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Paul Ryan & His Medicare Plan

November 30, 2016

As I promised at the end of my last post, I'd paste in what I'd found on Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan next. There are a lot of sites yelling about how he's going to ruin the world (ok, not that exactly, but you get my point) and everyone keeps posting those on Facebook instead of looking it up. Thus, I went hunting and found this article on Forbes.com.

 

If you'd like proof that I snagged this article from the Forbes site, by all means, go visit it HERE. It's from June of 2016, FYI.

 

That said, I've pasted it below if you'd rather not click down the rabbit hole:

 

WHAT PAUL RYAN'S LATEST HEALTH PROPOSAL WOULD MEAN FOR SENIORS:

 

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposed blueprint for health reform would make major changes in medical care for seniors, raising out-of-pocket costs for some and shifting others from traditional Medicare coverage to commercial insurance.

 

His plan, called A Better Way, would slowly raise the age of eligibility for Medicare and cap federal spending for the program, increasing subsidies for low-income seniors but raising out-of-pocket costs for higher-income retirees. It would make Medicare Advantage managed care plans more attractive. And, in a significant omission, it barely acknowledges the importance of long-term supports and services for older adults and younger people with disabilities and suggests few ways to improve such care.

 

Ryan’s health plan is one piece of a multi-part package of policy reforms that he hopes House Republicans can campaign on in November. Some proposals dovetail with the party’s presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump, while others may conflict with his ideas.

 

Here are five key ways the Ryan proposal would affect seniors:

 

Medicare eligibility age: Ryan would gradually increase the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to nearly 67 starting in 2020. That would require those 65 to 67 to purchase commercial insurance. Like other consumers, they’d receive new tax credits to help subsidize the cost, though the blueprint does not specify the size of those credits. In addition, the proposal would allow insurers to charge relatively higher premiums to older consumers than they can under the Affordable Care Act.

 

Medicare Premium Support: As he has proposed many times in the past, Ryan is backing a plan that would effectively provide a fixed dollar subsidy that seniors would use to purchase Medicare insurance. That’s in contrast to today’s model, where Medicare pays a percentage of the cost, whatever it is. Such a plan would effectively shift the risk of health care cost increases from taxpayer to seniors. The idea has some bipartisan support, but the details matter. The biggest: How would the subsidy be calculated and by how much would it increase each year. The blueprint released today was largely silent on those issues.

 

Medicare Advantage: These privately-run managed care plans initially received generous subsidies that have been scaled back by the Obama Administration. Still, about one-third of new Medicare enrollees are choosing MA plans rather than traditional fee-for-service coverage. Ryan would increase those subsidies and allow MA plans to create their own packages of services and benefits instead of offering identical coverages.

 

Medigap: Tapping another idea with some bipartisan support, Ryan would limit the ability of Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans to offer first-dollar insurance coverage. The idea: If consumers must pay some costs out-of-pocket, they’ll be more careful buyers of care.

 

LTSS: Perhaps the most disappointing piece of the Ryan plan is what it did not discuss. While the report acknowledges the high cost of Medicaid’s long-term care benefits, it says little about what it would do about it. In general, the plan would cap the federal contribution to the joint state/federal program, and give states more flexibility in how they’d design Medicaid benefits. But the report says little about how those changes would apply to seniors or young people with disabilities, and a cap could put some Medicaid LTSS programs at risk. The blueprint says nothing about new mechanisms to finance long-term care outside of Medicaid.

 

Ryan’s proposal is mostly a collection of old GOP ideas that have gone nowhere. Whether it gives Republican candidates a talking point beyond “repeal Obamacare” remains to be seen. But it is little more than a starting point for negotiations should lawmakers want to talk about ways to improve the Affordable Care Act in 2017.


---------END OF ONE ARTICLE---------

 

Here is part of a different article (complete with the links they embeded)  by the Washington Post (full article HERE) about Paul Ryan's Medicare "Plans"...

 

All indications are that Ryan hopes to push forward with some form of his long-entertained plan to turn Medicare into a premium support system, which is designed to put Medicare on sounder financial footing by giving Medicare beneficiaries vouchers to buy insurance — either private or traditional Medicare. In a recent interview, Ryan suggested this is on the table. Ryan has also taken to claiming that “because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke,” which is totally false, and seems designed to lay the groundwork to transform Medicare as part of the drive to repeal Obamacare.

 

Opponents of Ryan’s plan argue that, since these voucher payments would not rise as fast as health care costs, it would merely save money by forcing seniors to pay more out of their own pockets over time. They also point out that Obamacare has already improved Medicare’s fiscal outlook.

 

It’s unclear whether Trump will go along with Ryan’s plan — doing so would require Trump to reverse himself on his campaign promise not to touch entitlements. But Trump does not appear to care as deeply about this debate as Ryan long has, and it’s reasonable to surmise he might be willing to go along with Ryan’s plan in exchange for other things he wants.


---------END OF SECOND ARTICLE SELECTION---------

 

So I suppose we'll have to wait and see how they approach all of this, what get s through Congress, and how that affects other insurances AND how Medicare moves foreword. I personally hope for the best here...but I'm expecting the worst...that way I'm not disappointed.

 

That said, if you currently are of the Medicare age and are not using Medicare, keep it that way for now. Best to stay safe vs. being sorry.

 

Best,

 

Tamsin :)

 

P.S. BTW...just an FYI...the SKYE Season One Soundtrack comes out on FRIDAY!!! Check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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