by Ryan Streeter on August 13, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.
As the Obama campaign has said, and as we all knew the moment Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate, Ryan’s proposed Medicare reforms are now front and center in the presidential campaign.
Ryan’s reforms are commonly called extreme. As we all know, he’s engaged in an all-out war to push grandma over a cliff.
Not that truth matters a whole lot in campaigns, but here’s the truth about the Ryan plan via the Bipartisan Policy Center:
Seniors would be able to choose between traditional fee-for-service Medicare (FFS) and various private healthcare plans on a newly established, regulated Medicare Exchange, similar in structure to those created by the ACA. In each region, healthcare plans would be paid based on the cost of the second-least expensive approved private plan or FFS, whichever is less costly, risk-adjusted for the health status of their enrollees. The cost of this plan would establish the “benchmark” government payment in each locality. Therefore, the amount that the government contributes would be tied to the cost of health care in a given area.
Beneficiaries who choose to enroll in a plan that is more expensive than the benchmark – even if that plan is FFS – would be required to pay the incremental additional cost. A beneficiary who enrolls in the least-expensive approved plan would be rebated the full difference in cost from the benchmark.
So this is the radical, extreme Ryan plan to push grandma over the cliff. Grandma is given a choice. Grandma is given a rebate if she chooses a less expensive plan. Grandma is asked to pay the difference if she chooses a more expensive plan.
Not exactly a cliff.
As I said, don’t expect Romney-Ryan’s opponents to adhere to the facts of the Ryan plan. But it sure would be good if a growing number of Americans knew the facts so that we could have an honest debate between now and November.
(h/t Reihan Salam)