Republican Budget Plan to Kill Medicare Gets Vote Next Week

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan proposed a budget plan for 2012. It's scheduled for a vote next week. Among its features: Ending Medicare and gutting Medicaid.

[T]he nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has outlined what adoption of this proposal to supplant Medicare with vouchers and private insurance exchanges would mean. The overall cost of healthcare would go up, and retirees' out-of-pocket medical expenses would double — an increase that would push tens of millions of people living on fixed incomes over the financial brink.

Ryan calls his plan "The Path to Prosperity." For who? No surprise here: it calls for further tax reductions for corporations and wealthy individuals. He claims to be saving Medicare, notwithstanding his plan would push tens of millions of people over the financial edge. Ryan writes: [More...]

The open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy threatens the solvency of this critical program and creates inexcusable levels of waste. This budget takes action where others have ducked. But because government should not force people to reorganize their lives, its reforms will not affect those in or near retirement in any way.

Starting in 2022, new Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in the same kind of health-care program that members of Congress enjoy. Future Medicare recipients will be able to choose a plan that works best for them from a list of guaranteed coverage options. This is not a voucher program but rather a premium-support model. A Medicare premium-support payment would be paid, by Medicare, to the plan chosen by the beneficiary, subsidizing its cost.

The Ryan plan, which Republicans present in their own words here, is unlikely to pass the Senate. But depending on what happens in November, 2012, it's still a menace.

The Path to Prosperity also repeals and defunds the president's health care law, ends expensive taxpayer support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and calls for a free and open market for American energy exploration and production. And there's much more.


Back to last night's budget deal: For those that think Planned Parenthood funding and Obama's health care bill survived, think again. In exchange for dropping thedemand for the ban on funding in the 2011 budget, last night's agreement promised Republicans a stand-alone, up or down vote on both:

A provision barring federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the women’s health provider that offers abortion services in some locations, was dropped in exchange for a commitment that the Senate would vote on defunding the organization.

Republicans dropped their bid to use the measure to cancel funding for the health-care overhaul enacted last year, and Democrats in turn agreed to hold a separate Senate vote on repealing the law, according to a summary of the deal released by Boehner’s office.

Hypocrite John Boehner, who is crowing about the cuts in the new agreement, and who claimed the standoff was all about spending cuts, not policy, managed to get a funding increase included for one of his pet projects. The agreement includes:

$2 million for a voucher program that is a personal cause of Boehner’s and provides low-income students in the District with federal money to attend private schools.

That money had been stripped when Republicans lost the House in 2009.

One budget cut in the agreement I doubt anyone will disagree with: the denial of "additional funding to hire more IRS agents."

Boehner's description of last night's agreement doesn't quite mesh with Obama's. Either we'll be back to counting down to a shut-down next Thursday night, or the Dems are whitewashing the compromises they made.

Boehner's version reads like the Dems opened the door to the candy store and ushered the Republicans in, promising all they could eat, purchased on credit. The tab coming due: standalone votes to repeal Obama's health care law, public funding for Planned Parenthood, and Ryan's bill to end Medicare.

Can things get any worse?

< Obama Confirms Budget Deal as The Spin Begins | Obama's Triumphant "Compromise" >
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    Krugman ain't buying ti! (none / 0) (#1)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 06:43:59 AM EST
    So, we have a plan that proposes to cut spending to Calving Coolidge levels, without explaining how it will do that; that includes $2.9 trillion in tax cuts, but asserts that it will make that up by broadening the base -- yet says literally nothing about what that means; and has as its centerpiece a Medicare plan that will collapse as soon as seniors start getting their grossly inadequate vouchers.

    And the money quote:

    There's nothing serious about this plan. And the way our pundit class swooned over this fantasy document suggests that all those people lecturing the American people about our unwillingness to face up to reality and make hard choices should spend some time looking in the mirror.

    Sadly, the mirror bit wouldn't help.  This is the pundit class we're talking about!  Any mirror gazing they do will end up being Narcissean rather than introspective.

    Krugman (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:58:50 AM EST
    is right. Here in GA a Kaiser plan with a 5K deductible at 60 years old costs $1,000 per month per person. I'm sure that the older you get the more it costs and Kaiser's is one of the best policies you can get here.

    So some one could conceivably be paying 30K or more per year just for insurance. Give that a few years and before long no one will have insurance anymore because it will just be too costly.


    a couple of points. (none / 0) (#2)
    by observed on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:13:32 AM EST
    First, is there a shadow of a doubt in any mind that the ryan bill will pass? The debt ceiling is the new hostage. Second, pundits are crowing because they are corrupt. How is it that everx anchor on cnn is a supply sider? Obviously they are reading from a  script, same as at fox.

    And the problem with this? (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:26:30 AM EST
    Starting in 2022, new Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in the same kind of health-care program that members of Congress enjoy.


    A Medicare premium-support payment would be paid, by Medicare, to the plan chosen by the beneficiary, subsidizing its cost


    The answer, how much the premium is and much the support payment is and what is the difference.

    Currently Medicare recipients pay about $112. month for doctor/hospital care. Doctor costs are paid at 80%. Hospital deductions run about $800/stay. Rx insurance for an midrange plan is around $40.00 a month with the "doughnut hole" (which is now scheduled to disappear in a few years under Obamacare) appearing at around $2800.

    That puts the cost to a retired couple of around $3500 plus the co-pays. A typical mid 60ish - mid70ish couple in average health can expect about $2500 in co-pays. So the annual cost is around $6000.

    To protect against bankruptcy level co-pays those who do not qualify for Medicaid purchase Supplemental Insurance that pays the difference between what the bill is and what Medicare pays.
    A typical monthly bill per couple is $300. or $3600/annually.

    That is $9600.

    A real battle is shaping up. I have informed all my Congresscritters the following:

    Before you touch my Medicare or Social Security you better have stopped giving my tax dollars to outfits such as Planned Parenthood, Acron wannabees and other so-called non-profits. Foreign aid better be gone completely and the Departments of Education, Energy and HUD had better be cut by 90%.

    Who am I?

    Just a grumpy old man who understands we don't have a revenue problem we have a spending problem.

    How (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:32:06 AM EST
    about all the money that we are wasting in Iraq? What about corporate welfare? Planned parenthood provides medical services like pap smears and mammograms for low income individuals so you're asking people your rep to cut off medical care to other people so you can have it? There's plenty of things to cut before you even get to PP.

    I want the troops out of Luxembourg. (none / 0) (#8)
    by Harry Saxon on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 09:52:51 AM EST
    Is that unreasonable?

    I will give you the war in Iraq and raise (none / 0) (#9)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 10:10:43 AM EST
    you the EPA.

    You yearn for the good ol days (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Harry Saxon on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 03:46:00 PM EST
    before the EPA when rivers caught fire?

    On August 1, 1969, Time magazine reported on the fire and on the condition of the Cuyahoga River. The magazine stated,

    Some River!
    Chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with subsurface gases, it oozes rather than flows. "Anyone who falls into the Cuyahoga does not drown," Cleveland's citizens joke grimly. "He decays". . . The Federal Water Pollution Control Administration dryly notes: "The lower Cuyahoga has no visible signs of life, not even low forms such as leeches and sludge worms that usually thrive on wastes." It is also -- literally -- a fire hazard.

    Because of this fire, Cleveland businesses became infamous for their pollution, a legacy of the city's booming manufacturing days during the late 1800s and the early 1900s, when limited government controls existed to protect the environment. Even following World War II, Cleveland businesses, especially steel mills, routinely polluted the river. Cleveland and its residents also became the butt of jokes across the United States, despite the fact that city officials had authorized 100 million dollars to improve the Cuyahoga River's water before the fire occurred. The fire also brought attention to other environmental problems across the country, helped spur the Environmental Movement, and helped lead to the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972.

    Click or Central Ohio History Me

    Who knew?

    You know who else didn't have an EPA?

    The Soviet Union.


    Every day it Dems ... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:30:31 AM EST
    come up with a new reason not to support them.  

    MONEY. IS. A. FAKE. THING. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dadler on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 10:30:09 AM EST
    What we have is a morality problem.  The value of money is determined by the thoughts and feelings of humans, and guess what most Americans feel about money right now?  Watching it be horded by a class of people who are going to end up fleeing for their lives, if history in this area holds up.

    That GE tax bill -- oh wait, no, they were handed a giant welfare check, that's right -- tells you all you need to know about this country.  If you're some janitor scraping by on thirty grand a year, phuck you and pay up and then die for all we care.

    If money were a living thing, a seed or a cow, then worries about using up too much make rational sense, but money is an artificial creation, nothing more than a game piece, and you and I both know who controls the writing of the rules, and their pitiful enforcement.  


    Great ammo for 2012 for Demos (none / 0) (#7)
    by Saul on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 09:11:35 AM EST
    I can just see the political ads

    The following Congressman voted to Kill Your Medicare.

    The issue becomes (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 10:15:06 AM EST
    what the projected cost of the "new" plan will be as compared to what "you" would pay under the current "plans."

    The problem the Repubs will have is explaining that point, if indeed it is equal to or less.

    And given that most people think Medicare is "free," even though it is not it, becomes more difficult.

    I don't think it can be sold.


    "plan to kill medicare" (none / 0) (#12)
    by diogenes on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 01:32:24 PM EST
    Doesn't Ryan's plan basically give seniors the same "affordable health insurance" that younger people will get under Obamacare?  If Medicare disappears, then seniors can be folded under Obamacare with its income-related help to pay premiums and individual mandate.  If Obamacare is so good for me then why not give it to everyone?