“Mediscare”, Part II

Now to the “Ryan” plan.  Actually it isn’t the Ryan plan anymore, it has changed.  Now it’s the Wyden/Ryan plan which you can read in its entirety here.  The co-author of this proposed plan is Senator Ron Wyden (D. Or.). Yes, that was a D.

You will hear, or already have heard, that this is a voucher system, and that, per the CBO seniors could be on the hook for as much as $6000 per year to pay for Medicare.  Secretary of HHS Kathlene Sebelius even repeated that mantra in her speech at the Democrat convention last evening. With Senator Wyden’s input, the “Ryan” plan is now quite different, but no one tells you that.  Please go to the link.  If you find the word “voucher” in there as a payment method, you win a prize.

Under this Wyden/Ryan plan the government will solicit bids from pre-qualified private insurance companies who must provide all of the benefits covered by Medicare.  Medicare will then select the second lowest bidder from all insurers and use that amount as the Medicare “premium support” amount. If you choose that insurer, Medicare will pay the full amount of your premiums to the insurer.  If you choose a plan with lower premiums, Medicare will pay that amount to the insurer, and you will receive a check for the difference.  If you choose a plan with higher premiums, Medicare will pay the specified amount to the insurer, and you will pay the difference.

No vouchers, no $6000 per year in costs (unless you want a “Cadillac” plan), and, no difference for anyone over 55 when the plan is passed.  And, once it is passed, those over 55 can select either “traditional” Medicare, or the new plan.

Those not trying to scare seniors just to get a vote say “we haven’t tried this, so we don’t know whether it will work”.  This is true.  But, this proposal is actually based upon the,

…Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, created in 1959, and Calpers, the California health-insurance program for public employees.

And, it operates much like Medicare Advantage which works quite nicely.

So please, don’t fall victim to “vouchers” and “$6000 per year out of pocket costs”.  Read the proposal and then you be the judge.

Do you want the “Medicare as we know it” that has been eliminated by Obamacare, or the “Medicare as we know it” that would be eliminated by the Wyden/Ryan plan?



The Sound Off Sister was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and special trial attorney for the Department of Justice, Criminal Division; a partner in the Florida law firm of Shutts & Bowen, and an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, School of Law. The Sound Off Sister offers frequent commentary concerning legislation making its way through Congress, including the health reform legislation passed in early 2010.


  1. Lynn on September 6, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I believe Ryan has the answers and am glad there is a bi-partesan aspect to this plan.

  2. JBS on September 6, 2012 at 7:41 am

    As no one yet knows just how Obamacare will impact everyone (HHS Secretary Sebelius is making things up as she goes), it is probably premature to speculate on how Obamacare will impact Medicare. I wonder, if the goal of the Socialists is to institute a single payer system, will Medicare simply be absorbed by O-care? Will the Ministry of All Life Decisions dwarf the Pentagon?
    A single mega-agency devoted to one gigantic insurance plan, crucial questions arbitrated by 15-person death panel, seems to be the goal of the Big Government crowd. If O-care kills off private insurance companies for the majority of Americans, it follows that Part D coverage plan providers will evaporate, too. I see no up side to all of this.
    Conservatives HAVE to prevail in the November elections. Only with Obama gone will any forces in the Congress have a prayer of getting rid of O-care and strengthening Medicare.
    Apocalypse is too weak a word to describe the Democrats winning in November.

  3. ABO (Romney/Ryan 2012) on September 6, 2012 at 8:14 am

    SOS you explained it so that?even this?bitter clinger can understand it

  4. stinkfoot on September 6, 2012 at 9:56 am

    The MSM is derelict in duty for not pointing out the liberal’s deception in characterizing the rival plan.? The fact that the media is inserting itself as a player and using its power to control information to help pick political winners strikes me as criminally irresponsible.

  5. Tim-in-Alabama on September 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    It doesn’t matter what the facts are. Ryan wants to push granny off a cliff, and Romney’s a rich Mormon.

  6. sammy22 on September 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Yes, the term voucher is gone, and so is a dollar amount. What is in the “proposal” is an unknown in value? “premium support”.

    • Dimsdale on September 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      A known value is that ?bamacare will not be “premium support”.??

  7. sammy22 on September 6, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    In this “proposal” the growth of the program cost will be capped by the growth of GDP plus 1%. If the cap is exceeded, Congress (God help us) could intervene…….etc.

    • Dimsdale on September 6, 2012 at 8:05 pm

      Isn’t the creation of the ?bamacare scheme “intervening”?? God help us then.


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