Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan Shockingly Similar To “Obamacare”

Posted by | April 5, 2011 15:01 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Yashwanth Manjunath

Paul Ryan’s plan of replacing traditional Medicare with a premium-support payment (not the voucher program he first championed in his Roadmap for America’s Future) has already drawn criticism from liberals for being “radical.” Under Ryan’s plan, people 65 and over would use their premium-support payment, which would be means-tested and increase in cases of worsening illness, to purchase private insurance from a “Medicare exchange.” In order to qualify for the new Medicare exchange, health plans would not be allowed to discriminate against seniors with preexisting conditions, in order to “avoid cherry-picking and ensure that Medicare’s highest-cost beneficiaries receive coverage.”

Someone want to explain to me how Paul Ryan’s plan for seniors differs from President Obama’s private health insurance exchanges? Ryan actually developed his new proposal for Medicare with Dr. Alice Rivlin of the “liberal” Brookings Institution.

If the media were to really do their jobs at the point, they would be asking Paul Ryan how he can propose a plan for Medicare almost identical to “Obamacare,” when he has described “Obamacare” as a “fiscal Frankenstein” that “will raise medical costs.” The media would also be asking the Democrats how they can call Ryan’s plan for seniors “radical,” when it is almost identical to their plan for the rest of the country.

Maybe if Democrats had just made the case for single-payer from the very beginning of the health care reform process, they would have an ideological leg to stand on in their defense of the existing single-payer Medicare program. At what point will Democrats finally realize that private health insurance is the disease, and single-payer for everyone is the cure?

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