Who Cares About MediCare?

Facts about MediCare

In general, MediCare is a health insurance program for people of age 65 or older.

Based on a report by Congressional Budget Office (CBO), MediCare is $23 trillion underfunded—this is the difference between the benefits promised and the taxes actually being paid into MediCare.

According to a MediCare Trust Fund Report in 2011, the program will be “bankrupted” in 2024.

To make matters worse, there are about 77 million people born between 1946 and 1964—aka boomers—who are ready to retire between now and say 2029. There will be not enough workers to support these 77 million retirees.

(Not to mention with advances in medicine, these 77 million will live much longer than anticipated back when MediCare was established)

Ryan’s budget plan for MediCare

Paul Ryan (Photo: AP)

Paul Ryan (Photo: AP)

Ever since the announcement of Paul Ryan as the VP candidate for the GOP ticket in 2012, the left wing media, Democrats and Obama-Biden wasted no time to jump on Ryan’s budget plan for Medicare to scare seniors into voting for Obama-Biden.

For example, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D), Florida:  “If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan became president and vice president of the United States, they would be able to end the Medicare guarantee, shred the health care safety net that Medicare has provided for more than 50 years, and turn Medicare into a voucher program, leaving seniors really out in the cold because as health care costs grow larger than the voucher provides, seniors wouldn’t have enough money to cover their health care costs

And “…we would shred that safety net. It would no longer be a guarantee. It would be a voucher. They’d pay more than — $6,000 more in premiums to pay for their Medicare coverage and because health care costs often rise higher than that voucher would at a faster rate the voucher wouldn’t provide for all the health care costs…”

By standing with Paul Ryan today, George Allen continues to embrace a plan that would force hundreds of thousands of Virginia seniors to pay nearly $6,000 more each year in health care…”—from the camp of Democrat Senate candidate Tim Kaine

According to factcheck.org, CBO didn’t conduct an analysis that shows what seniors might have to spend out of pocket under the latest plan. Therefore, there was no estimate of seniors paying $6,000 more under the latest Ryan’s plan. The next time, you hear the $6000 amount, you know they are lying to you—to scare seniors into voting for Obama-Biden.

Let us look at Paul Ryan’s plan for MediCare:

—preserves the existing Medicare program for those currently enrolled or becoming eligible in the next 10 years (those 55 and older today) (no seniors will be left out in the cold here)

—for those currently under 55 – as they become Medicare-eligible – it creates a Medicare payment, initially averaging $11,000, to be used to purchase a Medicare certified plan. The payment is adjusted to reflect medical inflation, and pegged to income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support (so the rich will not get as much as the needy, and they said GOP is a party of the rich?). The plan also provides risk adjustment, so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.

—the plan also fully funds Medical Savings Accounts [MSAs] for low-income beneficiaries (what is wrong here? Didn’t they say GOP is a party of the rich?), while continuing to allow all beneficiaries, regardless of income, to set up tax-free MSAs.

—based on consultation with the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and using Congressional Budget Office (CBO) these reforms will make Medicare permanently solvent

—modernizes Medicaid and strengthens the health care safety net by reforming high-risk pools, giving States maximum flexibility to tailor Medicaid programs to the specific needs of their populations

—allows Medicaid recipients to take part in the same variety of options for high-quality care available to everyone through the tax credit option

(You can read more here)

What has Obama done for MediCare?

When he ran for office he said he’d protect Medicare, but did you know that he has taken $716 billion out of the Medicare trust fund — he’s raided that trust fund — and you know what he did with it? Romney said of Obama. “He’s used it to pay for Obamacare — a risky, unproven, federal government takeover of health care — and if I’m president of the United States we’re putting the $716 billion back.

From a transcript of an interview of President Obama by ABC’s Jake Tapper:

TAPPER: One of the concerns about health care and how you pay for it — one third of the funding comes from cuts to Medicare.

OBAMA: Right.

TAPPER: Are you willing to pledge that whatever cuts in Medicare are being made to fund health insurance, one third of it, that you will veto anything that tries to undo that?

OBAMA: Yes. I actually have said that it is important for us to make sure this thing is deficit neutral, without tricks. I said I wouldn’t sign a bill that didn’t meet that criteria.

Who cares about MediCare?

You need to decide.

Do you think we need to stay status quo with a system that will bankrupt by early 2020?

Or do you think we need to reform the system?

From an interesting article titled “Medicare Benefits Wealthy Most” by National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the wealthiest benefit from the Medicare system more than the poorest ones.

First, all the current Medicare enrollees get more out of the system than they ever paid into the program in term of taxes.

Second, while the wealthy paid into more—because they paid more taxes on higher income—they tend to benefits from the system over their lifetime much more than the poor since they tend to live longer.

Effectively, the Medicare program transfers money from low to high income groups.

Again—why do Republicans want to reform Medicare? Aren’t they supposed to be the party for the rich?

Ch3 Nguyen


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