In a four-page, glossy brochure “prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense,” U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge, claims he is “Working ... to Preserve Medicare for Generations to Come.”
It just ain’t so. The congressman voted to destroy Medicare for our children and grandchildren while throwing a sop to seniors who are over 55 by exempting them from the destruction. He did this by voting for the budget plan by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Here are the facts about the Ryan plan for Medicare, according to the April 5 Congressional Budget Office response to Ryan’s request that it conduct “a long term analysis of your [Ryan’s] proposal.”
The bottom line, quoting the Budget Office, is that, “Under the proposal, most beneficiaries who receive premium support payments would pay more for their health care than if they participated in traditional Medicare.” How much more? “A typical 65-year old would pay 68 percent of the benchmark under the proposal, compared with 25 percent under the extended-baseline scenario and 30 percent under the alternative fiscal scenario.”
So, Cassidy voted to help our children and grandchildren by requiring them to pay more than twice as much under either scenario than they would pay under “traditional Medicare.” Some help.
The effect of the Ryan-Cassidy-supported plan “would be particularly challenging for elderly people with less savings and lower income,” except to the extent that they could get “an additional federal contribution” by pleading their poverty.
In addition, “Private insurers would have flexibility — to limit benefits, change co-payment arrangements, manage utilization, and control provider networks — that does not exist in traditional Medicare.”
All the quotes are from the Congressional Budget Office response to Ryan. Don’t be fooled by the slick brochure paid for by you, the taxpayer. Cassidy voted to destroy Medicare for future generations, not to preserve it.
Benjamin M. Shieber
retired law professor