Sunday, April 17, 2011

Mr. Ryan goes to Washington... to snatch Grandma's purse, enrich insurance companies and keep the cost of health care high.

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research comments on just how fundamentally irresponsible the GOP's "Ryancare" plan to kill medicare is, solely in terms of  dollars spent on coverage, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates:
The CBO projections show that under the Ryan plan, seniors would soon be spending more than half of their income to buy a Medicare equivalent plan. This is both due to the cost shifting from the government to individuals, but even more importantly CBO projects that Ryan's plan will lead to much higher health care expenses since it will be less effective in containing costs than the traditional Medicare program.
The CBO projections imply that Ryan's plan would add more than $30 trillion to the cost of providing Medicare equivalent policies over the program's 75-year planning period. The additional cost under the Ryan plan is an amount that is approximately equal to $100,000 for every person in the country or 6 times the size of the projected Social Security shortfall. This sum is the pure waste, it does not count the costs shifted from the government to seniors.
This breakdown of CBO findings is so stunning it's worth repeating: Obtaining private insurance policies that are equivalent to Medicare coverage over the duration of "Ryancare's" 75 year projection - would cost $30 trillion more than current Medicare. This is the sum of difference between profit-driven private insurance premiums and the cost of low-overhead Medicare with fee containment structured in.

Via Center for Economic and Policy Research.

New York Times Budget Puzzle - "You Fix The Budget!"

Assuming some haven't seen this, the Times "Budget Puzzle" is a fascinating (and fun) interactive federal fiscal "game" in which you can make your own choices as to how best to generate federal revenues and align them with federal spending.  The puzzle gives you a menu of choices on both sides of the balance sheet.  It's been online since last fall, but its worth revisiting in the context of current debates and definitely worth checking out if you've missed it.