Just Some Facts


Passed along to the Editor by Col. David Couvillion (USMC Ret.) from a friend of his. It is true, that is it is factually based. One can argue the relative merits of Paul Ryan's plan, and it is certainly argued with a vengeance these days since Ryan has received the VP nod. but critics are not telling the truth; that is they are purposefully muddling up the facts in order to mislead citizens as to its details, and intent. I thought that it would be a good idea to for people to know what exactly you are arguing about; what the facts of Ryan's Plan actually are with respect especially to Medicare. Since most people these days get their information from 30 second sound bites and overly dramatic commercials here are some facts:  Vote however you want in November but here are some simple truths.

1) The Paul Ryan budget as it pertains to Medicare does not effect anyone born prior to 1958.  Anyone born before 1958 keeps the same Medicare program you have now.

2) The budget does not cut taxes by $4 trillion.  It cancels a future tax increase of $4 trillion that is scheduled to go into effect in 2013.

3) The budget does not increase the deficit by giving tax cuts to the rich.  This is a revenue-neutral tax reform plan that simplifies the tax code. It proposes reducing individual and corporate tax rates from 35% to 25% and it is paid for by eliminating extraneous tax deductions, exemption and loopholes that currently allow some wealthy people and businesses to escape their fair share of taxes.

4) The budget substantially reduces both short and long term budget deficits.  It contains $5.8 trillion in spending over the next decade.  This budget would run $5.1 trillion in deficit over the next decade compared to President Obama's proposed $9.5 trillion in deficits.

5) Current and near retirees are exempt from reforms.  Virtually none of the $5.8 trillion in spending reductions in the first decade would affect Social Security and Medicare.  Seniors would benefit from averting the large tax increases planned in current law and from tax reforms that lower their rates while closing unneeded loopholes. Those currently older than age 55 would be exempt from any future changes to their Social Security and Medicare benefit.

6) Ryan's budget does not "privatize" Medicare and hand seniors a voucher.  A “voucher” is usually a certificate of specified cash value that is redeemable for the purchase of goods or services. Under Ryan’s House budget plan, seniors would instead choose health plans and the government would make direct and adequate contributions to the premium cost of the plans of their choice. This “premium support” would go to Medicare-certified and -regulated plans that would compete in a Medicare “exchange,” which Ryan himself has described as “tightly regulated.”  This premium support system is broadly similar to the kind of system that Members of Congress and federal employees and retirees enjoy today in the widely popular and successful Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.  (If Obama's health plan is so great, why is Congress and big Unions exempt)

7) Ryan's plan does not end Medicare as we know it. (Again, it does not effect anyone born before 1958).  The passage of the new healthcare law ended Medicare as we know it by imposing record-breaking payment cuts for Medicare providers—plus an unprecedented hard cap on Medicare spending to be enforced by the newly created Independent Payments Advisory Board, an unelected board of bureaucrats empowered to lower provider payments to preordained levels indexed to inflation and economic growth. This will ensure rationing of care through provider payment cuts.

8) The Ryan plan does not shift Medicaid costs to the states and hurt the poor.  Medicaid block grants would help states lower Medicaid costs and provide them with the flexibility to better serve the poor.  The new healthcare law shifts $700 billion from Medicare to Medicaid by making more eligible for medicaid.  

9) Without changes to the current system, future generations will not benefit from Medicare because it will not exist on the current path.  These changes are to allow for Medicare and Social Security to be around when others who have not yet reached retirement do get to that point.  Commercials and political speak that uses terms like "gut medicare" are hollow untrue statements to scare people into making a decision based on emotion not fact.