The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

Subscribe to the blog

Discussion: (13 comments)

  1. Miraculously growing revenue (over 91% in 10 years) with significant tax cuts (cause it worked so well under Bush II), and still failing to balance the budget till 2040???
    Are you kidding me?

    Oh, and of course, all cuts to be achieved on the backs of seniors and the poor.

    Paul Ryan is only slightly less clueless than Barrack Obama.

    The only part of this plan that’s defensible at all is the cut in corporate tax rates.

    1. Keith, I don’t know what article you read, or even if you read the whole thing, but NO ONE is taking benefits away from seniors or the poor. You guys need to get that through your heads. What the Ryan plan does is give those who qualify for medicaid the FREEDOM to choose the plan they like, and the STATE, not federal, government will kick in $X of premium support. If you like a plan that costs more ($Y), your insurance premiums would then be the difference between the two, or $Y-$X. If your plan costs less than the state support ($Z), you would get to keep the difference between the two, or $X-$Z. If it makes it easier for you to understand, think of it this way: X=$100, Y=$150, and Z=$75. Thus, if you have a higher cost plan, you pay $50. If you have a lower cost plan, you pocket $25. Sounds pretty fair to me.

      1. Brain, you make some good points, but look a little deeper.

        Under the Ryan plan, seniors and the poor would have the option of taking their check and not spending it on insurance – or buying a cheaper plan and pocketing the money. Does that also come with the guarantee that they will not get sick or require medical care at all, or care that exceeds the minimum coverage for the less costly plan? Are you ready for medical costs to continue to rise at the current staggering rate because seniors that spent their check on the rent or food rather than buying a policy are now showing up at the emergency rooms with empty wallets (along with the poor who will likely feed their kids with the check before they buy insurance) all of whom have little to no money to cover the costs for treatment?

        How reasonable is it to assume that someone with Alzheimer’s or suffering from lung cancer that may have no family available to assist them is going to make rational, well reasoned decisions about which insurance policy they should spend their check on? Since that WILL be a problem for some citizens so you propose we just tell them to deal with it? If not, which new government agency do you think we should create that is going to help them do that, and how do you propose we fund them? Currently, seniors don’t have to make that decision because there are no “choices” for them to make about private insurance providers. While I am all about FREEDOM, there are cases and situations where someone shouldn’t be subject to that freedom because they are INCAPABLE of enjoying it. These would not be people that are “free” – these would be people left to hang on their own and I don’t believe the country is that calloused to its fellow countrymen. At least not yet…

        None the less, considering those variables it looks more like medical costs will rise and that we will need MORE government bureaucracy and intrusion entering into the private lives of seniors and the poor under the Ryan plan. Medicare/Medicaid is there, there is no competition, it has a low overhead and it has proven itself to work over the last fifty years.

        So, what about the cost?

        Well, we could go back to where we were just fifteen short years ago by first eliminating the Bush tax cuts for EVERYONE, not just the “rich” or “job creators”. Additionally, individuals that make less than ~$110,000 a year pay into their Social Security Insurance on 100% of their income. As soon as they reach that amount they no longer have to pay. So, someone making ~$220,000 per year only contributes to Social Security on 50% of their income and if we eliminate that income cap and have EVERYONE contribute to Social Security every time they are paid regardless of their income earned per year, Social Security suddenly becomes solvent forever.

        How’s that for “fair”?

        1. The whole thing with freedom is that it comes with a little thing called responsibility. If the senior has a mental condition there should be stipulations obviously where either a spouse or child with power of attorney would be able to make decisions for them in regards to which plan they take. With that serious of a condition the cheaper plan shouldn’t be a choice because obviously their health costs are greater than the plan coverage. With that said, if they still take the cheaper plan, then adding in a fallback to set up payment plans at hospitals with a percentage taken out of either their income or social security would solve the problems of added costs to healthcare and save the doctors from getting screwed out of their money. By giving these kinds of choices you leave a person to make the same choices that they would if they purchased healthcare in the private sector, and solve the problems of not having enough coverage for seniors. Forcing everyone into a one size fits all package makes people who don’t need high coverage get screwed into paying more, while taking coverage away from the sick. By making it possible for everyone to choose their own plan and pay the appropriate amount extra, with help from the Medicare/Medicaid plans through each individual state rather than the government, you would not only send us down the right path, but you would also follow the constitution for once and set up a scenario where it would be possible to reform social security as well and give the power to the states rather than the Feds. By removing the federal government from the picture we could localize the needs of each plan available to the appropriate state and better serve the citizens of this country, and eliminate the possibility of the executive an legislative branches from writing in laws that take from the social security and Medicare programs. The spending is out of control and done so without any common sense

          1. You’ve obviously never tried to buy health care from the private sector

          2. Randy, you have no clue regarding the cost of insurance. I recently looked at going independent in my work and would have had to pay my own. It would have cost me between $2,500-$3k a month for a basic plan, high deductible and 80-20, I pay 20%. That was for me and my wife, around 50 with no major health issues. How much would that cost If I was 60, 70, 80 or 90? And when if one of us had a heart attack, cancer, etc…we all will at some point unless we get hit by a bus…..I read that the Ryan plan voucher would be about $6k a year per person….as you can see, thats nothing…if thats the case, it would devastate the middle class seniors, take every penny in a lot of cases. What even more bothersome, is the Ryan plan takes the savings AND MUCH MORE to give the top more tax breaks…..SHAME!

  2. Progressives attempt to victimize the poor at the expense of Paul Ryan’s Budget! But in the Obama Administration’s pursuit of failed Keynesian Economy theory and the reality of his 4 consecutive $Trillion Dollar deficits – the approaching Economic train-wreck will virtually guarantee the losing battle of today’s working poor.

    In criticizing Paul Ryan’s 2nd Budget, the Democrats will rail at the fact that we’re Not spending $Billions and $Trillions in an effort to indenture our children by offering “Free Stuff” to their own Progressively Dependent Constituencies.

    Today’s Entitlement Spending will become the Debt Anchor worn by the working 20-somethings of tomorrow!

    Fiscal Responsibility is America’s only Road to Prosperity – to continue down the current path of Entitlement Spending will only ensure our arrival on the “Road to Serfdom”.

    1. The deficit is currently around 1.2 trillion, the Bush tax cuts are $400b annually ($5 trillion) of it. His unfunded increase in defense from $400b annually to about $825b annually is another $425b, If you eliminate these 2 we’re almost there. Everyone knows entitlements need to be reformed. Medicare only bills about $125 a month, totally ridiculous. What’s wrong with increasing (at least doubling) that fee, and pushing back eligibility to SS and Medicare a year or two? I’m all for Medicaid, pension, public employee reform, tax reform by removing the loopholes……why not this instead of giving a voucher for MEdicare which is about 20% of the actual cost (if not less)? converting Medicare to a voucher is nothing more than pushing the burden to senior citizens and will ABSOLUTELY devastate the middle class…unless they get hit by a bus the health care system will take every penny……Congress owes SS $4 trillion as well but I wont even go there. This is not an either/or situation, there is A LOT of room in the middle.

  3. Yes, the Bush tax cuts were actually growing revenue. After recovering from the shock of the 9/11 attack, revenue was picking up until around 2006, when the housing market collapsed. And who was reponsible for the policies that created that? Bush, right? Oh no, wait, it was the Democrats in Congress that refused to invesitgate that coming crisis. Barney Frank: “Everything is okay”. See:

  4. Ryan plan brings the deficit up 90% by 2022 and obamas brings it down 76% ryan’s reverse robin hood budget just rips off poor and middle class people to give tax breaks to the rich and keep subsidies for oil companies it’s disgusting especially since ryan himself used social security to put himself through college after his father died when he was 16

    1. *debt (not deficit)

  5. If a senior was incapable of making a decision to change their Medicare then it would default to the standard Medicare plan. I think part of the issue here is that everyone is making a very simple question/answer much more complicated than it has to be. This is usually the problem with liberals. And the $2500-$3K per month for health care seems a bit of a stretch especially if they have not health issues. I pay $900 a month for myself and my wife in a small business plan and I have Hep C. Granted I don’t have any symptoms but I couldn’t get individual insurance here in GA. My suggestion would be to see if you can get on someones small business policy. This is one area the Reps screwed up in not addressing healthcare when they had a chance – now look at what we have – Gary

  6. I’m a three-time cancer survivor on Medicare. I’ve been treated at The Cleveland Clinic since 1999 and have the finest doctors in the world. All its ever cost me is my Medicare monthly premiums and my supplement. Every American should have the same great care I’ve had for 13 years. HOW CAN PAUL RYAN IMPORVE ON THAT? And don’t say we can’t afford good healthcare for all because one out of every five tax dollars goes toward supporting a bloated military machine left over from the Cold War that ended 21 years ago. And Romney says he wants to increase it even more. Why? So we can continue to be the worlds policeman? And, unless you have more than four battle stars on your Korean Service ribbon like I have, don’t wave the flag at me.
    The Ryan budget balances the budget on the backs of the middle class, the poor, the disabled and the elderly, while cutting taxes for the rich and corporations (who really only average 15% in taxes, not 35%). If the Republicans adopt Ryan’s budget for their party platform at their convention, it will be suicidal for the GOP.

Comments are closed.

Sort By:

Refine Content:


Additional Keywords:

Refine Results

or to save searches.

Refine Content