Two Liberal Whoppers on Medicare


A debate that has been fought largely over the airwaves is about to go head-to-head. Medicare reform is a huge part of that debate, and the left—bolstered by the media—has been promoting two huge falsehoods on the issue.

Several proposals from conservatives and liberals for Medicare reform, including The Heritage Foundation’s Saving the American Dream proposal, are based on a financing model called “premium support.” What that means: Medicare has a premium cost, just as other health insurance does. When the government makes a contribution (sometimes referred to as a “defined contribution”) toward paying your premium, that is called premium support. The difference with reform is that the government would no longer dictate to seniors which Medicare plan they would have to use. The government would still support the premium, but the seniors would have the option to choose from a variety of plans tailored to their needs, including traditional Medicare.

The concept is already working in several areas of Medicare, including Medicare Advantage plans and the prescription drug benefit program. Program savings in the drug program have been spectacular, and in Medicare Advantage and the drug program premiums have been stable. Patient satisfaction is very high in both programs.

But two whoppers are still circulating—let’s put them to rest once and for all.

1. “Vouchercare”

Vice President Joe Biden has described the Medicare reform proposal championed by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and others as “Vouchercare.” Heritage expert Robert Moffit dispatches this claim with zero ambiguity:

There is no major Medicare reform proposal, including the Ryan proposal, that would issue future senior citizens a voucher (a certificate or coupon or a check for a fixed dollar amount) and then force them to fend for themselves — on their own – in negotiating with health-insurance companies…It’s all scary nonsense.

Read More at By Amy Payne.

Photo Credit: Floyd Brown (Creative Commons)


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