Congressman Ryan’s Plan to Fix Medicare and the Budget is Dangerous for Your Health

And this from hardly what one might call radical news media.

PAUL RYAN’S plan to replace Medicare with a system of vouchers for seniors to buy health care on the private market has only been vaguely described, as of this writing. But there is one thing about it that’s fairly clear, regardless of what’s in the details Mr Ryan will announce today: Mr Ryan’s plan ends the guarantee that all American seniors will have health insurance. The Medicare system we’ve had in place for the past 45 years promises that once you reach 65, you will be covered by a government-financed health-insurance plan. Mr Ryan’s plan promises that once you reach 65, you will receive a voucher for an amount that he thinks ought to be enough for individuals to purchase a private health-insurance plan. (Mr Ryan insists that his plan doesn’t entail a “voucher”, but there is no meaningful distinction between getting a voucher with which to pay for insurance, and having the government send a payment to the insurer you choose.) If that voucher isn’t worth enough for some particular senior to buy insurance, and that particular senior isn’t wealthy enough to top off the coverage, or is a bit forgetful and neglects to purchase insurance, there’s no guarantee that that person will be insured. It’s up to you; you carry the risk.

via Medicare reform: You put the load right on me | The Economist.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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