CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research


En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Medicare Costs More Under Ryan Plan and the Iraq War Costs More Than a Hamburger

Medicare Costs More Under Ryan Plan and the Iraq War Costs More Than a Hamburger

Saturday, 16 April 2011 04:32

The NYT produced its entry in the understatement of the year contest telling readers that:

"A Congressional Budget Office review of the Ryan proposal predicted that retirees would pay more for their health care under it than they would under traditional Medicare."

Yes, this is true. But this is not a question of spending a few extra dollars a month for health care under the Ryan plan. The CBO projections show that under the Ryan plan, seniors would soon be spending more than half of their income to buy a Medicare equivalent plan. This is both due to the cost shifting from the government to individuals, but even more importantly CBO projects that Ryan's plan will lead to much higher health care expenses since it will be less effective in containing costs than the traditional Medicare program.

The CBO projections imply that Ryan's plan would add more than $30 trillion to the cost of providing Medicare equivalent policies over the program's 75-year planning period. The additional cost under the Ryan plan is an amount that is approximately equal to $100,000 for every person in the country or 6 times the size of the projected Social Security shortfall. This sum is the pure waste, it does not count the costs shifted from the government to seniors. 

Comments (6)Add Comment
A Cost is Not a Cost Unless It's Caused by a Ryan Choice Voucher
written by izzatzo, April 16, 2011 8:48
Medicare Costs More Under Ryan Plan and the Iraq War Costs More Than a School Lunch

Why does an MRI scan cost $100 in Japan and $2,000 in the USA?

Because Japan patients have Ryan Choice Vouchers that drive down the cost with competition of course.

If Boy Monarch Bush had had a Ryan Choice Voucher the Iraq War would have cost a lot less as well given the heavy price competition among mercenaries.

Stupil liberals.
Follow the money
written by Matt, April 16, 2011 9:34
One thing I'd love to see repeated more often is *where* that $30 trillion in additional spending is going - from what I've gathered, it's all going to insurers! In other words, the same people responsible for the problem in the first place are getting $30 trillion richer...
Insurers, Drug Companies and Doctors
written by Dean, April 16, 2011 10:45

It doesn't all go to insurers.
First Amendment and Responsibility
written by union member, April 16, 2011 11:24

The NYT is sofly yelling fire in a crowded theater.

"Who Will Tell The People?:" The title of a book by a competent journalist.
All Part of the Republicrat/Democan Plan
written by Hugh Sansom, April 16, 2011 6:46
Privatize all services that help the poor and middle classes. Strip away what few protections do exist for quality and cost containment. Continue the transfer of all but minimal subsistence wealth from the poor and middle classes into the hands of the wealthy.

Call it modern American democracy.
written by Julian Brown, April 17, 2011 4:56
Just to add to Dean's comments, the author of the NYT article seems determined to give the Ryan plan a positive spin as one can see from just reading a couple of paras near the top:

"Besides reconfiguring the Medicare program that now serves those 65 and older, the proposal would cut the top corporate and personal income tax rates while also overhauling the Medicaid health program for the poor."

"Overhauling" would normally be taken to imply "improving" right? Yet this plan will lead more likely to the destruction or at least to a severe mangling of Medicare. A more neutral word would have been "restructuring" or better "radical restructuring". Then we get:

"The vote represents the most ambitious effort yet by the new Republican majority in the House to demonstrate that it intends to aggressively rein in spending and shrink government. It doubles as a challenge to President Obama ..."

Ambitious is another positive word and all that stuff about reining in spending - sounds good until you realize that it means throwing old people under a bus and giving the rich people another huge tax give away.

Thanks Dean for all you do in pointing out the stupidity and bias in the media. It's quite the inspiration to read your stuff every day. I wish more people would take notice.


Write comment

(Only one link allowed per comment)

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comments.


Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.