The House Rules Committee debated the reconciliation bill this weekend. Rep. Paul Ryan touted his budget proposals to Rep. Louise Slaughter and after filibustering the meeting for some time she finally got Rep. Xavier Becerra to put a fine line on just what Ryan would like to do with Medicare, and that is privatize it and have vouchers replace the system we have now.
Ezra Klein has more on what Ryan would like to do with Medicare. Ryan had a whole lot of double speak to offer when questioned about whether he wants to privatize it or not during this meeting.
I'm looking forward to Ryan and the rest of the GOP defending him wanting to privatize Medicare and Social Security if they think that's a winning issue. I don't think seniors will be so thrilled if they actually get a good look at what they're proposing.
The White House's 2011 budget is only the second-most interesting budget proposal released recently. First prize goes to Congressman Paul Ryan, the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, who's released a budget proposal that actually erases the massive long-term deficit. [...]
But Ryan's budget -- and the details of its CBO score -- is also an object lesson in why so few politicians are willing to answer the question "but how will you save all that money?" [...]
That's a bit of a slog, so here's the translation: The proposal would shift risk from the federal government to seniors themselves. The money seniors would get to buy their own policies would grow more slowly than their health-care costs, and more slowly than their expected Medicare benefits, which means that they'd need to either cut back on how comprehensive their insurance is or how much health-care they purchase. Exacerbating the situation -- and this is important -- Medicare currently pays providers less and works more efficiently than private insurers, so seniors trying to purchase a plan equivalent to Medicare would pay more for it on the private market.
Go read the whole thing for Ezra's analysis.