According to the July 28 Washington Times: “Pelosi House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi suggested Thursday that a House Republican deficit-reduction proposal could lead to the end of Medicare.” This is so ridiculous. There is no end to the lies that the Democrats will tell to scare seniors.
The Rep. Paul Ryan Republican plan which apparently is no longer in contention because Democrats consider it too extreme, explicitly does not make any change in either Medicare or Social Security for those older than 55.
Its Medicare plan "provides a 'refundable tax credit' [payment regardless of income tax liability] of $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families" made directly to the health insurance plan of the individual's choice, offered by any state, and fully portable from job to job.
· It fully funds Medical Savings Accounts for low incomes and allows all beneficiaries to set up tax-free MSAs.
· It provides Medicaid beneficiaries with nearly $11,000 for health care costs.
· It offers coverage through a state based exchange that meets the "same statutory standard used for the health benefits given to Members of Congress."
· It provides for state health insurance high-risk pools for individuals who would otherwise be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
· And "The proposal limits lawsuit abuse without limiting legal justice" with a cap on non-economic damages "and assisting States in establishing solutions to medical tort litigation.”
The Congressional Budget Office indicates "these reforms will make Medicare permanently solvent."
The Social Security segment of the Ryan plan: in addition to not affecting anyone older than 55 provides the option for those under 55 “of investing over one third of their current Social Security Taxes into personal retiremnt accounts similar to theThrift savings Plan available to Federal employees” or to stay in the current plan.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Ryan Social Security Plan: “Makes the program permanently solvent . . . by combining a more realistic measure of growth in Social Securities initial benefits, with an eventual modernization of the retirement age.” The proposal would “have the effect of increasing the retirement age by 1 month every 2 years . . . until it reaches 70 in the next century.”
An individual under 55 has remarked: “I don’t care if the retirement age is changed to 85, under the current system, Social Security will not even be in existence by then.”
These are the facts. The approaches are surprisingly scored to save Medicare and Social Security by the Congressional Budget office and I believe quite compassionate.