Ways and Means wades into controversial Medicare proposals
By Sam Baker - 04/20/12 07:34 PM EDT
“The premium support model holds promise to place Medicare on sound financial footing while transforming and modernizing the program to provide greater choice for beneficiaries,” he said in a statement. “Such proposals have enjoyed bipartisan support for decades, and it is time to move beyond partisan arguments and focus on the bipartisan solutions that will strengthen and improve Medicare for future generations of Americans.”
There are many versions of “premium support.” The core of the idea is to end or phase down the traditional Medicare program, which guarantees coverage for a set benefits package, and convert the federal funds into subsidies to help seniors pay the premiums for private insurance.
Ryan’s original plan would have privatized the entire program. A revised plan, which he crafted with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), would leave traditional Medicare intact as an option.