Dean Baker and his colleagues at the Center for Economic and Policy Research are making a very important point that has been largely overlooked by the media everywhere, but is vividly clear in the CBO’s analysis of the plan:
The Ryan plan itself will cause health care costs to rise.
How does it do this? How does it manage to increase health care costs while simultaneously shifting the burden of those extra costs to the elderly?
It does it precisely by replacing Medicare’s efficient (low-overhead) system with a less-efficient privatized (voucher) system that will force seniors into the private market.
In other words, the Ryan plan does nothing about the fundamental problem of rising health care costs, and in fact aggravates that problem.
Medicare is part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Effectively destroying Medicare by privatizing it, therefore, makes the fundamental problem worse.
People who have been calling for “Medicare for All” as an answer to our national health care cost problem have got it exactly right.
See Dean Baker’s excellent article on the subject in the Guardian UK: “What we’re not being told about Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan: The mainstream media has failed to report that the Ryan plan is a privatisation programme that will hand $30tn to insurers“
See CEPR Press Release: “Cost of Medicare Equivalent Insurance Skyrockets under Ryan Plan“
See CEPR Issue Brief: “Representative Ryan’s $30 Trillion Medicare Waste Tax“
See Talking Points Memo “CBO: GOP Budget Would Increase Debt, Then Stick It To Medicare Patients“