The Wyden-Ryan Plan Will Be the Foundation for Serious Medicare Reform—and Maybe More

Robert Laszewski

Posted 2/1/12 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

In two companion articles in January’s New England Journal of Medicine, Henry Aaron with Austin Frakt, and Joe Antos critique the Wyden-Ryan Medicare reform proposal.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) are proposing a hybrid Medicare reform proposal combing both Republican defined contribution free market principles—a premium support scheme—with Democratic defined benefit principles—a baseline guaranteed plan and premium support.

Continue reading “The Wyden-Ryan Plan Will Be the Foundation for Serious Medicare Reform—and Maybe More”

Wyden Covers Ryan’s Retreat on Medicare Vouchers

Merrill Goozner

Published 12/16/11 in the Fiscal Times

Last spring, the House passed on a straight party-line vote Rep. Paul Ryan’s mandatory Medicare privatization plan, which the Congressional Budget Office said would force future seniors to pick up two-thirds of their health care costs with no guarantee that those costs would come down.

On Thursday, Ryan, R-Wis., with a bipartisan boost from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., offered a revamped version of his plan, dubbed premium support because the government gives beneficiaries cash or a voucher to help them pay for plans sold by private insurance companies. The changes from his earlier plan were stark.

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Paul Ryan and Ron Wyden Blow the Medicare Reform Debate Wide Open!

Robert Laszewski

Posted 12/15/11 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) have embraced a Medicare reform plan that in concept borrows heavily from one championed by former New Mexico Senator Pete Domenici and former Clinton budget chief Alice Rivlin.

Specifically, Wyden and Ryan are proposing to alter the earlier Ryan Medicare plan by:

1. Continuing to offer the traditional Medicare plan—Ryan would have eliminated it—in addition to a range of private Medicare plans offered by health insurers.

2. Tying federal Medicare premium support to an amount equal to the second lowest cost Medicare plan—public or private—available to seniors in each market. Ryan would have set a flat premium support amount in year-one and increased that only at the rate of inflation.

3. Instituting a series of consumer protections and medical underwriting rules designed to protect seniors.

4. Instituting an annual cap on what the federal government could pay for Medicare at an amount equal to the increase in the nation’s GDP + 1%—Ryan would have capped annual increases in the federal premium support amount at the increase in the consumer price index.

The Wyden-Ryan would begin in 2022.

Continue reading “Paul Ryan and Ron Wyden Blow the Medicare Reform Debate Wide Open!”