Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fact Checking Ryan's Medicare Plan

Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan has been trashed by democrats, especially regarding Medicare. They have resorted to fear mongering to gain political traction. It has already had an impact in New York where Corwin lost to Hochul in a special election in district 26. In that race the democrats were able to out-message the Republicans on the Medicare issue.  If the Republicans don’t want this to happen yet again, they need to show that Ryan’s plan isn’t as nearly as bad as the democrats are saying (lying in some cases).

Over at The Daily Caller they do a little fact checking on a statement made by Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL):

WASEMAN SCHULTZ: “They would take the people who are younger than 55 years old today and tell them: ‘You know what, your own. Go and find private health insurance in the health care insurance market: we’re going to throw you to the wolves and allow insurance companies to deny you coverage and drop you for pre-existing conditions. We’re going to give you X amount of dollars, and you figure it out.’”

FACTS: First, the Ryan plan explicitly forbids insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone who qualifies for Medicare, including those who have pre-existing illnesses. Second, it does not merely send money to the elderly and leave them to their own devices in arranging for medical care.

The plan calls for Medicare to stay the same for people 55 and older. But starting in 2022, new beneficiaries would get their health insurance from competing private insurers instead of from the government.  The government would offer subsidies to pay for the coverage and set standards that insurers must follow. One condition, says the plan, is that participating insures “agree to offer insurance to all Medicare beneficiaries, to avoid cherry-picking and ensure that Medicare’s sickest and highest-cost beneficiaries receive coverage.”

Nor would the government merely send “X amount of dollars” to the elderly and let them figure out whether they can afford coverage. The subsidies would go to the plan selected by the beneficiary.  They nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, in analyzing the plan, said it would not let insurers charge more to sick people. Premiums would be the same for everyone of the same age. (Source: The Daily Caller)

I realize that this is not going to fit tidily into a 10 second sound bite so favored by the political establishment, but we must win this argument or face defeat time and time again over the Medicare issue. And there is no way the liberal media is going to call the democrats on their stretching the truth.

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