In a recent post, I suggested a question for Vice President Biden to ask Congressman Paul Ryan in their debate on Thursday night October 10. Here is one of the questions Ryan should ask Vice President Biden :
"Mr. Biden, Show Me the Word "Voucher" in the Wyden-Ryan Medicare Reform Plan?"
1. The Wyden-Ryan (2012) and Ryan-Rivlin (2011) Medicare Reform plans do not involve vouchers.
- Funny how Democratic politicians like President Obama and Biden always leave out the name of the Democrats that co-authored Ryan's plans with him.) The plans as proposed would work just like Part C Medicare Advantage and the very popular Part D drug plans work today (from the enrollees' point of view).
- Oh by the way, the premium support concept in Wyden-Ryan is basically the way employer-paid-for insurance works today if you are not retired (but Wyden-Ryan would provide more choices most likely), and just like RomneyCare works today and just like Obamacare is supposed to work when it starts.
[Romney and Ryan never correct Democrats when they use the word voucher. Apparently Romney and Ryan are so rich that they don't realize that most seniors associate vouchers with food stamps. Because most seniors do not the like the food stamp program, they don't like the idea that Medicare under Ryan's bipartisan Medicare reform plans is going to become like food stamps according to Democrats. Brilliant move by the Democrats.]
2. The Wyden-Ryan Medicare Reform plan would reduce government costs and seniors' costs according to recent Harvard research.
- If Wyden-Ryan had been in effect in 2009 (and everything else in Medicare was exactly the same), according to three Harvard professors (one of whom worked on Obamacare), the cost for Medicare A and B would have been 9%-15% lower for both us seniors and the government than it actually was.
- That's around $50 billion, more than half of what Obamacare needs each year over 10 years to take out of Medicare to fund healthcare insurance for low-income non-seniors. Ironically, Wyden-Ryan could fund Obamacare.
3. From a senior's point of view, the Wyden-Ryan Medicare Reform plan works exactly the way the most popular parts of Medicare (C and D) work today. There is nothing radical about it.
4. The Wyden-Ryan Medicare Reform plan does not involve today's seniors or anyone near retirement.
5. The Wyden-Ryan Medicare reform plan will let anyone currently under 55 that wants to select just Medicare Parts A and B in 2022 to do so. Only 5% of seniors depend on just Parts A and B today but others make that selection because they get employer-sponsored retiree insurance as their main source of financial protection. If anyone wants to do that 10 years from now, they will have that choice. It is not likely that employer-sponsored retiree insurance will remains the same as it is today but traditional Medicare will be there if needed under Wyden-Ryan premium support.
-- Dennis Byron