Bankruptcy vs. Prosperity: Comparing the Democratic & Republican Medicare Plans
Posted by Don Seymour on May 24, 2011
Been hearing a lot about Medicare lately? Here’s a handy chart comparing the Republican plan – “The Path to Prosperity” – that protects Medicare for current retirees and future generations (while spurring private-sector job growth and stopping Washington from spending money it doesn’t have) with the Democratic “plan” to do nothing, leaving Medicare bankrupt and seniors facing drastic benefit cuts:
A SUMMARY OF THE 2011 ANNUAL SOCIAL SECURITY
AND MEDICARE TRUST FUND REPORTS
Projected long-range costs for both Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable under currently scheduled financing and will require legislative corrections if disruptive consequences for beneficiaries and taxpayers are to be avoided. If action is taken sooner rather than later, more options and time will be available to phase in changes, giving those affected adequate time to prepare. Earlier action will also afford policymakers greater opportunity to minimize adverse impacts on vulnerable populations, including lower-income workers and those who are substantially dependent on program benefits.
The Congressional Budget Office's new report on the federal budget confirms that the surplus is considerably smaller than previously assumed and that, in some years, the budget outside Social Security will be in deficit. CBO now shows a total surplus between 2002 and 2011 that is $2.2 trillion less than it estimated in May; about three-quarters of this decline was caused by the impact of the recently enacted tax-cut package. These CBO estimates are less rosy than those released by the Administration last week as part of its Mid-Session Review.
Unlike the Administration, CBO shows a deficit in the budget outside of the Social Security trust fund in 2001, 2003, and 2004.
Over the ten years between 2002 and 2011, CBO is projecting a non-Social Security surplus that is about $460 billion smaller than the Administration's estimate.
Democrats' Plan: Benefit Cuts & Bankruptcy
WHICH PLAN LEAVES MEDICARE BANKRUPT? By doing nothing, Democrats are allowing Medicare to go bankrupt within the next decade.
“The new Medicare trustees report says the trust fund is now likely to run out of money in 2024, five years earlier than predicted last year.” (Medicare to run out of money five years sooner, trustees say, Politico, 5/13/11)
“Medicare is headed for bankruptcy faster than expected. ... Instead of getting serious, the Democrats are falling back on political scare tactics. … Neither the president nor the congressional Democrats has offered any alternative plan to save Medicare.” (Democrats demagogue Medicare, Washington Times, 5/15/11)
“Those who disagree with Ryan's Medicare prescription haven't offered credible alternatives. And this much is clear: Ryan's plan is much better than the status quo, which will result in Medicare going bankrupt.” (Don’t let Medicare go bankrupt, Wisconsin State Journal, 5/23/11)
The Republican plan lifts the burden of debt that threatens jobs while preserving Medicare for current seniors & future retirees.
“[T]the Obama health law, passed by Democrats last year, already eviscerated Medicare. … Rep. Paul Ryan's entitlement-reform vision … would undo much of the damage, while charting a new course to ensure Medicare doesn't run out of money.” (Who ended 'Medicare as we know it'?, New York Post, 5/24/11)
“Ryan’s brilliant plan also harnesses the competition and innovation of the free market to provide better coverage for seniors at lower cost.” (Why Paul Ryan’s Medicare Is So Much Better Than Obama’s, Forbes, 4/28/11)
“The plan crafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, would shore up the system so that it doesn’t bankrupt the country.” (Democrats demagogue Medicare, Washington Times, 5/15/11)
WHICH PLAN CUTS BENEFITS & RATIONS CARE FOR SENIORS? Democrats’ ObamaCare law created a “rationing board” that will lead to “the political rationing of care for the elderly” by unelected bureaucrats.
“If the trust funds run out, the programs no longer would be able to pay full benefits. … Medicare could pay 90% starting in 2024, dropping to 75% in 2045.” (Medicare, Social Security running out of money faster, USA Today, 5/13/11)
“The Democrats Medicare plan contains drastic cuts to doctor payments that will make it next to impossible for Medicare beneficiaries to actually obtain health care coverage.” (Democrats' Medicare plan bankrupts 25% of all hospitals by 2030, Washington Examiner, 5/23/11)
“The fact of the matter is that IPAB won’t make the notoriously inefficient Medicare program any more efficient. Through arbitrary reductions on payments to providers, it will simply reduce the supply of care.” (The Road to IPAB, National Review, 4/19/11)
Under the GOP plan, there are no changes and no disruptions for Americans over the age of 55.
“Medicare is speeding off a fiscal cliff. Ryan's plan slows that momentum, starting in 2022. Anyone 55 or over today would not be affected. These Americans are either retired or have planned for a retirement with traditional Medicare benefits.” (Don't play Mediscare, Chicago Tribune, 4/12/11)
“Ryan is trying to fix Medicare's unsustainable financial path so its benefits are still available to younger Americans when they retire decades from now.” (Don’t let Medicare go bankrupt, Wisconsin State Journal, 5/23/11)
“More would be paid as well for those who were sicker so that plans could finance their more expensive care.” (Why Paul Ryan’s Medicare Is So Much Better Than Obama’s, Forbes, 4/28/11)
WHICH PLAN SAVES MEDICARE? Democrats are spending their time attacking Republicans for one reason: the Democrats’ Medicare plan means bankruptcy and benefit cuts.
“[A]s the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) detailed in a report released Friday, under the Democrats plan, Medicare ‘as we know it’ won’t be around for much longer.” (Democrats' Medicare plan bankrupts 25% of all hospitals by 2030, Washington Examiner, 5/23/11)
“[T]he Democratic ‘plan’ for Medicare — to leave things as they are — is even worse than it seems on the surface. … It’s not the House Republican Budget that is undoing it, it’s the current structure of the program, exacerbated by Obamacare.” (Re: Dems on Medicare, National Review, 5/9/11)
The Republican plan saves Medicare for current and future generations while making no changes for those in and near retirement.
“The only plan that saves ‘Medicare as we know it’ for today’s seniors is Ryan’s Path to Prosperity.” (Democrats' Medicare plan bankrupts 25% of all hospitals by 2030, Washington Examiner, 5/23/11)
“This budget's reforms will protect health and retirement security. This starts with saving Medicare. ... Reform that empowers individuals—with more help for the poor and the sick—will guarantee that Medicare can fulfill the promise of health security for America's seniors.” (The GOP Path to Prosperity
RSC Cut, Cap, and Balance Proposal (June 2011)
103 House Republicans sent a letter to House Republican leadership calling for a solution that could resolve the current debt limit impasse and prevent the bigger, Greece-like debt crisis just over the horizon: Cut, Cap, and Balance.
1. Cut - We must make discretionary and mandatory spending reductions that would cut the deficit in half next year.
2. Cap - We need statutory, enforceable caps to align federal spending with average revenues at 18% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with automatic spending reductions if the caps are breached.
3. Balance - We must send to the states a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) with strong protections against federal tax increases and a Spending Limitation Amendment (SLA) that aligns spending with average revenues as described above.
With each passing day our nation’s fiscal health gets worse, leaving our children and grandchildren falling further into debt. Democrats seem to have given up, proposing even more borrowing in response to our massive debt addiction. With the problem growing larger every day, we must move quickly and unite behind a plan to cut spending and get our budget into balance.