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Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan Picks Seniors’ Pockets

by Joye Barksdale  |  October 15, 2012

Rep. Paul RyanRemember when Paul Ryan talked about the Romney-Ryan plan for Medicare during the debate with Vice President Joe Biden?  Mitt Romney’s running mate said their voucher plan wouldn’t raise costs for senior citizens. Turns out, that was just one of many tales he told.

A new study by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation and based on 2010 data says that under the Romney-Ryan plan to partially privatize Medicare, 6 out of 10 seniors would have paid higher premiums. Those costs would have risen even for seniors who chose to stay in the traditional Medicare plan. In Florida, for example, the study predicted that seniors in traditional Medicare would have paid $200 more a month, on average.

AFSCME VotesRomney and Ryan have proposed changing Medicare to a system dominated by private plans. They would give seniors “vouchers” – essentially coupons worth a fixed amount of money – and offer them the, ahem, “opportunity” to search for coverage on the open market, or stay in Medicare. President Barack Obama is a strong defender of traditional Medicare, arguing that the Romney-Ryan reforms would weaken Medicare and ultimately lead to its demise.

The Kaiser study found that the plan would have raised costs even for those who stayed in traditional Medicare, on average by $720 annually.

Just another example of how privatizing important public services leads to higher costs to the public, not better service. 

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