The Democrats’ plan for Medicare is to oppose whatever reforms the Republicans are proposing, as Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz makes clear when asked during an interview what the Democrat plan for Medicare is.
Smith: But the Trustees also said a couple of Fridays ago that this thing (Medicare) could be insolvent in the next decade. Doesn’t something really dramatic have to happen, and as the Congressman suggested, Republicans have a plan, do the Democrats have a plan?
Wasserman Schultz: Like I said, the Republicans have a plan to end Medicare as we know it. What they would do is they would take the people who are younger than 55 years old today and tell them You know what? You’re on your own. Go and find private health insurance in the healthcare insurance market, we’re going to throw you to the wolves and allow insurance companies to deny you coverage and drop you for pre-existing conditions. We’re going to give you X amount of dollars and you figure it out.
Whether we like it or not, at some point we have to concede that the Medicare program cannot pay for an unlimited amount of health care for those enrolled at the program. There has to be limitations on the amount of care provided, otherwise the program will eat our already red-ink national budget alive. Rationing, in other words.
You cannot provide an infinite supply or something on a finite budget.
So the question is, who should be in charge of the rationing? What the Obama administration has proposed is a panel of government experts deciding what sort of care Medicare recipients should get and how much of that care they can access.
The Ryan plan gives Medicare recipients their share of Medicare money and allows them to pursue their own care. The Ryan plan empowers the individuals. The Democrats would empower the government to make all the decisions.
I’m not convinced that the Ryan plan is the fix for Medicare. Under his plan, recipients would still only be allowed to choose from among plans approved by the government. There would still be limits and regulations imposed by the government, so no truly free market, but the Ryan plan is a big improvement over the status quo and certainly better than where Democrats would take the program.