Where to begin? There are so many transparent flaws the people of New York’s 27th district voted for a Democrat for the first time in over 100 years because they didn’t like the Republican’s support of Ryan’s plan. Then there’s the new spin that this is not a “voucher” plan but a “premium support” plan. Huh? Same deal. There’s also the spin that this would be similar to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, which is a lie because the FEHBP increases are tied to the increasing costs of medical care. Ryan’s plan is tied to the increase in the Consumer Price Index. While the CPI has a medical care component, it’s much less that the increase in medical costs.
So while one can come up with a list of reasons the Ryan plan is flawed there are three simple reasons why it’ll never fly:
1. Cost cutting: Private for-profit insurers are bound by fiducial duties to work for their share holders, meaning maximize profits. Government supplied Medicare has no profit motive. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out which has the lowest cost/services to the customer.
2. Customer choice: Ryan wants seniors to be able to pick from plans. Anyone who’s had to shop for plans knows that insurers make these plans incomprehensible with no clear way to decide what would be best for the customer. Putting this burden on seniors would guarantee that they’d get poorer health care coverage than with Medicare.
3. 55 and over stay with current plan: If this is such a boffo plan to reduce costs and giving seniors better health care options, why wait to start it with those who are currently 54? Senior voter turnout is huge, so one would assume if this was a great plan they’d want it for themselves.
Bottom line is this is either blind ideology or a sop to the insurance industry. The bad news for Ryan is that voters aren’t buying it.