Paul Ryan complains that nasty Democrats are demagoguing his bold, courageous plan to kill Medicare. What is the problem, Dems? Ryan's Path To Prosperity is the bold budget plan offered by the GOP and it should be readily accepted and even promoted. Ryan and the GOP insist that it is NOT killing Medicare. It just makes a few 'minor' changes to the program, improving it and saving it for future seniors. It is imperative that this entitlement program be reined in because the costs are unsustainable. Of utmost importance is the fact that those older than 55 will not be affected. Their Medicare will not be changed! It is only seniors of the future that will be SOL...
Ryan is not calling for "vouchers" or "coupons" or even "gift certificates". He is promoting "premium support allowance". The GOP Path proposes that the federal government will, based on a senior's income, determine how much money to 'allow' each individual senior. That 'allowance' will be used to help pay for a private health care policy, or at least a portion of a private health care policy. The senior will then be given a list of approved insurance plans to be offered by private companies, such as Kaiser, Blue Cross, United Health Care or any number of other companies. The federal government will impose minimum coverage standards that must be in place.
In other words, each policy will have to include certain things. Then, after a thorough review by each senior, the senior will choose a policy that that will cover some of their medical expenses. The senior's choice of coverage and the cost of the policy will determine how much the senior will have to add to the 'allowance' to pay for the entire monthly premium. The government will pay the company the 'allowance' and each senior will then pick up and pay the difference.
GOP Insists This Is The Same Way Congress Chooses Their Own Health Insurance!
The GOP insists that this is how your Congressman chooses his or her own health care benefits. They are telling the truth. This is precisely how your Congressman chooses his or her coverage. But, the GOP and Paul Ryan are leaving out a big part of the equation. That big part is the income differential. Every time that you hear your Republican representative defend the plan, remember the INCOME DIFFERENTIAL.
According to PayScale.com , the average salary of a member of Congress (both Representaives and Senators) is $174,000 per year or $14,500 per month. The amounts are accurate as of 2009.
According to the government website, ssa.gov , the average senior is earning $14,124 per year, so the average monthly Social Security benefit is $1177. The amounts are accurate as of January of 2011.
An illustration, if you will: The senior and the Congressman review all of the policies available and then decide that the policy each one wants is the one that costs $12,000 per year. Based on this senior's income, the federal government will 'assist' with $6,000. The senior will then pay the other $6,000. The Congressman has a set 'allowance', also. Suppose his 'allowance' is also $6,000. The government will 'assist' with $6,000 and the Congressman will pay the remaining $6,000.You can see, based on the illustration, that while this is basically the same, it is not really the same.
The IMPACT will make the plans completely different. $500 a month to the senior leaves a much bigger IMPACT than $500 a month to the Congressman. While the Congressman will have to make do with their remaining $14,000 per month, the senior will have to make ends meet with only $677. The IMPACT!
The GOP and Ryan believe that they may have rolled their plan out incorrectly. The wording was wrong, and we all know that wording is key. Historically, correct wording, can make homicide sound better, even appealing to the masses. Even if all the words mean basically the same thing, the perception makes the difference. So let's all cooperate with Ryan and his GOP friends. Let's use the correct wording. It makes all the difference in the world! Above all, let's not lie about or demagogue Ryan's plan. After all, as Ryan so adeptly puts it, this will be very similar to the plan that Congressman Ryan is given with his Congressional benefits package. Once the GOP stresses that the new plan is the same as the plan for Congress, seniors or soon to be seniors will perceive it to be good, when of course it will NOT!!!
What Does The Ryan Plan Do To Medicare? Does It Kill Medicare?
The GOP Plan (as it should now be called) calls for the transformation of Medicare or as Newt Gingrich as a guest on Meet The Press called it, "...right wing social engineering...". Newt was right! Poor Newt! The GOP came down on him hard. Paul Ryan even received an apology from old Newt, and even though Newt believes the plan is too radical, he is now using the GOP plan to help him raise money. He has been pressured to say that he was wrong.Almost every Republican representative voted to adopt this plan and all but 5 GOP Senators voted for it.
They did not vote for 'conditional' support. They did not vote, "Yes, but I want to modify it a little", they voted "Yes".Those "Yes" votes were votes intended to kill Medicare as we know it. There is no demagoguery here. Killing is killing, no matter how attractive or appealing the GOP tries to make it.
Remember the vote. It is also important to realize that this GOP budget plan, over the next ten years, does some other things. Two of the most significant things that the plan provides for are:
The plan cuts taxes to the wealhtiest of corporations and individuals by $4.2 Trillion dollars.