By Victor Morawski
We showed last week how the proposed Ryan budget plan intends to save the Federal Government money on its Medicare costs and lower the deficit by changing the program from a single-payer to a premium-support plan and allowing open interstate competition among health insurers — something now forbidden — to keep premium costs down.
But not everyone agrees. Editors of The Nation, for instance, say of Ryan, “the savings he projects would come less from competition than from simple cutbacks to care and benefits.” A similar sentiment is echoed by writers at msnbc.com when they observe that Ryan plan supporters must view voters under 55 as being, “more alarmed about the national debt than they are about cuts in future benefits.”
Charges like the above will no doubt alarm younger readers who will figure that if it is enacted then they would not fare as well in their golden years as current Medicare recipients.
That this cause for alarm at the Ryan plan is baseless can be seen clearly if we simply ask ourselves, “What would it mean to say that the Ryan plan cuts care or future benefits to seniors?” His proposal changes the Medicare program from one that pays health care providers directly for their services to one which effectively pays premiums for seniors to purchase health insurance in the private marketplace (with some means testing involved).
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