Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Is CNN Pushing Factually Wrong Picture of Paul Ryan Medicare Plan

Why Is CNN Pushing Factually Wrong Picture of Paul Ryan Medicare Plan

CNN's Sanjay Gupta claimed that the proposed changes to Medicare that Congressman Paul Ryan has offered would allow seniors to choose between "a voucher" system and "traditional Medicare," while keeping the system affordable. In fact, experts say the Ryan plan would threaten Medicare's long-term viability and potentially would increase seniors' medical costs by thousands of dollars.

CNN's Gupta: Ryan Plan Will Give Future Seniors Option To Retain "Traditional Medicare"

Sanjay Gupta Claimed Ryan's Proposal Will Give Future Seniors A Choice Between Voucher System And Traditional Medicare. On the September 28 edition of CNN's Early Start, CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta reported on the differences between the Ryan Medicare plan and the Affordable Care Act and claimed that the Ryan plan would offer those under 55 "the option of getting a voucher to purchase private insurance, or they could stick with traditional Medicare":

    GUPTA: Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan proposed to cap malpractice insurance, cut Medicaid by $810 billion dollars over the next 10 years, give states more control over their Medicaid funds, overhaul Medicare. The overhaul? People now younger than 55, when they reach retirement, would have the option of getting a voucher to purchase private insurance. Or, they could stick with traditional Medicare. [CNN, Early Start, 9/28/12]

But Experts Say Ryan's Plan Threatens Medicare's Long-Term Viability

CBPP: Ryan's Promise To Ensure "Traditional Medicare Remains An Option" Cannot Be Kept. Paul Van de Water, an economist and senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, wrote in March that Congressman Paul Ryan's plans for Medicare in his latest budget could lead to the unraveling of traditional Medicare:

    Chairman Ryan claims that his proposal "ensur[es] that traditional Medicare remains an option." Unfortunately, that's not the case. Under premium support, traditional Medicare would tend to attract a less healthy pool of enrollees, while private plans would attract healthier enrollees (as occurs today with Medicare and private Medicare Advantage plans). Although the proposal calls for "risk adjusting" payments to health plans -- that is, adjusting them to reflect the average health status of their enrollees -- the risk adjustment process is highly imperfect and captures only part of the differences in costs across plans that stem from differences in the health of enrollees.

    Inadequate risk adjustment would mean that traditional Medicare would be only partially compensated for its higher-cost enrollees, which would force Medicare to raise beneficiary premiums to make up the difference. The higher premiums would lead more of Medicare's healthier enrollees to abandon it for private plans, very possibly setting off a spiral of rising premium costs and falling enrollment for traditional Medicare. Over time, traditional Medicare would become less financially viable and could unravel -- not because it was less efficient than the private plans, but because it was competing on an unlevel playing field in which private plans captured the healthier beneficiaries and incurred lower costs as a result. Ryan also would allow private plans to tailor their benefit packages to attract healthier beneficiaries and deter sicker ones, which only makes this outcome more likely. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/28/12]

CBPP: Voucher Systems That Include Medicare Option Could "Threaten Traditional Medicare's Long-Term Viability." In a September 2011 report titled, "Converting Medicare to Premium Support Would Likely Lead to Two-Tier Health Care System," CBPP explained that under a "premium support" system such as the one in the Ryan plan that was passed by the House in April 2011, "inadequate risk adjustment" could lead to healthier seniors abandoning traditional Medicare for private plans. The report explained that could leave only the less healthy in the traditional Medicare program, which could "drive up its costs and threaten traditional Medicare's long-term viability." [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 9/26/11]

Brookings Institute: Financing For Ryan Plan Would "Throw Into Doubt The Very Survival Of The Program." Brookings Institute senior fellow Henry Aaron evaluated the Ryan Medicare plan and concluded that "the financing for traditional Medicare would become progressively less adequate, throwing into doubt the very survival of the program":

Liberal media. The only people who think the media is liberal are the same people who dance with ghosts and think the Loch Ness monster talks to them in the shower - oh, and Republicans.

NBC’s David Gregory is a hack. he is of that right-of-center no real news school of journalism. Democrats says world id round, Republicans disagree. Though he has moved on to just making crap up like his conservative brethren - NBC’s David Gregory Misquotes Obama, Falsely Claims President Said ‘Al Qaeda Has Been Defeated’

Mitt Romney: Free Speech Is for Billionaires, Not School-Teachers