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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ryan and Republican Policies

Paul Ryan was selected as Romney's running mate yesterday, and he and Romney make quite a team. Both are adamant about looking out for the wealthiest members of our society -- at the expense of the rest of us. Romney is running for President on a platform of cutting social services, laissez faire in business, doubling the defense department and starting wars in Iran and maybe with long time business partners like China.

And of course Ryan and his buddies are engaging in the same idea rustling, rebranding, and newspeak that they've been using since they created the Tea Party to "distract and divide" people, while abusively projecting their policies on progressives. His medicare plan would:

"Under Ryan’s plan, the government would help seniors buy health insurance — rather than receive coverage straight from Medicare, as they do now".Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0812/79584.html#ixzz23HYysLIP "

And what that means is more overhead charges for the insurance companies, and eventually vouchers that will dispossess seniors of even minimal coverage.

Ryan's votes for the Bush Policies helped create our Great Recession (Depression really) and to impoverish millions of people. And those policies will enrich the already wealthy, destroy the middle class, and eff the poor.

Think Progress article states;

1. Ryan breaks up the large market clout of Medicare and pushes seniors into less efficient private insurers. As Rick Foster, Medicare’s chief actuary, admitted during a recent House Budget Committee hearing, since traditional Medicare is far better at advancing delivery system reforms, securing lower reimbursement rates with health care providers, and operating under minimal administrative overhead, transferring Medicare beneficiaries from free-for-service Medicare into the private health market would not contain overall health care spending. It would only shift costs.
2. Seniors who enroll in traditional Medicare will likely pay more for their benefits. That’s because under Ryan’s budget, private plans will be able to cherry-pick the healthiest beneficiaries from traditional Medicare and leave sicker applicants to the government. The budget states that enrollees would be “guaranteed a plan that is at least the value of the traditional fee-for-service Medicare option,” but private insurers could still attract a healthier population by simply ratcheting down services that sicker beneficiaries rely on (like chemotherapy) and building up coverage for healthier applicants (like preventive services). Should they succeed, traditional Medicare costs will skyrocket, forcing even more seniors out of the government program. Seniors who are priced out of traditional coverage over time would enroll in private plans and receive care through more restricted provider networks relative to what they currently enjoy (where nearly all hospitals, doctors, nursing homes participate). Ryan pledges that “CMS would also conduct an annual risk review audit of all insurance plans participating in the Medicare Exchange,” but as the experience with Medicare Advantage demonstrates, existing tools are still insufficient to address cherry picking.
3. The “premium support” credits won’t keep up with health care costs. Fortunately, the vouchers seniors will receive are no longer indexed to inflation. They instead rely on actual average bids in any given geographic area and would do a better job of keeping up with health care costs every year than the original Ryan proposal. But seniors in high cost Medicare areas could still experience a cost-shift and would be responsible for the difference between the amount of the premium credit and the actual cost of the policy.

I'm glad they selected Ryan, he epitomizes the heartless and short sighted policies that are destroying our democracy. He's an Ayn Rand believer and an elitist, whose idea of Liberty is the tyranny of business, the wealthy, and authoritarian (Taliban) style religion.

Further reading:

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/03/20/448008/three-reasons-why-the-medicare-reforms-in-ryans-new-path-to-prosperity-still-set-us-on-the-wrong-track/

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