Paul Ryan will address the AARP on Friday and, according to his prepared remarks, plans to get into detail about his plan to privatize Medicare.
“Our plan keeps the protections that have made Medicare a guaranteed promise for seniors throughout the years. It makes no changes for those in or near retirement,” Ryan is expected to say. “Now, in order to save Medicare for future generations, we propose putting 50 million seniors, not 15 unaccountable bureaucrats, in charge of their own health-care decisions. Our plan empowers future seniors to choose the coverage that works best for them from a list of plans that are required to offer at least the same level of benefits as traditional Medicare. This financial support system is designed to guarantee that seniors can always afford Medicare coverage – no exceptions. And if a senior wants to choose the traditional Medicare plan, then she will have that right…Our idea is to force insurance companies to compete against each other to better serve seniors, with more help for the poor and the sick – and less help for the wealthy.”
Ryan is expected to contrast his appraoch with the Affordable Care Act’s IPAB board, an independent panel is designed to hold down Medicare costs if it grows at an unacceptably high rate.
“Obamacare represents a first step in their new approach: They want to take responsibility for these cuts out of the hands of your elected representatives and give it to unelected bureaucrats,” Ryan is expected to say. “They want to let them make the decisions – and let them take the heat. Here’s Medicare’s chief actuary… on what that would mean: These cuts could be so severe, he said, that they could ‘jeopardiz[e] access to care for beneficiaries.’ I deal with actuaries a lot as Chairman of the House Budget Committee. They tend to be mild-mannered folks. So when one says something like that, here’s what it means in plain English: Red Alert – do not proceed with this plan. But you know President Obama’s slogan, right? Forward. Forward into a future where seniors are denied the care they earned because a bureaucrat decided it wasn’t worth the money.”