April 8, 2011

The Ryan Plan for Medicare AKA: break it.

In an extremely well-written editorial yesterday, Paul Krugman explains why Representative Ryan and the Republicans overhaul of Medicaid to save money is not just ludicrous, but cruel (actually that's the title of his editorial).

In short, it would switch Medicare funding to private insurers which would INCREASE the cost initially by adding middlepeople (hence, ludicrous).

AND it would create Medicaid vouchers that people could use to pay for care that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would only pay for less than 1/3 of the cost of private insurance by 2030, leaving many if not most older Americans unable to afford medical care (hence, cruel).

With all the health care reform underway, and all the criticism of the Obama Administration's overhaul of our medical system, no one has been ridiculous enough to suggest that we stop paying for health care for older people in order to make the system affordable.

Well, until Rep. Ryan got involved. Yikes.
Krugman adds, "as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, of the $4 trillion in spending cuts [Ryan] proposes over the next decade, two-thirds involve cutting programs that mainly serve low-income Americans. And by repealing last year’s health reform, without any replacement, the plan would also deprive an estimated 34 million nonelderly Americans of health insurance."

If you're interested in more views on the Medicare debate, check out this great article in the Atlantic: Undoing Medicare: The Real Death Tax

"the pundits who praised this proposal when it was released were punked. The G.O.P. budget plan isn’t a good-faith effort to put America’s fiscal house in order; it’s voodoo economics, with an extra dose of fantasy, and a large helping of mean-spiritedness"
-Paul Krugman 

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