Medicare cuts are front and center mostly due to Gov. Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as his V.P. running mate. Like it or not, the truth is out there. Without Medicare cuts and other changes, there will be no Medicare for future retiree’s.
If you want facts rather than political rhetoric, keep reading.
Lie number one. “Romney and the Republican’s want to take away your Medicare”.
Fact, the Romney-Ryan plan to save Medicare leaves Medicare mostly intact for CURRENT beneficiaries and provides OPTIONS for those under age 55.
Introduced by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the plan kept Medicare intact for people 55 or older, but dramatically changed the program for everyone else by privatizing it and providing government subsidies.
Medicare cuts will mean seniors will not be able to get the kind of care they need.
Obamacare introduces the IPAB (Independent Payment Advisory Board) where a government panel of 15 non-elected officials decide the level and type of care you will receive. If you and your doctor want another option that is not IPAB approved, you will have to pay for that treatment out of your pocket.
Let’s take a real-world example, from the country whose system IPAB is modeled after: Great Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE. (I will be discussing NICE extensively in this series on IPAB, since it is the best way for us to understand how IPAB will work in the real world.) NICE decides whether or not to recommend that Britain pay for various therapies using a utilitarian system called the Quality-Adjusted Life Year, or QALY.
“A QALY,” says NICE’s website, “gives an idea of how many extra months or years of life of a reasonable quality a person might gain as a result of treatment…We then consider cost effectiveness—that is, how much the drug or treatment costs per QALY…If a treatment [generally] costs more than £20,000-30,000 [~$33,000-$49,500] per QALY, then it would not be considered cost effective.”
Lie number two. “The Romney-Ryan plan eliminates Medicare as we know it”.
Fact. The Romney-Ryan plan preserves the current Medicare system and introduces new options.
the Wyden-Ryan Medicare plan—so named because it was coauthored by progressive Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.)—only applies to Americans younger than 55 years of age, and gives those younger individuals the option of remaining in the traditional Medicare program, or choosing a comparable private-sector insurance plan.
The bottom line: if Romney and Ryan leave you the option to remain in the 1965-vintage, fee-for-service, traditional Medicare program, and you claim that Medicare has “ended as we know it,” what you’ve really ended is the English language as we know it.
Obamacare requires forced Medicare cuts in excess of $700 billion. Contrast that with the Romney-Ryan plan that provides seniors with a CHOICE of ways to pay for their health care.