Paul Ryan wants to kill Medicare

For all the conservatives who’ve attacked the supposed “death panels” contained within Democratic health care reform efforts, let’s not forget that it was a Republican – Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville – who wants to kill Medicare, leaving folks who would receive Medicare to fend for themselves when it comes to finding health care they could afford on their newly created subsidy (which I’m willing to bet wouldn’t come close to covering the cost of health care premiums):

At the same time, the debate also exposed political weaknesses in his House GOP rivals. Republicans in the House had even more defections on their alternative budget, losing 37 of the chamber’s more moderate members in a 293-137 tally that rejected cuts to Medicare and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled.

What is more, GOP leaders are clearly nervous that votes in favor of the GOP alternative have exposed their members to political danger.

The plan, drafted by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, top Republican on the House Budget Committee, called for eventually replacing the traditional Medicare program with subsidies to help retirees enroll in private health care plans. Current beneficiaries would keep their coverage and those 55 and older also would go into the current system.

Rep. Ryan’s amendment received the support of 137 of his fellow House Republicans, while receiving no support from House Democrats.

Maybe it’s just me, but forcing seniors to fend for themselves when it comes to finding health insurance coverage seems a little heartless, especially given the fact that most of those folks paid into the system Rep. Ryan’s amendment would have shut them out of.

H/T to Paul Soglin.


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9 thoughts on “Paul Ryan wants to kill Medicare

  1. What’s wrong with ending an antiquated government program? You act like he had no plan to replace it with anything. If you really think it is heartless, than you missed the point entirely. It allows more choice and is one way of lowering costs.

    Your point about seniors having paid into the system is a very good argument against government-run health care. First, they paid in for the previous generation, as we are paying in for current receipients today, not for ourselves. Secondly, that is exactly the mentality you will have if everyone is under a government plan. “My tax dollars paid for this, I deserve it.” So even if I don’t really have to go to the doctor, I might as well because I want my piece of the pie back. Don’t think that will lead to any sort of rationing?

    1. forgot, what’s Rep. Ryan’s “plan” to replace Medicaid? He wanted to give seniors a subsidy so they could try to find health insurance coverage on their own.

      That reminds me of Rep. Ryan’s health care “reform” proposal, which amounted to giving families a tax credit of approximately $5,000 so they could try to find health insurance coverage on their own, nevermind the fact that health insurance premiums for American families average somewhere around $12,000 a year. I wonder…if Rep. Ryan’s health care “reform” proposal were to pass, would he take his family off his government-provided health insurance so they could enjoy the benefit of that $5,000 tax credit to find health insurance on their own?

      1. Zach, you are mistaken. Paul Ryan (and everyone else in Congress) has a list of private providers from which they choose from their employer, the government (the taxpayers). He then chooses a plan that he wants from that list (just like what most other people do when their employer provides assistance for insurance).

        Ah, the “Mediscare.” It never ends. The left continues to point the finger at the conservatives that apparently want to kill grandpa and grandma while President Obama himself was just saying that he is going to cut over $100 billion in waste and fraud from Medicare. He found what, $1 billion in the budget to cut? This is the same old song and dance all over again.

    2. Also, if you read the first link you posted, the story (from April) says that, “Current beneficiaries would keep their coverage and those 55 and older also would go into the current system.” So no seniors who paid into the system would have to fend for themselves as you say.

  2. Not out of luck… but at some point if there’s a new plan you have to transition people to the new one. Besides as I mentioned, if you are “paying in” to Medicare, you are paying for current beneficiaries. Zach, I hate to break it to you, but you don’t have a personal Medicare account with your money sitting in there.

    Ryan’s plan is part of a larger, comprehensive plan to retool government. From his own website, the Medicare plan:
    — Transitions the program to allow beneficiaries to choose the most affordable coverage
    to suit their needs.
    — Preserves the existing Medicare program for those 55 or older.
    — For those currently under 55 – as they become Medicare-eligible – creates a Medicare
    payment of up to $9,500. This payment is adjusted for inflation and based on income,
    with low-income individuals receiving greater support. It is also risk-adjusted, so those
    with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.
    — Establishes and fully funds medical savings accounts [MSAs] for low-income
    beneficiaries, while continuing to allow all beneficiaries, regardless of income, to set up tax-free MSAs.
    — Makes Medicare permanently solvent, based on consultation with the Office of the
    Actuary of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

    At the very least, this is part of a bold plan to start and refine debate. The current system will be in shambles in a few years. Just wondering, do any liberal politicians have any ideas, other than to throw more money at it???

  3. Thats what we need more debate on the health care no more hurry up and get it done that will only make things worse. I’m for Obama care when we get exactly what are president and all the politicians get nothing else

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