Paul Ryan has admitted that his Medicare plan is nothing more than a mandate for seniors. This is from a townhall Ryan held in Racine, Wisconsin:
Q: If Medicare becomes a voucher program, would you require seniors to purchase private insurance and if so isn’t that an individual mandate? If you will not require them to purchase insurance how do you propose to prevent a situation where the costs of uninsured seniors is very expensive and gets passed on to me as a private policy holder? [...]
RYAN: Its mandate works no different than how the current Medicare law works today, which is you just select from a wide range of different plans. It literally would be like Medicare Advantage…
Now how can mandates be unconstitutional for everyone but seniors? That just doesn’t make sense and it blows a big gapping hole into the GOP argument over the mandates in the healthcare reform bill passed last year.
But this isn’t the only problem. This is being billed as a way to financially save Medicare. This is from a GAO report done in 2008:
Though it was originally envisioned as a potential way to save the Medicare program money, the government pays on average 13 percent more to care for a Medicare Advantage enrollee than it would if that person were in traditional Medicare.
So the plan to save us money will actually cost our country 13% more? Here we go with the fuzzy GOP math again, and with forcing every senior into the program, costs will really skyrocket. Keep in mind that this isn’t some prediction from the OMB, this is based on the actual numbers from the existing program, as computed by the GAO.
All this could be why the Republicans are starting to back off of the Ryan plan. It’s looking more and more like the Republican members of the House just voted on a plan without reading it, which is something they continually criticized Democrats for. I just wonder if anyone in the media will push these Republicans on why they voted for something they apparently didn’t read. If they did read it, then why are they banking on something proven to cost Medicare more and a mandate that the GOP has declared unconstitutional?