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NOTES ON HEALTHCARE INFORMATIONAL 9/19/12
MEDICARE FUTURE UNDER OBAMA VS. ROMNEY
Under Obama's healthcare plans a savings/cuts are being made to Medicare. These savings are coming from:
one third reducing payments to Medicare Advantage Plans which overcharge by 17% ; one third reductions in some services by hospitals and physicians; one third cracking down on waste/fraud. By making these savings Medicare solvency is extended 12 years. (CBO, Washington Post, LA Times)
GOP & $716 billion gets complicated. Under past Paul Ryan budgets he too inserted the $716 billion savings. He and all the other republicans have voted at least two times for the Ryan plan. Now that Ryan is Romney's running mate things have changed. As we speak, the Romney plan is still being drawn up. No specifics known. But for one. From the LA Times of August 19, 2012 by Noam N. Levey:
“Romney, accusing Obama of 'raiding' the program, says he would restore that money. Ryan, who once proposed the same cuts, now says he agrees with his running mate. By restoring the spending that was cut, Romney and Ryan would open a large deficit in Medicare, pushing the program's main trust fund into the red in just four years, rather than 12 under Obama's plan.”
If Republicans repeal Obamacare, Medicare will be insolvent in just four years. (CBO)
The GOP plan is to turn Medicare into a voucher program. The plan says that for those 55 and older Medicare will remain. The GOP plan kicks in ten years from now. Instead of a guaranteed medical healthcare plan seniors would be given a limited subsidy to go shopping for their own insurance.
The CBO estimates the GOP plan may leave seniors with up to $6,000 in extra costs per year. The subsidy support may not cover all the needs seniors face with healthcare. The burden is on the senior. In essence the government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher (premium subsidy) that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance.
“Critically, many premium support plans, including Ryan's, limit how quickly the value of the voucher would increase over time. That means that if insurance premiums rise more quickly than the value of the voucher, seniors—and not the federal govt.--would have to pay more.” 8/19/2012 Noam N. Levey LA Times
Under Obamacare, Medicare remains a system with guaranteed medical coverage, plus some new improvements: Free annual check-ups, low-cost preventive services, closing the prescription drug doughnut hole. With the $716 billion in savings over 10 years, under Obama Medicare should remain solvent until 2024.
Without Obamacare, and with GOP plans: seniors will receive premium subsidies (aka vouchers), to go shopping for insurance within an insurance exchange. It may or may not cover all needs. Per CBO Medicare could go bankrupt within four years. (especially via removing the $716 billion in savings under Obama's plan).
CBO, Washington Post, LA Times, Paul Krugman, Wendell Potter, HealthCare for America NOW, AARP magazine
My question to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan....if they feel their plan for Medicare is so great....why wait ten years to make the change? My guess: They know there would be millions of baby boomers getting off the couch, and into the streets, and by delaying implementation, many younger voters are not interested in the topic. This is all about eroding the New Deal. It's about unraveling the Social Contract with our seniors, and reducing taxes on the wealthiest in this nation.
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