ISSN 2330-717X

Ryan Proposal Could Lead To Large Rise In Health Care Costs For Seniors


Representative Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget plan has been lauded as a serious approach to the budget that will leadthe United States on a “path to prosperity”. A new issue brief from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) demonstrates that the Medicare portion of the Ryan plan shifts rising costs to beneficiaries.

“Ballooning health care costs continue to be the main source of the rise in future deficits,” said Dean Baker, an author of the brief. “The Ryan plan does nothing to address the projected explosion in health care costs. Instead it just shifts the burden of these costs more squarely on the shoulders of seniors.”

Using data from the CBO analysis of the Ryan plan, the brief specifically shows a comparison of costs under the Ryan plan and the current system in 2022, 2030, and 2050.

The report looks at the costs as a share of income to a 65-year-old Medicare beneficiary in 2022, 2030, and 2050 at the 40th, 50th, and 70th income quintiles and the implied dollar value of premium support, beneficiary payment and additional payments to providers under Ryan plan and the current plan in 2050.

The report also takes into account the cumulative additional payments to providers over the 75-year Medicare projection period resulting from implementation of the plan.

While many claim that Rep. Ryan’s plan would put the nation on the road to greater fiscal responsibility, the savings on Medicare come at the expense of ensuring quality care for retired workers while providing a windfall for insurers and providers, the authors of the report conclude.

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