Rep. Ryan defends Medicare plan in new ad
June 17th, 2011
11:03 AM ET
7 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. Ben

    David – "This issue alone will sink the Republicans!!! " Don't bet on it. Ryan's plan is the only thing that's being debated right now. What have the Democrats done? Nothing as usual, except demogogue the issue.

    June 17, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ryan's medicare plan is more than life or death to seniors, it's his life or death as a Representative and he knows it.

    June 17, 2011 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  3. gg

    Yeah right BIG graphic lines! that's the only thing GOP knows. Didn't michelle bachmann used it too?

    June 17, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. king

    these people cannot see this is a new world order, its all about globalism, america is a dying breed in their eys. that why they dont mind cutting trillions which would benefits their coporate masters, who dont need american consumers any more. their consumers are over seas, that why theyre hiring foreigners, robots and computer systems, for their labor force, hell with the american workers. why you think they are keeping trillion on the side lines, and have the repugs lie that they are waiting for them to take over the government to put the trillions back into our economy, by the time that happens these big corporations will see america as a newsence, and the global market as their playing field. i say massive infrastructure building and transportation modernization to fend for america's future because the repugs have fallen into their corporate masters web of deception.

    June 17, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    His "plan" is indefensible. He is throwing seniors under the bus. He has zero care or consideration for those in the twilight of life. He is nothing but a bean counter, who counts beans for the rich, and discards those who are NOT rich.

    June 17, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. Poser

    Paul Ryan is trying to sell the false choice of taking his plan or doing nothing. There are things that can be done to reduce the cost of Medicare that doesn't involve privatizing it. Private insurance companies are not in business to provide coverage. They are in business to make a profit! Seniors tend to need far more in health services than younger people so in order to make a profit, insurance companies will charge high rates and will be allowed to drop coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. This is NOT good for seniors.
    The Ryan plan dumps the rising cost of health care in the laps of seniors and is a huge gift to the insurance industry. The fact that the plan includes the "it only affects people under 55" gimmick" makes it even more obvious that seniors hate what this does to them.

    "...reality better obey them this time or they'll double-down and scream it even louder."

    June 17, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. Terry

    This thing is dead in the water. The fact that they continue touting it baffles me. Basically, the Republican party is making the same mistake the Democrats made with National Health Care. They got control of the legislative and executive branches, and immediately passed the abomination called Obamacare, and lost the midterms because of it. Bring in the Republicans who immediately start taliking about tax cuts for the wealthy, tax breaks for a corporate America that is sitting on more liquid cash overall than the federal deficit but still not creating jobs, and the ruination of Medicare and, if they could get away with it, SSN as well. This is basically ensuring Obama's reelection (thank you!) and Democratic control off both houses again. And the most baffling thing is that the Republicans are doing this without control of both houses, so they can't even get their reactionary programs passed. What in THE hell is going onin Washington?

    June 17, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Four and The Door

    It is amazing the way Democrats have convinced average American citizens to support tax increases. Do you people really believe that they will stop at the wealthy?!? Stop with the vengeance for a second and see what is happening. The new taxes will be used to grow an already bloated government and keep them from having to watch spending. And a bigger government will only need more money. The truth is, unless we get the politicians to stop focusing on their own careers and legacy and start working for the good of the country, out of control government spending is the largest threat to America's future. You would think $14 trillion of debt would be a strong enough message already. But it is going up, not down.

    June 17, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Ben

    Claudia – "Ryan's medicare plan is more than life or death to seniors, it's his life or death as a Representative and he knows it."

    Yeah, right. Wishful thinking on your part.

    June 17, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  10. Sniffit

    "It doesn't matter how many fancy charts Ryan trots out"

    You spelled "misleading" wrong. Captain CouponCare's chart assumes that health care costs continue to rise at the current rate that surpasses inflation in the rest of the market. What he's doing is hiding the ball: MEDICARE IS FINE...MEDICARE "AS IS" IS THE SOLUTION. The problem is in the market and with the industry. THAT is where the fixing needs to take place. Medicare currently runs at between 1.5%-3.0% overhead, which is 7-12 orders of magnitude less than the overhead of your typical private insurer...they are having fits right now that the ACA is going to limit them to 20%. Medicare fraud is a problem, but it's not a mortal cancer and can be corrected by fixing procedures and revamping systems and organizational structures...but it does NOT require completely erasing the current program and replacing it with something entirely different on which we simply stick the same nametag. Moreover, all of it assumes that we don't come to our senses and realize that while the costs of health care have skyrocketed over the past several decades, we've never adjusted the FICA ceiling to account for it. The $106,800 ceiling is bogus...$106,800 today doesn't have even remotely close to the same purchasing power $106,800 had in the 1970's, nor does it come close to being the same percentage of today's salaries as it was for salaries back then...especially the obscenely huge salaries we're seeing in the upper 5% today. But instead, the GOPers yammer about "means testing" instead of adjusting the FICA ceiling to shore up Medicare's purchasing power...and they REFUSE to even consider allowing Medicare to have negotiating power for prices. You know, because that CEO who is making 8 figures can't stand the thought of a small tax percentage applying to an additional $50,000 to $100,000 of his income. His yacht would have to be...ummm....the same d-mn size as it is anyway. And that's unacceptable (he was planning to upgrade next year after rescinding a few extra cancer victims' insurance contracts).

    June 17, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Mikey

    @ four and the door – do you realize that if medical costs keep rising at 12% (which is lower than the current rate) and the CPI goes up at 3%, you and your wife will be paying over $30K each toward your medical insurance if you are 65 in 11 years?

    How about cost controls? How about not covering more elective services, like knee replacements for people who just want to improve their golf score? You can't just turn the medicare into a voucher system. We will have a senior health care calamity in less than two decades. Yes, we need to do something, but gutting Medicare to reduce taxes to the uber rich by 30% (which is what Ryan proposed) is wrongheaded beyond belief – ever perverse.

    June 17, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. Dan

    If it's a crisis and skyrocketing over the next decade, why does Ryan's plan do nothing for a decade.

    Ryan is claiming it's an urgent crisis, but he kicked the can down the road for 10 years.

    If only Ryan had voted for President Obama's bi-partisan deficit commission solution, we would have a blue print to help Medicare. All Ryan had to do was vote with every other Republican on the commission.

    Instead, Ryan turned his back on Reagan's solution to gradually raise the age since Americans are living longer.

    June 17, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. David

    Okay (speaking slowly) the Ryan plan does NOT effect people currently on Medicare or those close to retirement. (Put the Obama kool aid down for a minute). It DOES attempt to deal with the fact the the system is going broke. It is not a choice. Either fix the system or there won't be Medicare. Period.

    June 17, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Sniffit

    "Those people are choking the productive class to death with their demands."

    Is that why every single measure of wealth trends shows unarguably and unmistakably that over the past 3+ decades the wealth has been vastly redistributed to the already-wealthy while the middle-class has gotten poorer, receiving almsot the same average salaries over that time, which failed to keep up with inflation, and watching their average household debt skyrocket for their mortgages, educations, cars and necessities? You've got it so backwards it hurts to even look at your statement. THE WEALTHY ARE BLEEDING THE MIDDLE-CLASS's not the poor and downtrodden who are doing so.

    June 17, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. once upon a horse

    @ Four and the Door....

    I agree with you, it's kind of like for the past ten years the Republicans have been trying to convince average citizens that giving tax cuts to the wealthy will create jobs. So far most of us haven't seen that, but maybe it'll take more than 10 years for the "job creators" to do just that.

    June 17, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. a in austin

    Spin it a different way to see if anybody follows – give it up. WHERE ARE THE JOBS THAT WE THE PEOPLE WERE PROMISED LEADING UP TO THE 2010 ELECTIONS????

    June 17, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. John in Brooklyn

    What Rep. Ryan fails to report is that the Republican-led Congress in 2004 re-structured the Medicare prescription regulations that were essentially a government-funded windfall for the large pharma companies, who have been milking the taxpayers and our elderly citizens ever since. Shame on Ryan for mileading the American public and, in particular, the American taxpayers!

    June 17, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "It DOES attempt to deal with the fact the the system is going broke"

    No, it quite explicitly does not try to deal with it. What it does is throw the baby out with the bathwater. CouponCare assumes and accepts that there is absolutely nothing that can be done about the skyrocketing costs of health care and insurance. How do I know this? Because it doesn't contain any provisions that address those problems. Instead, it assumes that we can do nothing and, in fact, that we shouldn't do anything to try to rein those costs in by regulating the magic and beneficent "free market" and the corporate wh-res who use it to suck us dry. It starts from an entirely faulty premise that its not the system and industry that's broken to arrive at the faulty conclusion that therefore it must be Medicare that's broken. WRONG. EPIC FAIL.

    June 17, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Four and The Door


    @ four and the door – do you realize that if medical costs keep rising at 12% (which is lower than the current rate) and the CPI goes up at 3%, you and your wife will be paying over $30K each toward your medical insurance if you are 65 in 11 years?
    So Mikey, what does ignoring Medicare blowing up in our faces do to help lower health care costs? About as much as ObamaCare. Nothing! Ryan's plan does go directly towards improving costs AND quality, as well as going after the $1 billion a year Medicare fraud industry. The Democrats do not have a plan. Raising taxes is not a plan.

    June 17, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. gt

    ok lets do absolutley nothing ... everything is fantastic we have tons of money... somebody has to be a leader....act like nothing is wrong... thats as stupid as one can get....

    June 17, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Bill

    Ryan will be ouot of job after the 2012 elections.

    June 17, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  22. PacificView

    How cynical to try to split the electorate by buying off those 55 and older. The Republcans seem to be mostly motivated by self-centered greed. Societies can do more than individuals at improving the human condition. Don't throw the eldery into the gutter just to give yourself another tax cut.

    June 17, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  23. Republican Robber Baron

    Ok so let me get this straight...the Hawk neo-fascists are all excited to spend $ 1.2 TRILLION in Iraq/Afganistan and double the defense budget since 2001...but if they have to spend half of that in ten years to keep American citizens alive, then ooooh no stop the presses – we can't become like those liberal Canadians or Euro's! Shame on the GOP hypocrisy.

    June 17, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  24. Ben

    Oh, the Looney Left is angry today!! But as usual, they have no solutions that don't involve tax increases.

    June 17, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    Ryan will be ouot of job after the 2012 elections.
    You said the same thing about John Boehner afer the 2010 elections.

    June 17, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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