last time I trust a Republican. They are great at spewing bold lies that they assume people will forget in time.

    1. Your_Name_Goes_Here

      And you trust Dear Leader?

  18. Isn’t this similar to what they tried in Wisconsin (giving more choice, giving plans more flexibility)…..last I heard is that it’s working. Also, I think a second similarity to Wisconsin will be that the national debate on this will be just as unruly as the debate they had in that state as well.

  19. Jane Bishop

    Biggest talking point for Romney-Ryan: If something isn’t done, Grandma and ALL of her relatives, from the unborn on up, will go over the cliff together!

    Come on, guys – don’t be afraid to simplify, simplify, simplify-that’s the only way some of the voters will ever understand.

  20. I’m a senior and I approve Ryan’s plan. Obama’s plan steals over $700 Billion Dollars from Medicare – and puts the money into Obamacare.

    As for Obama’s ad that says Ryan;s plan will push old ladies off a cliff – that’s nothimg but an unfunny joke.

    As a senior I’m far more worried about Obamacare that will put my life in the hands of death panels in Washington if I need an operation to save it.

    1. Will Baker

      Ryan’s plan steals “over 700 Billion dollars from Medicare” and gives it back to people who will spend it on ho-ho’s, twinkies and houses they can’t afford rather than saving for medical bills in their old age.

  21. Point #1 bothers me. I am over 55. Does this mean I am stuck with the current Medicare as my only choice?

    1. Will Baker

      Yes, unless you can independently purchase an individual plan. But you would have to find a very charitable corporation to sell you such a product as you are old and will probably get sick or break a hip and not be very profitable.

      1. Will…
        Believe it or not, sickness occurs at any age. The issue that is on the table is prioritizing Medicare Tax Dollars.
        With technology and healthier living, many folks are living longer…thusly, Long-Term Care is what is needed.
        At this point in time, Medicare doesn’t cover this. I find it rediculous to cover “Motor Scooters” for the home when folks need Home Health Assistance. If the powers at be insist on keeping this bankrupt program, at least change it up to keep up with the times. Home Health Care built into the plan should be considered. What is the point of Med Supp Policies if Medicare is so great?

  22. Kip Noxzema

    Thank you for passing along the TRUTH about Medicare. Ryan’s plan is just that: a real plan on affordable care for seniors everywhere.

  23. What has not been publicized it the fact that good doctors are starting to flee the Medicare program as they did the Medicaid program, because they cannot run an office with the government’s meager reimbursement. More cuts to doctors are supposed to take effect in January. Just try to get a good orthopedist in New York City using Medicare. If Medicare is the insurance you have, you will have to pay cash(possibly tens of thousands of dollars). Please let those of us older than 55 in on the voucher program!!

  24. Why do people keep talking about “people over 55 won’t be affected” as if it’s a good thing? Can’t we have a choice? I’m not exactly looking forward to being forced into the Medicare system.

    1. Your_Name_Goes_Here

      I am with you… why do I have to be saddled with a mediocre government plan when I’d prefer to have the same better options as those younger than 55!!

      1. Will Baker

        Because you will be old and there is no profit in insuring old people.

  25. That’s 112 words (and three numerals).

  26. “…with the traditional program remaining an option.”
    For people under 55? Or only those over 55?

    1. The choice would remain for all. No one will be “forced to take voucher.

      1. 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?

  27. ” 2. Traditional Medicare fee-for-service would remain available for all.”

    1. 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. Either you cannot read or you are reading your own fears into what is printed.

      2. After your voucher runs out under that plan you enter something similar to the do – nut hole in the original Drug plan. There is complete coverage on the other side of the do-nut hole.

      3. catherine

        I wonder if any of the Ryans have tried to live on 749.00 a month & paid 120.00 a month for medicare & pres drugs ,Doesn,t leave much to live on.

        1. I wonder if Dem voters realize that Dem politicians cut funding to Medicare by over $500B back in 2009 in order to provide 1/3 of the cost of Obamacare.

          1. Nope. It was 741 billion

        2. You got that right, Sister!

  28. kerryhbrown

    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?

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

  29. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. Yep!! Evil isn’t it?

  30. Andrew G.

    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.

    1. 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”?

      1. Jim Anderson

        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

      2. I’m a private pay patient and I shop around. My current primary doctor gives my family a 25% discount

      3. 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.

        1. 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.

  31. 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

    1. 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.

  32. Julie Calix

    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?

    1. 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.

    2. 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!!

    3. I would love to see the social security plan under Romney-Ryan…

  33. Let the Pentagon be bankrupt in 2022 and spend the money on Medicare for all Americans!
    Plus free College for all students

    1. You’ve got the right name, “BUMP.” The bump must be on your head making a statement like that.

  34. I totally agree w/Andrew G. here.
    And Susanna, get that Nobel prize ready!

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