Alice Rivlin on Ryan's Medicare Proposal

Alice Rivlin, the former OMB director under President Clinton and a former Federal Reserve Vice Chair, spoke with Bloomberg News and gave her reaction to Rep. Paul Ryan's proposal to essentially privatize Medicare for those under 55 years of age. Rivlin, who currently works for the DC think tank Brookings Institution and teaches at Georgetown University, worked with Ryan in developing his proposal. 

Rivlin's original proposal is similar to the one which Rep. Ryan is unveiling today in that seniors would get lump-sum payments for the value of their Medicare benefits and use them to buy coverage in the private marketplace. The payments would climb slightly faster than inflation, but they would most assuredly lag rapidly rising health care costs whose costs have been outstripping inflation for decades. As a result, people now in their thirties would likely end up paying for a much bigger share of their health insurance when they retire than today’s seniors. On top of that, people now in their thirties would no longer even know how high their future out-of-pocket costs were likely to climb.

It's important to note that both plans would ultimately end Medicare as we know it. The reality is that Medicare is a single-payer system that, despite some looming financing problems, serves its intended purpose very well.

"Revamping" Medicare

Atrios:

How They Won

Yes the economy sucked and there was almost inevitably going to be some Dem backlash. But, otherwise, they won with ads like this.

 

And now? Rep. Paul Ryan and his budget strategy to "cut $4 trillion," according to the headlines, only aims to "revamp" Medicare to slash the deficit and save us all.  The proposal would require a voucher program, and the eventual rationing and privatization of Medicare, as well as trim $1 trillion from Medicaid over the next decade, effectively gutting the program, and defunding a large chunk of the Affordable Care Act.

Elderly and disabled Medicare recipients make up about 1/5 of the Medicare rolls, but their care costs amount to 75% of Medicare expenses.  Paul's proposal does nothing to address this, in fact doesn't even mention it, and would put in place a convenient roadmap for driving them off of the program into... what exactly?

I'm sure they'll get to that.

2010 voters, you were duped.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall, Bring on the Bamboolzement.

[...] by any reasonable standard, that's getting rid of Medicare. Abolishing Medicare. Phasing it out. Whatever you want to call it. Medicare is this single payer program that guarantees seniors health care, as noted above. Ryan's plan pushes seniors into the private markets and give them a voucher. That's called getting rid of the program. There's simply no ifs or caveats about. That's not cuts or slowing of the growth. That's abolishing the whole program. Saying anything else is a lie.

Weekly Pulse: White House Takes Offensive Against Health Care Repeal

By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger

This week, House Republicans will hold a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The bill is expected to pass the House, where the GOP holds a majority, but stall in the Democratic-controlled Senate. In the meantime, the symbolic vote is giving both Republicans and Democrats a pretext to publicly rehash their views on the legislation.

At AlterNet, Faiz Shakir and colleagues point out that repealing health care reform would cost the federal government an additional $320 billion over the next decade, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. The authors also note that despite Republican campaign promises to “repeal and replace” the law, their bill contains no replacement plan. Health care reform protects Americans with preexisting conditions from some forms discrimination by insurers. At least half of all Americans under the age of 65 could be construed as having a preexisting condition. No wonder only 1 in 4 Americans support repeal, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll released on Monday.

Perhaps that explains, as Paul Waldman reports at TAPPED, why the White House is vigorously defending health care reform. The Obama administration is making full use of the aforementioned statistics from The Department Health and Human Services on the percentage of Americans who have preexisting conditions:

As the House prepares to vote on the “Repeal the Puppy-Strangling Job-Vivisecting O-Commie-Care Act,” or whatever they’re now calling it, the White House and its allies actually seem to have their act together when it comes to fighting this war for public opinion. The latest is an analysis from the Department of Health and Human Services on just how many people have pre-existing conditions, and thus will be protected from denials of health insurance when the Affordable Care Act goes fully into effect in 2014

Republicans are fuming that Democrats are “politicizing” a policy debate by bringing up the uncomfortable fact that, if the GOP’s repeal plan became law, millions of people could lose their health insurance. As Waldman points out, the high incidence of preexisting conditions is an argument for a universal mandate. It’s impossible to insure people with known health problems at an affordable cost unless they share the risk with healthier policy-holders. Hence the need for a mandate.

Anti-choice at the end of life

In The Nation, Ann Neumann explains how anti-choice leaders fought to re-eliminate free end-of-life counseling for seniors under Medicare. The provision was taken out of the health care reform bill but briefly reinstated by Department of Health and Social Services before being rescinded again by HHS amid false allegations by anti-choice groups, including The Family Research Council, that the government was promulgating euthanasia for the elderly.

As seen on TV

The Kansas-based anti-choice group Operation Rescue is lashing out at the Iowa Board of Medicine for dismissing their complaint against Dr. Linda Haskell, Lynda Waddington reports in The Iowa Independent. Dr. Haskell attracted the ire of anti-choicers for using telemedicine to help doctors provide abortion care. The board investigated Operation Rescue’s allegations, which it cannot discuss or even acknowledge, but found no basis for sanctions against Haskell. Iowa medical authorities said they were still deliberating about the rules for telemedicine in general.

Salon retracts RFK vaccine story

Online news magazine Salon.com has retracted a 2005 article by Robert Kennedy, Jr. alleging a link between childhood vaccines and autism, Kristina Chew reports at Care2. The article leaned heavily on now discredited research by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. His research had been discredited for some time, but only recently did an investigative journalist reveal that Wakefield skewed his data as part of an elaborate scam to profit from a lawsuit against vaccine makers.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Pulse for a complete list of articles on health care reform, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

New Poll Confirms Country is Clearly Progressive

New poll out indicates that the country is clearly, massively, overwhelmingly progressive. While they talk about cutting so-called entitlement programs in Washington, the American people have completely different priorities.

When asked what's the first thing they would do to balance the budget, Americans had an unmistakably clear answer -- raise taxes on the rich. It came in number one by a mile, with a whopping 61 percent.

If that wasn't progressive enough, cutting defense spending came in number two, with 20 percent.

And if all of that wasn't clear enough, when asked about cutting Medicare, only 4 percent were in favor of it. Only 3 percent wanted to cut Social Security as a way to balance the budget.

I thought the country was center-right? That's what all of the pundits tell us 24/7 on television. What happened now? Do those answers look center-right to you? They look decidedly center-left to anyone with a pulse.

Washington is going to hate this news because they were just getting ready to cut people's Social Security. That's what the president's Deficit Commission suggested. That's what all of the Republicans are massively in favor of. That's what a lot of the Democrats are already saying is "necessary." All the meanwhile, they just gave a $407 billion tax cut to the richest people in the country.

Well, apparently the American people disagree with Washington's priorities. If the Democrats, Republicans and the president persist in trying to cut Social Security in the face of these numbers, then we will know that we have lost our democracy altogether. That the people in power couldn't give a damn what we want. That the take over of the American government by the corporations, the rich and the powerful is complete.

Every time you hear any politician or pundit say we have to cut Social Security or what they derisively call entitlement programs (you paid into them your whole life, that is why you are "entitled" to them), send them this poll. And ask them why they don't care at all about the will of the American people.

Watch The Young Turks Here

Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter:www.twitter.com/theyoungturks
Become a Fan of The Young Turks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tytnation

 

 

New Poll Confirms Country is Clearly Progressive

New poll out indicates that the country is clearly, massively, overwhelmingly progressive. While they talk about cutting so-called entitlement programs in Washington, the American people have completely different priorities.

When asked what's the first thing they would do to balance the budget, Americans had an unmistakably clear answer -- raise taxes on the rich. It came in number one by a mile, with a whopping 61 percent.

If that wasn't progressive enough, cutting defense spending came in number two, with 20 percent.

And if all of that wasn't clear enough, when asked about cutting Medicare, only 4 percent were in favor of it. Only 3 percent wanted to cut Social Security as a way to balance the budget.

I thought the country was center-right? That's what all of the pundits tell us 24/7 on television. What happened now? Do those answers look center-right to you? They look decidedly center-left to anyone with a pulse.

Washington is going to hate this news because they were just getting ready to cut people's Social Security. That's what the president's Deficit Commission suggested. That's what all of the Republicans are massively in favor of. That's what a lot of the Democrats are already saying is "necessary." All the meanwhile, they just gave a $407 billion tax cut to the richest people in the country.

Well, apparently the American people disagree with Washington's priorities. If the Democrats, Republicans and the president persist in trying to cut Social Security in the face of these numbers, then we will know that we have lost our democracy altogether. That the people in power couldn't give a damn what we want. That the take over of the American government by the corporations, the rich and the powerful is complete.

Every time you hear any politician or pundit say we have to cut Social Security or what they derisively call entitlement programs (you paid into them your whole life, that is why you are "entitled" to them), send them this poll. And ask them why they don't care at all about the will of the American people.

Watch The Young Turks Here

Follow Cenk Uygur on Twitter:www.twitter.com/theyoungturks
Become a Fan of The Young Turks on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tytnation

 

 

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