New political wrapping can?t hide privatization scheme in Wyden/RyanSenator Wyden and Congressman Ryan?s newly proposed voucher plan offers a slight twist on the same failed approach to Medicare reform that was originally offered by the Ryan legislation and rejected by the majority of Americans ? coupon care for seniors. The Ryan/Wyden voucher plan would shift a growing share of Medicare costs to beneficiaries without reducing overall costs in the program while undermining traditional Medicare.

  • Beneficiaries would be forced to pay more for Medicare benefits because premiums would be indexed to the gross domestic product, plus 1 percent, which historically has risen far more slowly than health care costs.
  • The Ryan-Wyden plan could actually increase Medicare costs because it expands private Medicare plans that cost an average of 10 percent more than what the same coverage would cost in traditional Medicare.
  • If younger retirees enter the new program and the oldest and sickest remain in traditional Medicare, the program will be faced with a pool of increasingly costly beneficiaries. Medicare spending would go up and seniors who remain in traditional Medicare would see their costs go up as well.

?While some in Washington remain convinced private insurers can provide more cost-effective coverage for seniors than Medicare, the facts prove otherwise. Private Medicare Advantage plans have already shown this to be a false promise. What this Ryan/Wyden plan would do is drive younger and healthier seniors out of traditional Medicare, leaving the government with a pool of increasingly costly beneficiaries. Medicare spending will increase and seniors who remain in traditional Medicare will see their costs go up as well.The only winner in this privatization plan would be private insurers who would be given the ability to cherry-pick the nation?s healthiest seniors from the traditional Medicare program, allowing it to whither on the vine. America?s seniors understand how vital Medicare is to the health of our nation and want to find ways to strengthen the program for future generations. But this proposal increases costs for everyone while ignoring the core issue of rising health care costs. That?s not reform?that?s the end of Medicare as we know it.? Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO