Ryan, left, of Wisconsin, proposes repealing health-insurance expansion, which is expected to cover 30 million people who don’t have coverage now; bringing back the coverage gap or “doughnut hole” in the Medicare prescription drug benefit; gradually raising the Medicare eligibility age (starting in 2022, it would rise by two months each year until it reaches 67 in 2033); and the amount of money juries could award in medical malpractice suits would be limited. (Photo: AP’s J. Scott Applewhite)
A proposal meant to reduce the federal deficit and cut spending would have future retirees paying more for health care, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates. The proposal by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan would repeal many of the much-touted benefits of the new health care law but is likely to die in the Senate, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar of The Associated Press reports.
Under Ryan’s plan, future retirees now 54 and younger would be enrolled “in a different kind of health care program when they retire,” Alonso-Zaldivar reports. “Instead of coverage for a set of benefits prescribed from Washington, they’d get a federal payment to buy private insurance from a choice of government-regulated plans.” That would mean those retirees would pay more than they would under the current program, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated.
The proposal would reduce spending by about $5 trillion over the next 10 years, but would not balance the federal budget. Ryan’s plan “would shift more of the risk from rising health care costs from federal taxpayers to individual beneficiaries, medical service providers and states, giving them all a powerful incentive to avoid waste and aim for quality and efficiency,” Alonzo-Zaldivar reports. “If it doesn’t work, as the budget office suggests might happen, future Medicare beneficiaries, providers and states will feel the pain directly. That could send them right back to Washington clamoring for more subsidies.” (Read more)