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Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney and U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) wave after Romney introduced Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate during a campaign event at the battleship USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia  August 11, 2012.
Romney and Ryan, waving goodbye to Medicare?
The Romney/Ryan campaign has complained that critics are focusing on the intial Ryan budget that voucherized Medicare when talking about the potential increased costs to seniors for their health care, but a new study finds that it is still true under the current Ryan budget and what Romney and Ryan have said they plan to do to Medicare. The Kaiser Family Foundation analyzed what information Romney/Ryan have made available, as well as the leading "premium support" Medicare plans that have been forwarded, and conclude that the majority of seniors will pay more, some much more.

The KFF study uses 2010 data, and determines that if implemented right now, most seniors would pay more. The premise of these plans is that the federal government would provide seniors a subsidy to buy from a list of competing private plans and traditional Medicare. That subsidy would be capped at the value of the second cheapest premium in the marketplace. The differences by state shown in that map are the result of the major variation in private plan costs state-by-state.

Using 2010 data, more than half of seniors who decide to remain in traditional Medicare pay higher premiums, and just under half would pay the same. That averages out to a hike of $720 annually for the seniors staying on traditional Medicare. For seniors with Medicare Advantage plans, nearly 90 percent would pay higher premiums unless they switched to a cheaper plan with less generous benefits. On average, seniors already in private plans would pay $1,044 more annually, according to the study. That results in 59 percent of seniors overall paying more.

What's important to recognize in this is that it focuses solely on Medicare vouchers, not on other Romney/Ryan plans, like repealing Obamacare. If those plans are implemented, seniors will also lose the free preventive care that the Affordable Care Act provides, and higher prescription drug prices because the donut hole reform will be history. It also doesn't consider how much more seniors will have to pay out-of-pocket for services that might not be covered in the lower-cost private plans available to them.

The report makes it clear that this isn't full-on analysis of the Romney/Ryan plan, mostly because the campaign hasn't released enough specifics about how their Medicare restructuring would work to provide a complete analysis. The one thing that's clear, under plans like what Romney/Ryan are promoting, the majority of seniors pay more for their health care.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by Dream Menders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 11:50:19 AM PDT

  •  And for the MILLIONS of disabled on Medicare??? (4+ / 0-)

    What is the Romney/Ryan plan for us? What private insurance company is going to 'compete' to insure this pool of very sick patients who consume health care services at a very high rate? Answer, of course: NONE. The voucher isn't going to buy the millions of disabled Americans on Medicare private coverage at any cost. So I guess we'll be the ones left to skyrocket the cost per patient of traditional Medicare, and completely bankrupt that program. Which will prove the GOP point that 'gubmint can't do anything.'

    I wish that SOMEONE--especially on our side--would remember that Medicare is NOT just for seniors. The disabled population on Medicare would be far more vulnerable under RomneyRyan's predatory evil.

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 12:10:43 PM PDT

  •  For Charts and More Details... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yella dawg, Glen The Plumber

    ...on how Mitt Romney is "sticking it to seniors," visit here.

  •  If Democrats can't clean GOP clock over Medicare, (0+ / 0-)

    they don't deserve to win. Allowing Republicans to use Karl Rove projection and argue that it's Dems who are cutting Medicare is criminal. The Democrats need to do a better job explaining that it's the Republicans who have been against Medicare all along, and time is rapidly running out. Joe Biden at the recent debate did the only really good job on this that I've seen thus far by the Democrats.

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