Ryan Plan for Medicare is Terrible

The Ryan plan for Medicare is terrible.  Let me count the ways:

  1. As a health insurance broker, I meet people every month who are desperate for Medicare and good health insurance. These are self-employed people, or unemployed people, or people who work jobs that are physically hard on their bodies.  They are thrilled to be turning 65 so they can get good health insurance through Medicare. Paul Ryan wants them to wait until they are 67.
  2. Paul Ryan’s plan would allow insurance companies to charge a higher premium based on age.  Health insurance premiums for people in their 60’s are already high – and Ryan thinks they should be higher.
  3. Paul Ryan’s plan would make premiums higher for people in their 60’s while reducing the premium help they get from the government. That’s a double whammy for middle class Americans.
  4. Paul Ryan’s plan makes changes to Medicare starting in 2020.  That’s less than four years from now.  Past proposals for Medicare changes gave people a much longer time period to prepare for such big changes to their retirement plans.

Here’s an example of why the Ryan plan for Medicare is terrible:

I know someone who is planning to retire next year.  She has really good health insurance with her employer. She never calls in sick, so she has four years of banked sick time – and her employer will let her use that banked sick time to buy health insurance from the company when she retires.  She has it all figured out that she will get to keep her excellent employer coverage until she turns 65 and gets Medicare.  Paul Ryan says she will have to wait until she is 67, meaning she’d have two more years cover her own health insurance.  She is really pissed off by Ryan’s plan – and she is afraid that her hard-earned benefits and retirement plans are no longer realistic.

Paul Ryan and other congressmen get lifetime health insurance – yet he wants to make it harder for people to get decent and affordable heath insurance through Medicare.  That is terrible.

Paul Ryan has a job that is not physically demanding. Many politicians keep working into their 70’s and 80’s – because they love their work and it is easy on their bodies.  But what about constructions workers?  What about retail workers who are on their feet for 8 hours a day? What about people who have health issues that make it difficult for them to keep working?

Paul Ryan thinks 65 is young – but I have met plenty of 65-year olds who are in very bad shape.  And I’ve met many who went without health insurance and health care until they turned 65 and got Medicare.

I think Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare is terrible.  And I hope this becomes an issue for the presidential and congressional campaigns.  This plan seems like a slap in the face for older Americans – and those older Americans vote.

Before Obamacare, I wrote about how I had met three women in one week who were thrilled to be turning 65. The Ryan plan for Medicare reminded me of their stories. Read the story here:  Women Who are Uninsured 

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4 Responses to "Ryan Plan for Medicare is Terrible"

  1. Bob says:

    Paul Ryan’s proposal is just that. It isn’t law and hasn’t been introduced to the House yet. If his proposal becomes law the age 65 Medicare eligibility only impacts people born in 1960 or later. No impact on those immediately approaching 65.

    Medicare was never designed to be self sustaining and has been made worse over the years because of additions dreamed up by Congress.

    Additions that are likewise underfunded.

    Ryan and other members of Congress believe eliminating first dollar Medigap coverage (as exists with Plan F) will lower overall medical costs and “save” Medicare.

    That is a stupid proposal and only shifts the cost away from Medicare and on to the backs of retirees.

  2. Denise says:

    The Medigap change is a joke. The only thing not covered by medigap plans would be the Part B deductible.

    Medicare being underfunded depends on priorities I suppose. We spend half a trillion dollars on the military, but we can’t provide decent coverage for seniors. We have our priorities all messed up.

    If we paid lower prices for our health care, Medicare would be sustainable. It ‘s a very complicated subject and our disfunctional and partisan congress is probably incapable of fixing Medicare.

    But turning Medicare over to insurance companies sure isn’t the answer!

  3. Diane Compagno says:

    I agree and what they want to do is basically make one huge death panel so that when people go over 65 there is no help for them. We would be right back where we started while we were still working and even worse. We now live a fixed income and social security would not cover the simple things much less medical and medication increases. So what happens then. We just hope to die sooner rather than later I guess. So Sarah Palin, here are your death panels you were so worried about. Thanks for NOTHING Paul Ryan and Republican bought and paid for legislators. You are one useless bunch. We were better off when you were on one of your thousands of vactions. So go back to that and leave MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY alone I say.

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