Skip to main content

Wherein I make a simple comparison of the  average Medicare financial benefits received in 2010 by Medicare recipients vs. what they would have received if Paul Ryan's "Dont Say I'm Killing Medicare Even though I am Killing Medicare" plan had been in effect last year, all using 2010 US dollars.  

It's not the end-all, be-all of comparisons between "Medicare as We Know It" and "Ryan's Not-Medicare Voucher Plan" but it has the benefit of giving you a single figure, call it a rough estimate, if you will, of what the average person would get in dollars and cents under Medicare as We Know It and what that average person would receive in dollars and cents under Ryan's Not-Medicare Voucher Plan.

(Spoiler: You would get $5000-7000 less in average financial payments for your healthcare costs from the government under Ryan's plan, at a minimum).


But before the Math let's look at what Medicare provides to recipients and what The Ryan Plan would provide.

We all know that Rep. Pail Ryan's proposal for Medicare would end the current program for everyone 55 and younger.  Instead of being enrolled in Medicare at age 65 (or 67 if the Ryan plan is ever accepted), each individual would be provided a "single premium support payment" or as they are more commonly referred to by most people as vouchers.  In effect, future beneficiaries under the "Ryan Plan" would not receive the current basket of Medicare benefits that my parents, for example, receive.  

Current Medicare Benefits:

You can find a summary of Medicare's hospitalization and insurance benefits (Medicare Part A and Part B) at this webpage (LINK) if you are interested.  Benefits under Medicare Part D for prescription drug coverage are summarized at this webpage (LINK).  These are the basic benefits provided.  Obviously costs may vary depending on whether you opt for basic Medicare or a Medicare HMO or PPO care plan.

The best benefit Medicare provides however is not strictly financial.  Medicare provides coverage to everyone enrolled in the program for any medical issue, including  any pre-existing conditions.  As many of us who are slouching toward age 65 know, the older you get, the more likely you are to have various chronic and other health conditions that pop up.  For example, just looking at the "A's" on our list of pre-existing conditions you could have arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, AIDS, and so forth.  And let's not even talk about those illnesses/conditions in the "C" category (though I think you know the one I'm talking about).  

The Ryan Plan:

The Ryan Plan gets rid of all those confusing alphabet soup parts of Medicare.  Instead, it gives you a check every year from the Federal Government with which you, the people formerly eligible for Medicare, will be able to use to pay for your health care costs, including the purchase of any health insurance policies that the private market might be willing to sell to people over the age of 65 (and ultimately over the age of 67).  You get the check, you decide how to pay for it, you make the decisions on what coverage you can afford or for which you are willing to pay.

Sounds great, right.  Freedom!  Liberty! Pay for the health care you need, not for what other people might need.

One big caveat though.  The Ryan Plan of Not-Medicare doesn't require that private insurers cover the cost of any re-existing conditions you might have.  Hey, if you have no pre-existing conditions what's your worry?  On the other hand ...

Unlike the Affordable Care Act, which mandated that millions of young and healthy Americans purchase insurance with government subsidies, the Paul Ryan plan would instead bring the oldest, sickest, and least profitable demographic to the table. And with the CBO projecting that the average senior would be on the hook for over two-thirds of their health care costs within just 10 years of the plan's adoption -- a proportion that is projected to worsen in the long run --- the government subsidies backing them up may not bring in enough profitable customers to make things worthwhile.

"If reimbursement rates are too low to provide basic benefits, they'll tell the government, 'You do it,'" one insurance lobbyist told TPM. "I don't think they can require they lose money, they'd just pull out."

Dan Boston, a veteran lobbyist for health care providers and co-owner of Health Policy Source, said in an interview with TPM that he was taking a "wait and see" approach on the GOP budget before judging its value. (The American Hospital Association opposes the plan). But he cautioned that a major concern would be whether hospitals and private insurers would be left on the hook for low-income seniors eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, who could run up significant costs with little hope of ever paying them off.

So, Ryan's Not Medicare Plan might make it very difficult for seniors to even qualify for health insurance, period.  Why?  Because the insurance companies may simply not deem it worth their while to participate.  Just as an example did you know that in 2006 health insurance companies denied coverage to 29% of all uninsured individuals seeking health insurance?  It's true.

Because medical problems tend to increase with age, older adults are
more likely than their younger counterparts to be denied coverage after applying for health insurance in the non-group market. Denial rates were three-times greater for
those ages 60 to 64 than for those ages 35-39 (29 percent vs 10 percent, respectively) (Figure 13). Those who were offered coverage may have had to pay for certain services and treatments out-of-pocket because non-group plans often exclude
treatment for pre-existing conditions through an elimination rider. In 2006, about 10 percent of policies offered to adults ages 55 to 64 included such a rider.

So, let that linger in the back of your mind if you are someone who thinks the free market can solve all our health care cost issues.


But now for the big finale I promised all along (sorry to make you wait).  How much in terms of financial assistance (i.e., money) does Medicare as We Know It provide people versus what Ryan's Not-Medicare Plan will pay you.

First we need to control for inflation, so we must adjust the cost by using figures that are adjusted to represent the present value of actual dollars received I chose the year 2010.

Under Medicare as we Know It:

Under Medicare last year, around $528 Billion dollars was spent on the program:

According to the CBO, gross spending on the Medicare program is expected to total $528 billion in 2010 ...

Now in 2010, there were 46,589,141 people who received benefits under Medicare.

So you take $528,000,000,000 (gross spending) and divide that by 46,589,141 (no. of beneficiaries) and you get the an average number of dollars spent per beneficiary.  And that number is (damn where's calculator -- oh here it is):

$11,333.11 per Medicare Beneficiary

Just to make things simple lets round that number down to $11,000.  That's how much each beneficiary, on average, cost Medicare, or in other words, how much financial benefit Medicare beneficiaries received.

Under the Ryan Not-Medicare Plan:

Oddly enough, Rep. Ryan's Not-Medicare Plan offers a voucher of about that size when the Ryan Not-Medicare Plan goes into effect in 2021.  So, sounds like a wash right?  Well, not exactly.

You see we still have to adjust for inflation if we are going to accurately compare what Medicare provides to what Ryan's Not-Medicare Plan proposes to provide ten years from now.  Fortunately, the Congressional Budget Office has already made that adjustment for us.  Here's what they had to say about Ryan's Not-Medicare Voucher Plan and what it would provide beneficiaries in terms of dollars:

In 2021, when enrollees would first receive the voucher, the average voucher for 65-year-olds would be worth $5,900 (in 2010 dollars), as specified by your staff.

The CBO (via Vyan) actually comes up with a a number higher than mine: $7,000:

Now remember, everyone who turns 65 before 2021 gets Medicare as We Know it.  But those poor bastards like me (I turn 65 in 2021) would get a voucher for $5,900.  I wouldn't get automatic health care coverage, I'd have to find someone willing to sell me a health insurance policy for that amount of money.  Since I have a number of pre-existing conditions, I suspect that might be a bit difficult.  Indeed, I suspect that I'd either get a policy with a huge deductible and riders excluding coverage for my pre-existing conditions or nothing at all.

In addition, any Medicare benefits beneficiaries currently receive are not taxable. But under the Ryan Not-Medicare Plan, it's not clear how my "voucher" payment for health care would be viewed since the Ryan Plan eliminates the exclusion for medical insurance benefits paid by third parties.  Instead ...

In 2011, the current tax exclusion for employment-based health insurance would be replaced by a refundable tax credit for the purchase of health insurance, either through an employer or on an individual basis. The tax credit initially would be set at $2,300 per adult ...

That's a tax credit of $2,300 in 2021 dollars, by the way.  In 2010 dollars that tax credit would be worth a lot less, roughly between 1,200-$1,400 at best.  So instead of tax free benefits, under Medicare, I would have be pay taxes on the difference between the Ryan voucher of $5,900 and whatever the tax credit is worth.


In any event, the simple fact is that at age 65 under the Ryan Not-Medicare Plan I would receive, at a minimum, a voucher that on average is worth $5,100 less than the average benefits I would receive under Medicare as We Know It (in my case with all my medical issues, the dollar amount of benefits I would lose under the Ryan Plan likely would be diminished by a far greater amount).

I would also receive much less healthcare coverage under any insurance policy I could buy, assuming any insurance company would be willing to sell me a policy that was worth more than the paper it was printed on.

The CBO predicts that under the Ryan Not-Medicare Plan I would likely have to pay for 2/3 the cost of my medical care. Ask yourself this question: Do you think you will be able to afford to pay 2/3 the cost of your health care when you turn 65?  I know I won't.

Medicare as We Know It currently pays approximately 70% of all beneficiaries' health care costs.

Sebelius said the federal government currently covers 70 percent of the cost of Medicare. CBO estimates the government's share of Medicare costs, under the Republican plan, would be reduced to 39 percent in 2022 and 32 percent by 2030, with seniors footing the remainder of the bill.

The Ryan Not-Medicare plan would essentially flip that percentage, forcing the the elderly and their families to pay roughly 70% of their health care costs.  I know that if I have to pay 70% of my health care costs after the age of 65 I will run out of my savings very quickly.  And then, when I am bankrupt and can no longer afford medical care I (and you, too) would die much sooner than I would if Ryan's "brave" Not-Medicare Plan ever passes into law.

And that's the real math of the Ryan Not-Medicare Plan.

Originally posted to Steven D on Tue May 24, 2011 at 01:58 PM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, DKOMA, Progressive Hippie, and Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

    •  CBO Provided a chart (27+ / 0-)

      which includes one other element that you didn't.  The cost of private care is currently greater than the cost of Medicare starting about 11% and growing to 34% by 2021 (Using Medicare-Advantage which already is the Ryan Plan as a gauge).  The 100% Bars are the cost of private care under Ryan's proposal, followed by the cost under current law and another alternative they looked at.

      Generally speaking the cost gap between what Ryan's plan would provide and what would be needed by buy private care for the elderly will be closer to $7000 in out of pocket costs (including premiums, copays and deductibles).

    •  Republicans are ridiculous! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      caul, RJDixon74135, myrealname, CA Nana

      but they're experts at selling The Ridiculous by relying on demonizing Democrats.
      Republicans oppose Obamacare - but voted to change Medicare into Obamacare for Seniors.

      iow - Obamacare is "socialism" for the under 65 crowd - but the same model is okey dokey for Seniors.

      If you care about your life and your money, it's BEST to vote Democratic.

      by MartyM on Wed May 25, 2011 at 01:54:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great diary (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RJDixon74135, CA Nana, J M F

      I think its fair to say that Ryan would include the benefits from taxation.

      The Ryan plan effectively ends retirement for the middle class. There is no way people are going to be able to pay 2/3's of the health care costs in retirement, particularly since new retirees are far less likely to have any additional insurance via a company retirement plan (like many in the current generation did) AND because of the decline in value of the 401K.

      As a practical matter, what will happen is what happens now to people who need to go into nursing homes: they will spend down to the medicaid limit and then medicaid pays.

      In sum, the Ryan plan will do two things:
      1.  Effectively require an entire generation to work until they become seriously ill.
      2.  When they do become seriously ill, they will become destitute and then wind up on Medicaid - which won't save the government a dime in the end.

      This plan will ironically serve to make the elderly wards of the state.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:00:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not so sure Medicaid will be a possibility (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J M F

        As I understand it, big cuts are planned for Medicaid. What will happen when the new, lower limits are reached? Will be people be cut off?

        Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

        by RJDixon74135 on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:55:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Even that is a rosy scenario because they will (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J M F, Steven D

        also continue to cut Medicaid funding using the same "small government" logic. So you'll have retirees living with their children, if they're lucky enough to be able to do that, unable to pay for their treatment and suffering in agony from diseases that are easily treatable in other developing countries. You'll also have millions of them living out in parks and in tents even after working their whole lives. We have to remember when we vote.

  •  Nice breakdown (10+ / 0-)

    My only critique is length.  It'd have more impact (I suspect) if the diary got to teh bottom line more quickly.  Perhaps put the bottom line in the opening, then go on to 'show your work'? A short concise side-by-side cost comparison would be quite useful in discussions.  (Well, so far as facts influence America political discourse that is.)

    Thanks for all that work.

    Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

    by Quicklund on Tue May 24, 2011 at 02:17:10 PM PDT

  •  isn't that the point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, HeyMikey

    medicare is going bust because the system cannot afford that level of benefits for that many future retirees, given the level of medical inflation.

    Benefits are going to be cut either way.

  •  well done steven D (8+ / 0-)

    Quicklund has a good suggestion about length.

    My experience is that every doubling of length reduces readership to at least a fourth or more.

    Maybe 3 times the famous inverse square law.

    Keep on trucken, bro.  We need to do this with readers or not.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Tue May 24, 2011 at 02:32:54 PM PDT

    •  Needed: HoundDog as editor (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, Steven D, caul, Matt Z

      I speak for myself on that, I hasten to clarify.

      And I'd say your law of readership is right.  Might even be proportional to the cube of length.

      Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

      by Quicklund on Tue May 24, 2011 at 08:41:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Question (11+ / 0-)

    The bottom line about the Ryan Plan is that no health insurance will seriously offer a policy to an elderly person who is likely to have have medical conditions. Unless the Ryan plan requires that companies issue policies the voucher is worthless. At the very most it'll probably just cover the cost of junk insurance.

  •  It's not strictly true that Medicare covers (5+ / 0-)

    'any medical issue.'  As someone receiving benefits who is under-age (hence on Medicare through disability), there are some female issues for women of pre-menopausal years which are not covered by Medicare.

    Also, there are serious limitations for people who receive organ transplants - in some circumstances, as I understand it, Medicare will only pay for anti-rejection medication for a limited time.

    Medicare also pays for mental health services at a different rate than physical health services.

    'Give away to the rich and punish the poor for the extravagance.....crazy' --LaFeminista

    by MsGrin on Tue May 24, 2011 at 02:53:53 PM PDT

  •  Seems to me Medicare Advantage is similar (5+ / 0-)

    to what a private company might offer their richest customers, which costs 125% of basic Medicare costs.  Since MA is a private plan, the gov't is paying a 25% premium.  If a senior gets a voucher but can't pay the extra cost to actually buy the insurance, the cost for the Ryan plan is zero, a dramatic savings (for the gov't).  Of course, the emergency rooms will need to expand significantly to handle all the integant seniors, but that's a state or local problem, so again, Rethugs see no problem, just benefit.  The senior might see things differently, but as Ryan said (slightly misquoting), "leadership means you don't listen to constituents, you do what you think is needed, screw the people. "  

    "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

    by dangoch on Tue May 24, 2011 at 03:30:41 PM PDT

  •  Where are the insurance honchos? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, myrealname

    You'd think they'd be having a fit - it's pretty likely they sort of went along with the reform plan in part because they wouldn't have to deal with the elderly. Of course, maybe they are having a fit - who knows what's being hissed between gritted teeth back in the smoke filled rooms?

  •  On the top of the front page (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pensivelady, Steven D, caul, Matt Z

    Good call, You Who Put It There.

    Stop. Stand up. Make a sign. Walk around in public. Be polite and orderly and the rest takes care of itself. Want to shake up the Plutocrats? Demonstrate your attention to politics.

    by Quicklund on Tue May 24, 2011 at 08:36:03 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for writing this. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, Matt Z, myrealname

    I have to admit I have not been paying attention.  I mean, I was paying attention to the issue overall, but it had not occured to me to ask how it would affect me.  I'm young enough that I would be stuck with the vouchers if this thing passes.  I hope that there aren't any Democratic Senators who vote for it.  Thanks again for your great analysis.

  •  Amen and Alleluia for Steven D’s analysis... (11+ / 0-)

    … of the fraudulence of the Ryan plan for Medicare.

    But there is an additional level of dishonesty in Ryan's proposal for Vouchercare -- yes, let's take a leaf out of Frank Luntz’s playbook and brand it as that -- that has gone unnoticed in much of the discussion of Ryan's plan, even in informed critical discussions such as Steven’s.

    Ryan has tried to sell his Vouchercare by saying that his plan will provide Medicare recipients with the "same" coverage as he and his Congressional buddies -- and most Federal employees, for that matter – have in the form of their Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP).  In most statements I've seen or heard from him on the matter, Ryan doesn't even weasel word this with language of the form the same “sort" of coverage -- where “sort” in this context would have the force of: I'm “sort” of as sexy as George Clooney.

    Ryan continues to repeat this mendacious nonsense even though the critics -- Steven for one -- have pointed out that a huge difference between his current FEHBP plan and what he is proposing in Vouchercare for retirees is that his current FEHBP (the same as Medicare) is indexed to medical inflation – in terms of his coverage and his employer’s (i.e., we the taxpayers) premium subsidy (72%) -- while Vouchercare would be indexed to CPI inflation, and thus decline inexorably in value over time.

    But Privatizer Ryan’s hypocrisy is actually deeper than this – if that’s possible.

    When he retires, if he stays in Congress long enough to have an “annuity” -- essentially a pension, and the rules are, surprise, surprise, very liberal for Congressmen in this regard – yes, he’ll be on Vouchercare along with the rest of us.  But, mirabile dictu, he will be able to flip over his same – and I mean really same -- current FEHBP coverage, without skipping a beat, and make it his Medigap policy to supplement the wasting asset of Vouchercare.

    The rest of us, who can afford it, will also be able to buy supplementary Medigap policies, of course, just as current retirees can now.

    But here’s the difference.  Paul Ryan’s Medigap policy, which will shelter him from the ravages of the declining value of Vouchercare, will continue to be paid for at 72% of the premium by his former employer.  Of course, though Congress will be his former employer, we’ll still be on the job as taxpayers supporting him.

    And it gets smarmier – smary to the extent that Ryan has not acknowledged it when he blathers on about “sameness”….

    But you’ve already figured out where this is going.

    Yes, Paul Ryan’s Medigap policy -- his, not yours, unless you happen to be in a union that the Republicans, the Koch Brothers, or the Supremes haven’t busted by then – will also be indexed to medical, not CPI, inflation.

    The poor dear, out there sucking it up with the rest of us – and our children – under the “shared sacrifice” of Vouchercare.  Though he’ll have his taxpayer financed, medical inflation indexed Medigap coverage on the side to considerably ease the financial pain.

    We’re into Rawlsian Social Contract theory here, folks.

    Next time you’re near the “original position,” and happen to see Paul Ryan or your own local friendly sociopathic, Ayn Rand sniffing Republican Congressman, ask him – or her, cf. Virginia Foxx, Marsha Blackburn, Michele Bachmann – to explain to you why it is fair to ask us to accept Vouchercare along with him – but not have his taxpayer subsidized, medical inflation indexed Medigap policy to go along with it.

    So, remember, in future discussions of this matter, don’t draw attention to just the gap between Vouchercare and Medicare, but the additional gap that Paul Ryan will have slyly maintained between his Medigap coverage and the really gappy Medigap coverage that the rest of us can expect to have.

  •  You only get the savings in the out years (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, caul

    and there's no way any budget plan (even responsible ones) would last 10 years plus.

    I'm sorry Mr. Siemaszko, I really shouldn't confuse the good Young Guns with the crappy one.

    by AZphilosopher on Wed May 25, 2011 at 02:59:13 AM PDT

  •  Excellent job doing the math! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, createpeace, myrealname

    Really great cost/benefit analysis done here.  Unfortunately now this has to be translated into 30 second ads so the masses can comprehend this.  Republicans don't want people to have the capability of understanding math like this which is why they continue to cut education.

    Throwing Grandma off the cliff is an excellent start on the ads.  I personally would like one showing Seniors shopping for groceries at PetSmart because they can't afford both human food and healthcare under Ryancare.  

  •  Call them "Coupons," not "Vouchers" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D, Matt Z, myrealname

    I've found from personal experience doing so sends the Republicans completely over the edge.

    "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

    by irmaly on Wed May 25, 2011 at 04:46:01 AM PDT

  •  the Rs are already renaming it and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RJDixon74135, Steven D

    calling our criticism "mediscare"!

    We CANNOT let them get away with framing the message into the LIES that they always tell with their framing.

  •  I don't know many seniors (0+ / 0-)

    who could jump through all the mental hoops it would take to make the Ryan plan work for them, if they had to have it.

    Why would we force the most vulnerable among us to go through this? We know when they couldn't master it, they would get dumped at the side of the road.

    Americans deserve to know they will be cared for when they get older.

    Having said that I do not feel like paying for all their unnecessary meds. That is something we need to look into. One pill makes you feel sick with its side effects, so they give you another to take care of that and on and on it goes....

    "The Church has many that God does not have; God has many the Church does not have" St. Augustine

    by createpeace on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:03:39 AM PDT

  •  interesting, though, that the discussion is about (0+ / 0-)

    financial benefit rather than medical benefit.

    The biggest problem with medicare is that it's for health care in the United States, which is too-expensive by a factor of two or more.

    Too bad health care reform seems to be impossible so long as Democrats and Republicans run the country.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:14:19 AM PDT

  •  What about fraud? Will there be voucher checks? (0+ / 0-)

    What would stop elderly citizens from taking voucher money but not use it to find a doctor? Or what about the children of elderly parents, would they be able to skim money from the old folks? Or, what about doctors kicking back money to patients that are not ill, just to collect the voucher?
    We need more oversight and regulation with the current system, not implementing a complete new and unworkable program created to facilitate corporate interests over those of our citizens. What's being put forward by the GOP, is a reciepe for more larceny than relief. They don't want conversation or dialogue, the right wants to shove through legislation, using hyperbole, fear and mischaracteizations.

    •  From what I understand (0+ / 0-)

      Seniors would pick out the insurance company they want and the government would sent the check to that company.  The seniors wouldn't get the money in their hand. So if a senior cannot find an insurance company to cover them (say preexisting conditions) then the government just keeps the money. Win-win for the government and insurance companies and a death wish for seniors.

    •  I'd be much more worried (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dabb, middleagedhousewife

      about insurance companies taking the government check and replying with "Thank you for choosing ScamericaHealth... by the way your policy just went up by $5,700"

  •  Tipped and rec'ed Ryan is evil 'nuff said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:44:19 AM PDT

  •  Say it in the headline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    It is not Ryan's "Not-Medicare" Voucher Plan.  It is his "Kill Medicare" Voucher Plan (where Voucher means "a useless piece of paper that cannot even be used to wipe your ass")

    (-7.75,-5.64) Bush to the rich: "I call you my base". Obama to the rich : "When you do well, America does well".

    by Whirlaway on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:47:32 AM PDT

  •  outstanding diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    thanks for the research!

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    by TX Dem 50 on Wed May 25, 2011 at 06:48:00 AM PDT

  •  The turd in the Ryan punchbowl is preexisting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    conditions.  If they also repeal "Obamacare" then insurers can do what they want to do about preexisting conditions.  Insurers will never agree to cover ALL people over 65 because those folks are too sick.  Many of them are completely uninsurable, at any price.

    Which leads to the piss in the Ryan punchbowl.  In order to get insurers to provide coverage to uninsurable people they will require....wait for it...and INDIVIDUAL MANDATE!!!

    Seems to me, by definition, when the Repubs voted to privitize Medicare they are saying one of two things:


    - many seniors will simply be uninsurable, no matter what "coupon" we hand them.  So they can die in a ditch.


    - the Republicans just agreed to an individual mandate.

    Universal coverage for those over 65 = no preexisting conditions = universal mandate.

    Join us at the Amateur Radio Group. Serving the Left Side of the Dial since 2011.

    by briefer on Wed May 25, 2011 at 07:00:18 AM PDT

  •  Dominating the Discourse: Magic Beans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Steven D

    I tell people that the Ryan plan trades Medicare as we know it for a handful of magic beans.

    It's an apt analogy, as the Ryan plan doesn't exactly terminate Medicare per se.  The childhood story of Jack and Beanstalk, well-known to virtually everyone, accurately and poignantly illustrates the exact mechanism Republicans have devised to accomplish Medicare's sure demise.

    Fuck with the truth at your own peril. -Anonymous

    by thenekkidtruth on Wed May 25, 2011 at 07:41:39 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site