Wednesday, August 15, 2012

At Last! A Grown-Up To Deal with America's Bankrupt Entitlement Programs

"Clearly, Medicare is not sustainable, especially with more than 70 million Baby Boomers starting to enter the program at the rate of 10,000 a day."

So will any politician admit the incontrovertible truth? Will any accept the grown-up challenge to get busy fixing this huge and disastrous problem?

Introducing a fresh breeze of honesty, Paul Ryan.

...Under Obamacare, the president’s plan to “save” Medicare relies primarily on paying doctors and hospitals less and less to the point that 40 percent of providers will either go bankrupt or stop seeing Medicare patients, according to Medicare actuaries. The dreaded Independent Payment Advisory Board will put the thumb screws on through a rationing strategy.

This is not a solution for a free people. Further, Obamacare doubles down on the fiction by spending the same dollars twice — once to extend the solvency of Medicare and again to pay for Obamacare’s massive new entitlement spending.  Medicare actuaries have chastised the administration and allies in Congress for this double-counting.

In contrast, Representative Ryan’s plan guarantees that seniors would continue to receive a Medicare benefit, with the government’s contribution equal to the cost of traditional Medicare in a given market or the cost of the second-least expensive plan, whichever is less. As Representative Ryan explains, this means the government would fully cover the premium costs of some plans or the cost of traditional Medicare. Those who are older, sicker, or with lower incomes would get additional help.

Nothing changes for those on Medicare today or for those who qualify for Medicare between now and 2022.

After that, seniors would have more choices of plans that are competing for their business, just as the popular Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug plans provide today. These private Medicare plans would have to offer coverage that is equivalent to traditional Medicare. While the benefits and financing structure could vary, the value of the plans would have to be the same.

Experience has proven that consumers choosing from among competing plans can lower costs...

(From "Not Reforming Medicare Is Not an Option" by Grace-Marie Turner over at NRO. It's a superb piece. Go read it in its entirety and pass the word along. The media is on a full scale blitz to distort Ryan's common-sense plans and to demonize him personally. We must do what we can to keep the record straight.)