There is no alternative to its long-term perspective and the squawkers know it.
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Seniors would be far better off under the Ryan reforms extending these policies to all of Medicare than they would be under Obamacare’s Medicare. First, Obamacare’s Medicare changes apply to seniors already retired today, while today’s seniors are exempt from any change under Ryan’s reforms.
Ryan would empower workers under age 55 today when they retire in the future with the choice of a private plan competing alongside traditional Medicare. Medicare would provide these seniors with a premium support payment they could use to pay for or offset the premium of the private plan they chose. Ryan includes extra assistance for lower income seniors to protect them from any added costs, while means testing the assistance for higher income seniors like Medicare Parts B and D today. Moreover, private insurers competing for seniors under this reform would be required to take all that chose them, at standard market rates, regardless of age or health condition, with no exclusions for pre-existing conditions. Indeed, the Ryan plan provides for higher payments to the insurers for sicker seniors. It would also assess a fine on insurers covering more low-risk seniors, and pay incentive payments to insurers covering more high-risk seniors. This would create special competition in the private market focused on serving the sickest most in need of first rate health care.
These are the reasons why Ryan’s careful, thoughtful Medicare reforms enjoy bipartisan support, including from ultraliberal Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, and from longtime liberal academic Alice Rivlin, the Godmother of the CBO, serving as its first director. These reforms are better for seniors than Obamacare’s Medicare, most of all because they free seniors from the cuts and government health care rationing involved in Obamacare’s mangling of Medicare, by allowing them to choose private insurance paying market rates instead. Indeed, Obamacare’s transparent plan is to force seniors out of Medicare into Medicaid, the health program for the poor.
But Ryan benefits the poor as well through his Medicaid reforms, proposing to extend the enormously successful welfare reforms of 1996 to Medicaid and food stamps. Under those 1996 reforms, the taxpayers saved 50 percent on the costs of the old AFDC program as compared to prior trends, while incomes of the poor formerly on that program rose by 25 percent, and poverty among them plummeted.
Under Ryan’s reforms, the poor would be freed to escape the low-quality coverage and care of the current Medicaid ghetto, which underpays doctors and hospitals so severely for the services they provide to the poor that the poor are often unable to find essential, timely health care. States would be free under this reform to provide financing to the poor to purchase private health insurance, empowering the poor to enjoy the same health care as the middle class, because they would enjoy the same health insurance as the middle class.
Dana Milbank describes this reform in the Washington Post as “Ryan would cut $770 billion over 10 years from Medicaid and other health programs for the poor.” Indeed, would it be accurate to describe the 1996 AFDC reforms as slashing assistance to the poor by one half? Would that give readers an accurate idea of the results of those reforms? Or can the Democrat party-controlled media even accurately report or comment on the real world anymore?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online