Republicans have long talked about repealing Obamacare and privatizing Medicare — major changes that are terrifying for anyone who’s not a millionaire or billionaire like the Republicans who now have the power to do what they want with both.
According to the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Tom Price, Republicans are planning to privatize Medicare in a budget reconciliation bill this year.
The bad news? Ryan basically has free reign to do it. A majority Senate allows for the budget reconciliation to be passed without a filibuster.
Ryan calls his proposal “premium support,” which includes changing Medicare from a single payer system where the government directly pays for health care to one where recipients would use their government benefits to buy private insurance.
This means seniors would have to fight to navigate private insurance options to ensure they get what they need. To make matters worse, private insurance is more expensive than Medicare currently is, thus critics of Ryan’s proposal fear that seniors will take a hit in terms of quality health care services under Ryan’s “premium support” system.
Instead of a transaction between the government and health care providers, Ryan’s plan includes a private middle man — yet another person who needs a cut of the profits. Despite claims to lower costs, this won’t be feasible without lowering the standard of health care citizens receive.
Ryan’s “premium support” plan is based on his 2011 proposal — a proposal that the Congressional Budget Office found costs senior citizens twice as much under Ryan’s plan than traditional Medicare.
Under Ryan’s plan, the average 65-year-old American would spend 49 percent of their Social Security benefits on health care, instead of the current 22 percent.
But it gets worse.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Congressional Budget Office, older adults can expect to spend even more:
‘Plans would be permitted to vary premiums by age, charging higher premiums to older beneficiaries and lower premiums to younger beneficiaries.’
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, private companies will try to ensure lower utilization rates by putting measures in place to deny clients coverage for certain things. Basically, insurance will become a hassle.
The Kaiser Family Foundation also went on the state that:
‘The CBO believes the total costs of providing a similar benefit package would be higher under private plans than Medicare, and that the differential between the costs under traditional Medicare and the costs under private plans would widen over time.’
Basically, Ryan wants to shift the burden of extra health care costs away from the government and onto Americans, all while generating revenue for big businesses in the process. Like most of his Republican colleagues, he doesn’t want to help anyone — he wants to make a profit.
It’s ironic, isn’t it? Donald Trump yammered on about “draining the swamp” throughout his entire presidential campaign, yet his party is simultaneously planning to profit off of privatized health care while Americans suffer in the process.
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