By Erik Wasson - 06/13/11 07:12 PM EDT
Edwards told the crowd that the Ryan budget gives seniors a check to buy their own Medicare. This is misleading, the GOP points out, because the proposed plan is not a true voucher system even though it would operate somewhat like one. Under the budget, government payments for the premiums of seniors would go directly to private insurers.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that because that model, called premium support, does not increase alongside healthcare costs, the result will be much larger out of pocket expenses for seniors once the plan is phased in.
Medicare will be bankrupt by 2024, and Edwards dodged several questions on how to fix it. President Obama has proposed strengthening the Independent Payments Advisory Board to essentially restrict Medicare coverage for what it deems unnecessary treatments. However, this cost-control measure has opponents in the liberal wing of the Democratic Party.