Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011's worst economic ideas

The 10 Worst Economic Ideas of 2011
Say it ain’t so, Ron Wyden. The Democratic senator from Oregon has teamed upwith Congressman Paul Ryan to propose an option for Medicare recipients to buy private plans. They would be offered a flat payment to buy private plans if they so chose. Competition for these dollars will supposedly make Medicare and the health insurance companies more efficient. More likely, however, it will result in misleading claims by the health insurance companies or reduced coverage plans. It will raise costs for Medicare as healthy seniors are induced to take cheaper private plans with healthier individuals. Allegedly, the Wyden-Ryan plan would control for all this by setting minimal standards. Forget about that. The Obama administration has already given in on federal standards for Obamacare, letting states set their own. Guess who most of the states will favor. Seniors will probably have to move to New York or Massachusetts to get decent plans.But that’s not even the big rub. It is that Medicare payments will be limited to growing just 1 percent faster than GDP. Health care costs have risen considerably faster than that for a long time. Somehow Wyden thinks that such a limit will force reforms. In sum, it will simply lead to less coverage and more expense for beneficiaries. ___________________________________________________

media is the issue: www.freepress.net

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