Lately House Republicans have been praising and comparing their proposed Medicare plan to the one they receive as elected officials. But, a closer examination, conducted by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, shows why Democrats may not be too fond of the potential policy.
On April 15, the House approved the Republicans’ plan to renovate Medicare. Under their proposal, in 2022, Medicare recipients would receive coverage from private insurance plans. Medicare, in return, would then subsidize the costs. Fair enough, right?
Well, in recent years, health care costs and insurance premiums have been rising exponentially. The problem, therefore, becomes the federal payment. Currently the federal payment is measured by the consumer price index. But, the CPI costs would not be increased to mirror inflation, and consequently, it would not be enough to cover the recipient’s costs. Essentially, the price of Medicare would be shifted more onto beneficiaries and their families, not the government.
Some may argue that more needs to be paid by the recipient. But, when broken down, on average, a typical 65-year-old would pay $6,400 to $7,000 more per year under the House Republican plan than under the traditional Medicare. Under the House plan, the government would no longer pay for certain Medicare patient services, but instead, give a defined amount of money to help beneficiaries buy private insurance.
Many argue that there is no way the Democrat-controlled Senate would pass the bill, and even if by some miracle it did, President Obama would veto it.
Nevertheless, with a 2012 presidential campaign quickly approaching, and with a baby-boom population constantly on the rise, Medicare can be expected to be at the forefront of the upcoming races.
(Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESSAP)