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Paul Ryan's Plan Would Not Remotely End Medicare

2:26 PM, Apr 28, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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In light of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s shameless ad saying that the Paul Ryan-authored House Republican budget would “end Medicare,” it is worth noting that the Congressional Budget Office says that, in 2030, the Republican plan would give the average senior $18,276 in premium support to help purchase private health insurance ($15,000 in 2022, increased by 2.5 percent annually, to keep up with inflation). In addition, lower-income seniors would get another $9,504 to put into a medical savings account (an MSA) to use for additional medical expenses, bringing their annual tally of taxpayer-funded support to $27,780.  

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The Medicare Trustees Report (Table IV.C1) says that in 2030 there will be 80.424 million seniors enrolled in Medicare. Thus, in that year, Ryan’s plan would spend $1.470 trillion on Medicare premium support alone, in addition to the funding for the MSAs. That’s about 50 percent more than we would spend that year, under the Republican budget, on national defense. 

Spending $1,469,800,000,000 a year on Medicare — not counting Medicare MSA funding — and more each year from that point forward, is a strange way to “end” the program.  

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