Thursday, February 04, 2010

Paul Ryan's Medicare plan = Senate health care bill

Guest blogging at Kevin Drum's blog, Baumann writes:
"The biggest problem with Ryan's plan is that it doesn't actually control health care costs. It simply shifts the burden of paying for them from the public sector to individuals. ... Medical costs will rise much faster than the value of the voucher will."
The Senate bill, with the excise tax that is indexed to CPI, eventually limits what will be PAID for medical services, with the individual becoming more "sensitive" to health care costs (and will presumably therefore limit 'unnecessary' treatment).

But Kevin, Ezra, Benen, Sullivan, et al, are all for the existing Senate bill. So what's so bad about Ryan's plan? It's functionally equivalent (with the caveat that Ryan's is for Medicare, the Senate for employer-provided health care.)

I oppose the Senate bill for the reasons that Baumann opposes Ryan's proposal - it shifts the burden of paying to individuals. But where is the opposition to the Senate bill?

UPDATE: Give Ezra Klein credit, he writes: (emp add)
Take Rep. Paul Ryan's health-care plan ... as the conservative pole on this issue. Then take single-payer and place it on the other side of the spectrum. Where does the Senate bill fall?

[The Senate bill is] closer to Ryan's plan than to single-payer. A lot closer, in fact.

Unlike single-payer, it does not try to save money by using federal bargaining power to force down the prices of various drugs and treatments. Instead, like Ryan's plan, it works to contain costs by creating a simpler, more transparent, more competitive market for private insurance, centered around exchanges that are meant to make it easier for consumers to comparison shop.


Well, the Senate bill is the best you progressives are gonna get (if we get it at all), so you'd better wrap your head around that and deal. Otherwise, the media will pound the Dems for lack of action, Congress will revert to the loony-tune GOP, and Obama's one term and out. I'll be on a plane bound for New Zealand at the very moment President-elect Palin is taking the oath.

I'll take a bad bill over no bill at all. A bad bill can be fixed. But you can't fix something that doesn't pass.

By Anonymous Screamin' Demon, at 2/04/2010 11:35 AM  

save money by using federal bargaining power to force down the prices of various drugs and treatments.

Why do you think that the cost of health care is exploding? The Government uses it's Medicare "Bargaining Power" to force down the prices of drugs and treatments to the point where doctors and hospitals lose money on Medicare patients, and, shockingly, doctors and hospitals make up for the lost money by jacking up the cost of health care for everyone else.

Take, for instance, the Mayo Clinic, which lost $840 million dollars treating Medicare patients. How do you suppose the Mayo Clinic lost $840,000,000 on government health care yet stayed in business?

Think they charged someone else that $840,000,000? Who could that be?

The Obama plan for medicine is for doctors and hospitals to lose money on each patient, but make it up in volume. I'm not optimistic about the results.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/04/2010 8:03 PM  

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