Sunday, August 19, 2012

Truth and Lies About Medicare

The GOP presidential duo, Romney/Ryan, make a hash of spinning their plans to gut Medicare, replacing it with a private insurance voucher program, and the Obama-care provisions that actually strengthen Medicare.

NYTimes Editorial

Republican attacks on President Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day.

Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act [ACA] would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances.

The Republicans also argue that the [ACA] reform law will weaken Medicare and that by preventing the cuts and ultimately turning to vouchers they will enhance the program’s solvency.

But Medicare is not in danger of going “bankrupt”; the issue is whether the trust fund that pays hospital bills will run out of money in 2024, as now projected, and require the program to live on the annual payroll tax revenues it receives.

The Affordable Care Act helped push back the insolvency date by eight years, so repealing the act would actually bring the trust fund closer to insolvency, perhaps in 2016.

The [ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare] reform law will help working-age people on modest incomes buy private policies with government subsidies on new insurance exchanges, starting in 2014. Federal oversight will ensure a reasonably comprehensive benefit package, and competition among the insurers could help keep costs down.

But it is one thing to provide these [ACA] “premium support” subsidies for uninsured people who cannot get affordable coverage in the costly, dysfunctional markets that serve individuals and their families. It is quite another thing to use [a Romney/Ryan private insurance voucher] strategy for older Americans who [currently] have generous [ACA guaranteed] coverage through Medicare and who might well end up worse off if their [private insurance] vouchers failed to keep pace with the cost of decent coverage.

Read the full editorial @ NYTimes


No comments:

Post a Comment