The Elderly: Paying the Price for Ryan’s Plan

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Though it’s been billed as a courageous feat of fiscal responsibility, Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget ultimately isn’t a cost-control plan for the nation’s health-care system. It’s a cost-shifting plan that simply moves the burden of paying for health care from the government to the backs of the elderly, poor, and disabled beneficiaries of government programs. How much more will seniors and the disabled have to pay for their Medicare coverage under Ryan’s plan? According to the Congressional Budget Office, a lot more. Kaiser Health News has the details

For example, by 2030, under the plan, typical 65 year olds would be required to pay 68 percent of the total cost of their coverage, which includes premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs, according to CBO. That compares with the 25 percent they would pay under current law, CBO said. 

Why would they have to pay so much more? Under Ryan’s plan, Medicare essentially cease to function as an insurance system for beneficiaries. Instead, seniors would given a set amount of money from the government to purchase insurance on their own, meaning they would pay a higher percentage of the overall cost of coverage. 

What’s more, Kaiser News continues, traditional government-run Medicare is cheaper than private plans, partly because its payment rates to doctors and hospitals are lower and because the government has lower administrative costs. Experiments in privatization have demonstrated as much: Medicare Advantage, a version of Medicare run by private insurers, has been riddled with waste, overspending, and inefficiencies. So seniors would essentially be hit twice under Ryan’s plan, paying more out of pocket for a product that costs more.

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate