Sen. Wyden: Romney healthcare plan undermines Medicare reform

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The Ryan-Wyden proposal could convert Medicare into a "premium support" model, in which seniors could choose between traditional Medicare or a subsidy to buy private insurance.

Wyden said premium support still has merit, but that it won't work alongside Romney and Ryan's plan to repeal President Obama's healthcare law and dramatically restructure the Medicaid program.

"In the white paper, protections for so-called dual eligibles, the people in both Medicare and Medicaid, are bulletproof," Wyden said. "There’s no way to throw them under the bus. Gov. Romney says he’d block grant the Medicaid program and push those cuts onto the people, which would do enormous harm to those people whose protection was at the center of the white paper."

Wyden also told Klein that the Affordable Care Act includes important Medicare reforms.

"To lay a foundation for putting together a program to protect the guarantee and protect the budget, you need the changes the Affordable Care Act makes to Medicare, like bundled payments and moving the system towards pay-for-quality. Without it, you can’t move to premium support," the senator said.

The Romney campaign defended its platform against Wyden's criticism.

"Mitt Romney and Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAnti-Defamation League calls on House leaders to censure Steve King over white supremacy comments Former Ryan fundraisers launch firm Romney writes new chapter in his like-hate relationship with Trump MORE have always been fully committed to repealing Obamacare, ending President Obama’s $716 billion raid on Medicare, and tackling the serious fiscal challenges our country faces," Policy Director Lanhee Chen said in a statement. "A Romney-Ryan Administration will restore the funding to Medicare, ensure that no changes are made to the program for those 55 or older, and implement the reforms that they have proposed to strengthen it for future generations."


— This post was updated at 5:50 p.m.