Let me see if I can't make this so simple, even corporate journalists can understand. The average 65-year-old person gets Medicare Part A for free, and pays $96.40 a month for Medicare Part B. Then they pay $10-50 a month for prescription coverage, depending on which Medicare Part D coverage they buy. Okay, so most people pay no more than $150 a month for insurance that covers most things. Then they buy "medigap" insurance for the things that aren't covered by Part A. That runs $500 and up annually.
If you buy all those policies, you're covered. No worries about "what if."
And what does the Ryan proposal offer? Basically, it's a coupon. Instead of covering you for all those things, it pays a fixed amount -- and anything over that is your problem. People who aren't network news anchors or high-profile columnists don't make enough money to pay for what the Ryan proposal doesn't cover, and as a result, seniors won't get the medical care they need and some of them will die as a result.
You know, unlike most other Western civilized countries. So now you can't say no one ever told you.
By the way, Media Matters explains here why the Romney campaign accusation that President Obama is trying to gut Medicare is a classic case of projection:
Fox is pushing a Romney campaign falsehood that President Obama rather than Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) plans to gut Medicare as we know it.
Ryan has received strong criticism for his plan to transform Medicare into a voucher system. Trying to deflect the attacks on Ryan's plan, Fox contributor Angela McGlowan claimed that the Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) cuts hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare.
In fact, the savings the ACA makes to the Medicare program would not cause a decline in quality of care under Medicare, and Ryan has proposed identical savings. But Ryan's plan goes much further, ending Medicare as we know it by transforming it into a voucher plan.
From Fox & Friends Sunday:
McGLOWAN: Obama cut $700 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. With the Ryan plan, it keeps people who are 55 and over on their plan now, so they don't have to worry about that. So this ad saying he would hurt the elderly -- his plan would actually keep it in place.
McGlowan's claim that the ACA cuts Medicare is false. An August 12 ABC News post explained that the supposed "cuts" to Medicare was the slowing of the growth of the program by ACA. Even Fox News Sundayguest host John Roberts explained that over a ten year period the ACA "would slow the growth of Medicare, I want to be very clear about that, not cut Medicare, but slow the growth by $500 billion."
Gail Wilensky, a former administrator of the Medicare program under George H. W. Bush, made clear in a June 28 Bloomberg article, "there are no reductions in the Medicare benefits promised in the law." In a June 28 postFactCheck.org similarly concluded that the ACA "stipulates that guaranteed Medicare benefits won't be reduced.
"Furthermore, Ryan himself adopted the same savings in his Medicare proposal as he acknowledged during a June 30 appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
However, unlike the ACA, Ryan's plan ends Medicare as we know it and would hurt Medicare recipients. Ryan's plan eliminates the program's guarantee of comprehensive medical benefits while raising the program's eligibility age and turning the program into a voucher system that will quickly prove inadequate to allow seniors to receive the care they need.