Democrats buy radio ads targeting West, Rooney for Medicare voteby George Bennett | April 19th, 2011
The Medicare proposal, part of a budget plan drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., would apply to those who are now younger than 55. The Ryan budget passed last week on a 235-193 vote with every Democrat in the House opposed.
“Did you know Congressman Allen West voted to end Medicare, forcing seniors to pay $12,500 for private health insurance, without guaranteed coverage? Tell West to keep his hands off our Medicare,” say the brief ads.
The DCCC has bought radio ads targeting 25 Republican House members nationwide who voted for the Ryan budget. The committee isn’t revealing how much it’s spending.
The $12,500 figure in the ad comes from a Congressional Budget Office estimate that, in 2022, a 65-year-old with $20,500 in health care costs would get an $8,000 subsidy under Ryan’s Medicare proposal and be responsible for the remaining $12,500 costs.
If Medicare continues as it’s currently set up, CBO estimates, a typical 65-year-old in 2022 would incur only $13,530 in health care costs, with Medicare paying $7,900 and the individual paying $5,630 out of pocket.
CBO says the out-of-pocket costs would be significantly higher under the Ryan plan because “administrative costs (including profits) and payment rates to providers are higher for private plans than for Medicare.”
Medicare faces actuarial trouble in the next two decades, according to an “improved” forecast by Social Security and Medicare trustees. The latest trustees report projects Medicare’s Hospital Insurance trust fund will reach “exhaustion” by 2030 — about the time current 46-year-olds reach retirement age. At that point, revenues are projected to be enough to cover 85 percent of expected costs, declining to 76 percent by 2045.
The National Republican Congressional Committee calls the Democratic ads “shameless scare tactics” and says the Ryan plan prevents Medicare from dying a “painful death” if nothing is done.