Paul Ryan on Medicare and Other News

Our first presidential election with unlimited corporate spending has seen campaign ad funding exceed half-a-billion dollars. One of the things they’re talking about is Medicare. So, what’s going to happen to Medicare?

Paul Ryan’s budget proposal switches traditional Medicare to a voucher-like credit or premium-support system. People under 55 would no longer enroll in Medicare. They’d have to buy private insurance plans – See this blog at

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that would cost Medicare beneficiaries about $6,000 more because voucher credits were to increase with the rate of inflation. The actual cost of health care has been rising much faster.

In Ryan’s second plan (even he realized that his original plan wouldn’t work), voucher credits would cover the two cheapest health plans (which will be the equivalent to Medicare and may even compete against it) unless costs grow faster than GDP plus 0.5 percentage points. If that happens, we don’t know what Congress would do to help. Even if it doesn’t, the CBO says, “beneficiaries might face higher costs,” according to Although, his latest plan will most likely lower healthcare costs and that isn’t taken into account. See PolitiFact.

Can you Retire with just Medicare?

When to retire is a personal decision, but an overall trend has emerged. In the 90s, the average retirement age for men was between 62 and 64. For women, it was a little earlier at 60 to 62. Now, a significant number of senior workers (over 25 percent) say they plan to continue working at least until age 70. And, health care costs are a big factor.

What (Obama) HealthCare Reform Means

Healthcare reform is rolling out as planned. So, what’s going to happen to Medicare and Medicare plans?

The federal subsidies for generic prescriptions to get you through the “donut” hole are good to go. Pharmaceutical manufacturers will be giving 50-percent discounts on brand-name prescriptions. Generics are discounted at 14 percent.

The other very popular healthcare reform – preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs – made it, too. If you prefer to get your Medicare benefits through an Advantage plan, you’ll get those free services and all of the other guaranteed benefits of original Medicare.

It’s not all good news, though. When the AARP Public Policy Institute looked at what beneficiaries spend for healthcare, it reported more than four million spent over $8,300 every year. Median spending for those who had Alzheimer’s, cancer or congestive heart failure took about one-fourth of their income.

One Response to “Paul Ryan on Medicare and Other News”

  1. Goldie says:

    I’m all about anti-Obama healthcare. I’m 61 and that means I’m getting Medicare soon, and Obama is gonna wreck it with his big black wrecking balls

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