Rep. Ryan defends Medicare plan in new ad
June 17th, 2011
11:03 AM ET
4 years ago

Rep. Ryan defends Medicare plan in new ad

(CNN) - House Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan appears in a television ad released Friday aimed at defending to seniors the controversial Medicare reform plan he authored as part of his budget proposal.

In the nationwide ad created by 60 Plus Association, a conservative seniors-interest advocacy organization, Ryan warns, "If we do nothing, Medicare spending will nearly double over the next decade, exhausting its remaining funds," while seeking to reassure seniors that, "No change occurs to Medicare for anybody who's on Medicare or ten years away from retiring."

In his budget plan, the Wisconsin Republican proposed a sweeping overhaul to Medicare for those 55 and under by offering subsidies for seniors to use private health insurance instead of the government paying directly for medical costs.

The plan, which passed in the House but failed in the Senate, has been met with severe backlash from Democrats who say the cuts will significantly harm seniors dependent on the entitlement program. It is the subject of continuing negotiations between lawmakers and the Obama administration.

The new ad began airing Friday on national cable channels, including CNN, and in Florida and Ohio, both key swing states.


Filed under: Medicare • Paul Ryan
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. emma

    Was it not already voted down in the Senate? So what hope is there for it in the future? Zero, I hope. Deal with Medicare by not ruining it!

    June 17, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. A disgusted former Republican

    If Ryan thinks seniors will support his attempted dismantling of Medicare, he is more stupid than I thought. Seniors will give him his comeuppance in a hurry.

    June 17, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Sniffit

    ""If we do nothing, Medicare spending will nearly double over the next decade, exhausting its remaining funds,"

    So what have they suggested in the CouponCare Crapshoot? DOING NOTHING ABOUT THE SKYROCKETING COSTS CAUSED BY SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS IN THE HEALTH CARE AND INSURANCE INDUSTRIES and then handing out coupons of rapidly dwindling value and with rapidly decreasing purchasing power so the elderly can enjoy those skyrocketing costs with the rest of us despite their lack of income and, the GOP hopes, their lack of any Social Security benefits. This all assumes, of course, that the "free market" and all the unicorn farts, double-rainbow, magic pixie dust conservative greed-is-good economic ideology that goes with it, would result in the elderly not being refused the option of purchasing privvate insurance with their paltry coupons...by the same private insurers whose refusal to provide them and other high-risk groups with insurance was the reason we created Medicare and Medicaid in the first place. But of course that will work...the ideology says so...and reality better obey them this time or they'll double-down and scream it even louder.

    June 17, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  4. David

    what a total loser!!! This issue alone will sink the Republicans!!! How can you aspire to punish seniors who have paid into the system their entire lives, by drastically changing medicare yet you have money for tax breaks for the rich???

    June 17, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. Debbie

    Not a Dem but I would NEVER vote for this guy! GOP has turned from a platform of a small strong central government to a big strong corporate government and they have the US Supreme Court backing and made it legal. GOP platform is becoming more and more facist. It is of, by, and for the corporation. The solutions are obvious to fix the economy but the ideology divide is too great. We must raise taxes and make cuts. We must be pro-business with regulation. We have lost our balance and short of a revolution I think America of, by, and for the people is gasping for its final breaths.

    June 17, 2011 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. ThinkAgain

    It doesn't matter how many fancy charts Ryan trots out, NOTHING changes the fact that insurance companies will not insure seniors at a reasonable cost if those seniors have pre-existing conditions and/or need medical treatment.

    These companies have data up the wahzoo showing that the older a person gets, the higher the chance they will need (often expensive) medical care.

    From a business standpoint, the only way to make money off these people is to either deny them coverage or charge them outrageous premiums.

    Either way, under the Ryan plan, the voucher seniors (and the disabled, too) get will not be enough to cover these costs.

    So my question is this: Why does Ryan hate senior and disabled Americans so much?

    June 17, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    When Palin talked about "death panels" in the Democratic health care proposals, she should have reserved the term for the Ryan Medicare proposal. Notice Ryan's sales job doesn't tell you how many seniors will be without coverage because they cannot pay the private insurance premium that the voucher doesn't cover.

    June 17, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Sniffit

    They can't repeal and replace the ACA, so they're trying to repeal and replace Medicare. What they are proposing IS NOT MEDICARE. You don't get to obliterate Medicare, create a new program that it 100% different, far riskier, entirely flawed and does nto provide the same level of security as the original, slap the name "Medicare" on it and then pretend you've "saved Medicare." THIS IS "REPEAL AND REPLACE" ON EVERY SUBSTANTIVE LEVEL IMAGINABLE.

    June 17, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. ABM

    This is such a waste of time. He does not get that the people are not for this.

    Get the broom out and sweep him out of iffice in the next election.

    June 17, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Oregon Calling

    What a tool he is. No credibility.

    Peace :-)

    June 17, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    To all who buy into the GOP's ideas about "reforming" Medicare, read this and REALLY THINK ABOUT IT:

    "This all assumes, of course, that the "free market" ... would result in the elderly not being refused the option of purchasing privvate insurance with their paltry coupons...by the same private insurers whose refusal to provide them and other high-risk groups with insurance was the reason we created Medicare and Medicaid in the first place."

    THIS IS THE HEART OF THE ARGUMENT AGAINST RYAN'S PROPOSAL.

    Anyone with half a brain knows the above statement to be true.

    It's the same reason why we have cops and laws and a military – and why our country (and every other developed nation) has a social safety net.

    Because left to their own devices, the greedy among us will exploit and harm us, no matter how much we suffer.

    So ask yourself, just what kind of nation do you want to live in?

    Dog-eat-dog, third-world, to heck with the elderly and the disabled and the poor?

    Or Not?

    June 17, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The problem is that there doesn't seem to be any way for seniors to make sure that health insurance companies won't cancel their accounts. There was no mention of how much these vouchers will increase; change with general inflation or the rising cost of health care. If it is with general inflation, then these vouchers will do less and less for the people who will be needing more and more as they get older.

    What about the people who have a lot of pre-existing conditions? Will they be able to get something they can afford if anything at all? I some how don't think they can. If the health insurance reforms stay in place, then they might be able to get some insurance.

    June 17, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. anagram_kid

    Sniffit – Well said, you are my hero!!!

    June 17, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Rickster

    "Forty-four percent of registered voters say they are more likely to vote for "the Republican Party's candidate" and 39% for Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election, according to Gallup's June update".
    -------------------
    Take a seat on the end of the bench, Barry.

    June 17, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. FM

    Hey Ryan you sell what you know people will buy. If not, why give it a try anyway!!

    June 17, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. kiel moreau

    how about these Neo Cons start looking at defence spending, which is already surpassing 1 trillion dollars a year?

    June 17, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Four and The Door

    My wife and I are at an age where we would be among the first in the proposed Ryan Medicare program. I fully support what he is doing to save it. Our parents have relied on Medicare and it is an important enough program we know to put in the effort to save it for us and those who come after us.

    There are only 2 reasons to ignore what needs to be done with Medicare. Fear and greed. The Democrats are going to use these to their full advantage to try and raise taxes based on American's greed and fear over Medicare. And what will they do with the increased taxes? Increase spending, of course. Raising taxes is a slippery slope, but Democrats don't care about where that leads America.

    June 17, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. Luke Brown

    This guy knows nothing. He is a tool. His "plan" is all about giving more tax cuts to the rich, and cutting benefits to the poor to pay for them. Welfare for the rich is far more expensive than welfare for the poor.

    If you cut taxes the way the the GOP has done for the past eight years, you end up with less revenue to pay your bills. That equals something called "The Deficit"

    June 17, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. azmary

    I still do not see how Ryan's plan is going to make insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions, especially since he wants to get rid of the new AHCA that will require insurance companies to take all applicants, and not drop them when they get ill, or when their medical costs pass a lifetime amount of 1 million dollars. The key problem here is insurance companies only want to enroll and keep healthy people so their bottom line stays in the black. That is obvious from how private insurance companies currentely treat people enrolled in Medicare Advantage and/or Medicare Part D. Right now insurance companies don't even have to sell the supplemental insurance to help cover the cost of services if people have pre-existing conditions, and that is only for the costs not paid for by Original Medicare, so I doubt they will sign on people to cover them for the full amount of their health care.

    June 17, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. Ronald

    "No change occurs to Medicare for anybody who's on Medicare or ten years away from retiring." However, after that it's privatized and screw all of you so insurance companies can make even bigger bucks off you suckers.

    June 17, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  21. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    If you vote for the Taliban....enjoy!! Just ask the people in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Ohio how happy they are now that they were tricked by lies, hate and fear! Where are the jobs??

    June 17, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  22. Root and stem

    There is no escape now from the U.S. becoming a third world hell hole. The Dems have nearly 50% of the country on the dole. Those people are choking the productive class to death with their demands.

    June 17, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  23. John K.

    Think of Paul Ryan as one of those few people who in the 2005-2006 time frame who were telling Americans that they were taking on too much debt (mortgages and credit cards). They called those people crazy back then. They don't sound crazy now, huh?
    Medicare on it's current path is insolvent and will eventually bankrupt the United States. Ryan's plan tries to save Medicare. Even Bill Clinton said that if Medicare is not changed it will bankrupt the United States.
    I have yet to see Obama and the Democrat's plan for saving Medicare.

    June 17, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. Weasley

    If the Republicans promised to make deep cuts in defense spending, reverse unnecessary tax breaks for big business, and considered a fair tax plan for all (such as a graduated flat tax), then maybe, just maybe its reasonable to reform Medicare.

    Until then, the Republicans are just placing the horrendous cost of George W. Bush's unnecessary war in Iraq squarely on the backs of our senior citizens, and that is unconscionable and unforgivable.

    June 17, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Gary Taylor

    Why do Ryan and the GOP keep emphasizing the fact that this will only impact people under 55? If the switch is so important, why not do it immediately? I'm 64 and enrolling in Medicare next year, so maybe I should demand it: "Hey give me some of that dandy Ryancare voucher program now. Why are you keeping all this good stuff for the youngsters?" The truth is, they know people won't start looking closely at their options until they reach the 55-and-over age level. So they scare them with talk of federal bankruptcy. I may be safe from Ryancare, but I have two daughters in their 30s who will have a poorer future without Medicare in it. Ryan and the GOP need to sit down and figure out a way to save the program. It won't be done with vouchers for insurance carriers who end up taking 20-30% off the top for executive bonuses, shareholder dividends, general profits and marketing–items financed by money that should go to the doctors and hospitals actually performing health care. In an age of computerization, aren't insurance carriers now the ultimate nonessential middlemen–overpaid clerks who write the checks and shuffle papers? Why would we turn Medicare back over to them?

    June 17, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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