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  • Republican Presidential Candidates Embrace Medicare Premium Support

    Earlier this week in New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidates touted the benefits of a Medicare premium support system — the approach to entitlement reform embraced by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and The Heritage Foundation.

    Ryan’s recent partnership with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) helped thrust the idea of premium support back into the national spotlight. Their bipartisan framework represented a breakthrough on Capitol Hill after liberals spent much of the year making false charges about Ryan’s plan.

    Given the misleading information about premium support, let’s first take a moment to explain what it is. Heritage’s Bob Moffit and Kate Nix put it this way:

    Under premium support, Medicare would become a real insurance program, not merely an outdated mechanism to reimburse specific services. Receiving fixed financial assistance to offset the cost of health insurance would permit seniors to choose the health plan that works best for them, rather than being locked into a federally defined benefits package and forced to pay a second premium for supplemental private insurance to cover Medicare’s gaps.

    Pressed by NBC’s David Gregory about Ryan’s plan and the premium support model, the GOP candidates voiced approval for the approach.

    Newt Gingrich:

    Well, the fact is that the — Ryan Wyden bill, which was just introduced recently, actually incorporates allowing people to choose and allows them to stay in traditional Medicare with the premium support model, or go to new methods. And I think it’s a substantial improvement. It allows for a transition in Medicare in a way that makes sense.

    Ron Paul:

    Well, you know, I hear this all the time when I was — have been campaigning around — the state. You know, we should have the same kind of health care the members of Congress have. Well, that’s pretty much what Paul Ryan’s plan is. That the — the members of Congress have a premium support model. So does every other federal employee.

    I mean it works very well. As — you know, the- – the federal government has a liability. They put — put money out there. And then if you want, you — you have — about this thick. If you’re an employee in Washington, D.C. it — got a — whole bunch of different plans to choose from and you have all sorts of options available to you. You want a more expensive plan, you pay more of a co-insurance. If you want a less expensive plan, you don’t.

    Mitt Romney:

    And finally, with regards with entitlement, in the entitlement reform area, I do not want to change Medicare and Social Security for current retirees. But for younger people coming up they have to recognize that in the future higher income people will receive less payments in the premium support program.

    Rick Santorum:

    Well, I– I said repeatedly that– we should have had a funding mechanism. And– it’s one of those things that I had a very tough vote, as you know. In that bill, we had health savings accounts, something I’d been fighting for 15 years, to transform the private sector health care system into a more consumer, bottom-up– way of doing it. We also had Medicare Advantage to transform the entire Medicare system into– Medicare Advantage is basically a premium support type model.

    Jon Huntsman:

    Well, I would have to say that I agree with the Ryan plan. I think I’m the only one standing up here who has embraced the Ryan plan. It’s a very aggressive approach to taking about 6.2 — $6.2 trillion out of the budget over 10 years. And it looks at everything. And what I like about it is it says there will be no sacred cows.

    In addition to Ryan’s plan, Heritage has endorsed the premium support model as part of Saving the American Dream, a comprehensive approach to fixing the debt crisis and reforming entitlements. Last fall, Moffit outlined exactly how it would work and why it would restore Medicare solvency.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to Republican Presidential Candidates Embrace Medicare Premium Support

    1. West Texan says:

      The GOP will have a big fight on their hands with Obama's leftist demagoguery come November. HF and Ryan's plan competes with the current president and congressional social progressives' vision of a federal bureaucracy with absolute power. The electorate has insidiously been brainwashed for over a century by a Marxist ideology through academia and the mass media. Many good people honestly believe big daddy government is the answer to everyone's basic needs. Although the premium support proposal makes perfect sense, the next step is to eventually move such social entitlements back to the states where these domestic matters rightfully belong under federalism. Social progressive liberals actually see themselves as American patriots. They couldn't be more self-deceiving. Truth is, they're socialist wannabes who need a factual history lesson in the worst way.

      • Larry Welch says:

        While you're correct that liberal demagoguery will continue , it should be noted that Senator Wyden co-authored the premiun support plan

        • West Texan says:

          Although Wyden's Healthy Americans Act recognizes the potential of free markets, it doesn't go far enough to address D.C.'s ever growing bureaucratic empowerment over domestic affairs. My message to the senator, submit your plan for Oregonians. Texas will manage their own healthcare issues absent the federal's exploitation.

        • Mike, Wichita Falls says:

          Apparently, there are different shades of liberalism. Some like Wyden will see the light faster than others like Obama. He is so married to his idealogy that I don't think he would ever change his mind no matter how much facts and reality slap him in the face.

    2. Bob Densic says:

      So all of those fighting for adherence to Constitutional values from the GOP support paying for individuals medical costs, something that is completely outside of the enumerated powers of the federal government. Hmm – maybe we do need a third party.


    3. When did we start following Marxist ideology? I think it's been coming a long long time. Clear back to Jimmy Carter anyhow. RLS

    4. Seniors are actually paying twice for Medicare: 1. If you make more than $15K you have to purchase Medicare A out of the Social Security payments. 2. Medicare B is paid out of your own bank account. 3. Medicare D is also paid partially out of the social security benefit, plus a premium on top of the D plan in addition to the "hole" in the payments for drugs. If you opt out of the D plan, you get a refund of $29 to the social security debit. Even though the government has been taking both Medicare and Social Security debits out of younger workers, you are taxed on Social Security, and also debited for the plans that supposedly you paid into your entire wage or salary earning life. Pity those who will not see these benefits when the "lock box" of SS and Medicare runs out of suckers paying into it to cover the outflow of payments to seniors.

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