KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Ryan’s Medicare Plan Moves Him Into The Headlines

The New York Times reports on how the budget plan advanced Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has become the GOP's marching orders. In related news, the Medicare component of the Republican budget blueprint overhaul drew in-depth scrutiny during a House hearing last week.

The New York Times: The Ticket: Ryan's Rise From Follower To GOP Trialblazer
His prescriptions in the Republican budget plan he devised have become his party's marching orders: cut income tax rates and simplify the code, privatize Medicare, shrink the food-stamp and Medicaid programs and turn almost all control over to the states, and reduce domestic federal spending to its smallest share of the economy since World War II (Weisman, 4/29).

The Fiscal Times: What to Call Ryan's Private Medicare Plan
Architects of the plan call it "premium support." Opponents call it a voucher, which they say will over time lag behind medical inflation and force seniors to pay an ever-growing share of their health care bills. ... And it was that label that Republicans on the House Ways and Means health subcommittee repeatedly attacked during Friday's hearing on the Republican (Goozner, 4/27). 

Politico Pro: Medicare Hearing Explores Risks
The Ryan model greatly expands the role of private insurers in Medicare. It allows them to compete against a traditional Medicare fee-for-service option. Under the plan, seniors receive a risk-adjusted subsidy to help pay for their coverage. Critics contend the amount of the subsidy won't be enough to keep up with rising health care costs, and instead would shift costs to seniors (Dobias, 4/27).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Breaux: Bipartisanship Necessary To Fix Medicare Finances
Louisiana Democrat John B. Breaux left the Senate seven years ago, but old habits die hard. Today he fell back easily into his former role of compromise builder as he stressed the need for political common ground to overhaul Medicare next year (Werber Serafini and Carey, 4/27).

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