Paul v Paul

March 20th, 2012 at 4:49 am

Rep Paul Ryan is expected to release the new budget from House Republicans tomorrow.  I’ll be tracking developments here and linking to any CBPP analysis.

But for now, word on the street is that given the very negative response to changing Medicare into a voucher program–essentially privatizing the program–proposed in his last budget, Rep Ryan plans to include what’s become known as Ryan-Wyden. 

Beware of this one too.

As my colleague Paul Van de Water stresses, the mechanism they turn to here to control costs–premium support–is not a cost saver.  It’s a cost shifter:  

The Ryan-Wyden plan would shift substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries rather than protect them from cost increases, in part because the payment that beneficiaries would receive to help them buy coverage would likely fail to keep pace with health care costs. The plan also would likely lead to the gradual demise of traditional Medicare by making the pool of Medicare beneficiaries smaller, older, and sicker — and increasingly costly to cover. Finally, the plan would produce few budgetary savings beyond those that the health reform law calls for, since both plans have the same target growth rate for Medicare costs. The Ryan-Wyden plan is similar to Newt Gingrich’s 1995 proposal that, according to Gingrich, would have caused traditional Medicare to ‘wither on the vine.’

Other than that, it’s not bad.

More to come.

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One comment in reply to "Paul v Paul"

  1. Jill SH says:

    I’ve often thought that if there were to be a personal mandate, that the companion right should be that one be able to buy into a public plan. I’ve got 19 months till I’m on Medicare. Ah, but whose counting?