Today Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jim DeMint (R-SC), and Mike Lee (R-UT) unveiled a plan that would essentially enroll seniors on Medicare in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP). Under FEHBP in 2010, federal employees could choose from about 250 participating medical plans, including 20 nationwide plans. The senators argue that their approach would save $1 trillion over ten years and also reduced Medicare’s unfunded liabilities by $16 trillion.
“As a doctor, I have had firsthand experience with the vast problems facing health care in the United States,” Paul said, according to a statement. “Medicare, as we know it, is broken and in desperate need of reform.” “Allowing Medicare recipients to enroll in the FEHBP is a win for both seniors and the taxpayer,” Lee concurred. “The FEHBP fosters competition among its hundreds of individual plans, provides better benefits for enrollees, and offers much wider choice and flexibility to participants.”
“Our goal is to save Medicare from bankruptcy and ensure seniors have affordable, high-quality health care – a crisis President Obama has only made worse during his time in office,” Graham said. DeMint, his fellow South Carolinian, said, “Doing nothing is not an option.”
The enrollment would begin in 2014. The eligibility age would also be gradually raised to 70 over the next twenty years.