Font Size

Paul Ryan Peddles Dangerous Fictions on "60 Minutes"

House Speaker Paul Ryan perpetuated dangerous falsehoods about Medicare on CBS “60 Minutes” Sunday night.  In an interview with correspondent Scott Pelley, Ryan hauled out the myth that “Medicare goes bankrupt in about 10 years.”  He continued, “The trust fund runs out of money.  So we have to make sure that we shore this program up.”  Really? 

To Ryan, “shoring up” Medicare means privatizing it, creating what we at the National Committee call “coupon care.”  Seniors would have to fend for themselves in the private insurance market with government-provided vouchers that wouldn’t fully cover their premiums or out-of-pocket costs.  Traditional Medicare would be left to wither and die.

Ryan’s plan is based on a fake crisis.  Contrary to the Speaker’s claims on “60 Minutes,” Medicare does not go bankrupt in 10 years.  It’s true that – without increasing payroll taxes – the Medicare Hospital Trust fund (which finances Medicare Part A) will become depleted in 2028.  However, as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) points out, “incoming payroll taxes and other revenue will still cover 87% of Medicare hospital insurance costs.”  That’s a far cry from bankruptcy, Mr. Ryan.

Any shortfalls, CBPP notes, could be covered by “raising revenues, slowing the growth in costs, or most likely both,” without wrecking traditional Medicare - options that Ryan doesn’t seem inclined to consider.

The other fiction that Ryan perpetrates in his “60 Minutes” appearance is that his Medicare “reforms” wouldn’t “change the benefit” for anybody who is in or near retirement – only Gen X’ers (like Ryan himself) and subsequent generations. This is simply untrue.  Our own analysis at NCPSSM indicates that privatizing Medicare could adversely impact anyone 55 and older (including people currently enrolled in traditional Medicare) because of potentially higher premiums, benefit cuts, and higher out-of-pockets.  Neither seniors nor their children and grandchildren should believe Ryan’s false assurances.  There is simply too much at stake.

Medicare and End-of-Life Care

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the Kaiser Family Foundation examined Medicare’s costs for end-of-life care and created this interesting infographic.  Some of the results might surprise you:

  • Of 2.6 million total deaths in the United States in 2014, 2.1 million were among Medicare beneficiaries.
  • The share of total Medicare spending for people at the end of life decreased from 18.6% to 13.5% between 2000 and 2014.
  • Medicare spending for people at the end of life also decreased with age.
  • Surveys show that more than 7 in 10 people aged 65 years and older have not discussed end-of-life care with a physician and that 4 in 10 have not documented their end-of-life care wishes.

You Can Help Give a Secure Future to Generations of Americans

Today is Giving Tuesday which is an international day of giving. It’s a chance for us to look beyond the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the shopping and the demands of it all to stop and ask ourselves – how can I make a difference?

In today’s political environment, that question is especially important for millions of American seniors and their families who depend on our nation’s retirement and health security safety net.

The future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will impact the lives of virtually every American family, today and for generations to come.  The heart of America’s promise to provide economic and health security is more important now than ever before.  Yet, many in Washington have vowed to shred our nation’s middle-class safety net by privatizing Medicare and Social Security and block-granting Medicaid. 

Your Giving Tuesday contributions help us spread the word, educate and advocate in Washington to protect and strengthen, not privatize and cut benefits you have contributed to throughout your working lives.

Share our graphics with your friends and consider giving to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare on this Giving Tuesday. You can donate today

Giving Thanks for Medicare

Medicare Inertia Costs Seniors Millions Each Year

It’s Open Enrollment season...have you looked at your Medicare Part D and Advantage plans to ensure they still work for you?

Each year, both Medicare Advantage and Part D plans make changes to their benefits, cost-sharing, provider networks and monthly premiums. That means the plan that best served you in 2016 may not be the best plan for you next year.

US News reports:

“According to a recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, roughly 8 in 10 people enrolled in a Part D or Medicare Advantage plan stick with the same policy from one year to the next. That may be the path of least resistance, but it's probably not the cheapest. Last year, found that people willing to switch policies to one that offered better coverage for their particular drug regimen saved roughly $600 on prescription drug costs when they switched Part D plans. Savings jumped to more than $1,000 for those who changed their Medicare Advantage plans.”

We certainly understand why so many beneficiaries choose inertia rather than the tedious and often challenging task of comparing the various private insurance plans offered in Medicare Advantage and Part D. However, given that Americans 65 and older spend 12% (and more as they age) of their income on health care, it’s especially important that seniors take the time to ensure last year’s plans still meet their needs. 

Open enrollment continues through Dec. 7.  You’ve got a some time left so please take a look at your plans. 

Pages: Prev1234567...164NextReturn Top


Have a Social Security or Medicare question?


Media Contacts

Pamela Causey
Communications Director
(202) 216-8378
(202) 236-2123 cell

Walter Gottlieb
Assistant Communications Director
(202) 216-8414

Entitled to Know



Copyright © 2016 by NCPSSM
Login  |