Have you heard? This week, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) outlined yet another effort to privatize Medicare; a twist on Rep. Ryan's voucher plan from earlier this year.
Of course you heard. And now tell your Congresspeople and the President, so they hear loud and clear. The new proposal would supposedly "preserve" the traditional Medicare program, but force it to compete with private plans. Similar to the earlier Ryan voucher plan, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would cost Medicare beneficiariestwice as much as traditional Medicare, this one is based on the flawed assumption that private plans will save Medicare money through competition and innovation. The belief that privatization will drive down costs is not based in fact.
What are the facts?
Private plans have not saved Medicare money, are more complicated, and often cost more than traditional Medicare.
Forcing traditional Medicare to compete with private, for-profit plans is a recipe for disaster Private plans will lower rates to woo the least costly beneficiaries and those more expensive to treat will remain in traditional Medicare, creating an environment that's likely unsustainable.
It's traditional Medicare - not private plans - that has been the leader in innovations to keep health costs down and increase quality.
Tell Congress the Ryan-Wyden plan won't do anything to reduce overall health care spending, which is the real problem Instead, it will likely lead to reduction in benefits and increase cost-sharing for Medicare beneficiaries. Don't be fooled into thinking this proposal protects and preserves Medicare - it eliminates a unified program Medicare is better and stronger without the Ryan-Wyden plan.
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Matthew E. Shepard
Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.
PO Box 350
Willimantic, CT 06226 email@example.com
(860) 456-7790 (860) 456-2614 (fax) www.medicareadvocacy.org