Commonwealth Misses — Again

The Kaiser study claims that a Medicare “premium support” plan — that the authors claim resembles the plan offered by Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic senator Ron Wyden — would drive up costs on seniors by hundreds of dollars per month. Conveniently, the Kaiser release provides helpful state-by-state numbers so reporters can pull out premium-hike estimates in critical swing states.

There are three problems with the study. First, it doesn’t analyze anything close to the Ryan-Wyden plan. Second, its methodology is biased against the benefits of competition and consumer choice. And, third, if there were any conclusion to be drawn from the data used to produce the study, it’s that Representative Ryan has been right all along in saying that private plans have the capacity to dramatically reduce costs for Medicare — without shifting costs onto any seniors… [U]nder Ryan-Wyden, future enrollees into the program — those who have not yet enrolled in any Medicare option — would be guaranteed at least two options that would cost no more than what current Medicare would require. So, under Ryan-Wyden, no senior — present or in the future — would ever have to pay more than they do today for Medicare. Period…According to the data used by Kaiser, private plans can in fact deliver the guaranteed Medicare benefit package at lower cost than Medicare FFS in large portions of the country

James Capretta at the National Review Online.

Comments (9)

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  1. Alex says:

    It seems that Kaiser is a good record-keeper of statistics, but not good interpreters.

  2. Nichole says:

    Good point…

  3. Hoover says:

    Resembles the use of those TPC reports, where the author puts in a small footnote saying that the numbers people are throwing around are extrapolated in a vacuum.. Don’t bother to consider the plan’s aggregate effect on the economy, especially when you’re more likely to have your publication circulated when it’s inflammatory and contextually misleading.

    It should be a hanging offense for fact checkers to dissemble.

  4. Jimmy says:

    It’s unfortunate when people/media try and extrapolate facts from studies that do not represent the views of that individual.

  5. Charlotte Spencer says:

    Another case of the media twisting facts and findings to represent, and justify, their own views.

  6. August says:

    Capretta misinterprets a few things.

    “Future enrollees into the program — those who have not yet enrolled in any Medicare option — would be guaranteed at least two options that would cost no more than what current Medicare would require”. A constant price for a plan faced with rising health care costs would result in options with few doctors, low quality, and long waits.So while “no senior — present or in the future — would ever have to pay more than they do today for Medicare”, they would still be getting what they pay for.

  7. jacksmith says:

    “Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!” – Patrick Henry

    What a brilliant ruling by the United States Supreme Court on the affordable health care act (Obamacare). Stunningly brilliant in my humble opinion. I could not have ask for a better ruling on a potentially catastrophic healthcare act than We The People Of The United States received from our Supreme Court.

    If the court had upheld the constitutionality of the individual mandate under the commerce clause it would have meant the catastrophic loss of the most precious thing we own. Our individual liberty. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Supreme Court.

    There is no mandate to buy private for-profit health insurance. There is only a nominal tax on income eligible individuals who don’t have health insurance. This is a HUGE! difference. And I suspect that tax may be subject to constitutional challenge as it ripens.

    This is a critically important distinction. Because under the commerce clause individuals would have been compelled to support the most costly, dangerous, unethical, morally repugnant, and defective type of health insurance you can have. For-profit health insurance, and the for-profit proxies called private non-profits and co-ops.

    Equally impressive in the courts ruling was the majorities willingness to throw out the whole law if the court could not find a way to sever the individual mandate under the commerce clause from the rest of the act. Bravo! Supreme Court.

    Thanks to the Supreme Court we now have an opportunity to fix our healthcare crisis the right way. Without the obscene delusion that Washington can get away with forcing Americans to buy a costly, dangerous and highly defective private product (for-profit health insurance).

    During the passage of ACA/Obamacare some politicians said that the ACA was better than nothing. But the truth was that until the Supreme Court fixed it the ACA/Obamacare was worse than nothing at all. It would have meant the catastrophic loss of your precious liberty for the false promise and illusion of healthcare security under the deadly and costly for-profit healthcare system that dominates American healthcare.

    As everyone knows now. The fix for our healthcare crisis is a single payer system (Medicare for all) like the rest of the developed world has. Or a robust Public Option choice available to everyone on day one that can quickly lead to a single payer system.

    Talk of privatizing/profiteering from Medicare or social security is highly corrupt and Crazy! talk. And you should cut the political throats of any politicians giving lip service to such an asinine idea. Medicare should be expanded, not privatized or eliminated.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for-profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. The ACA/Obamacare will not fix that.

    The for-profit medical industrial complex has already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    To all of you who have fought so hard to do the kind and right thing for your fellow human beings at a time of our greatest needs I applaud you. Be proud of your-self.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.


    jacksmith – WorkingClass 🙂

  8. Baker says:

    Key Finding:

    “If a premium support system had been fully implemented in 2010 for all beneficiaries, with federal payments equal to the lesser of the second least expensive plan or traditional Medicare costs in a county, and plans responded to new incentives by lowering their bids by 5 percent across-the-board, then the majority of beneficiaries would face higher Medicare premiums, unless they switched to a “benchmark” plan. This analysis assumes that Medicare payments per beneficiary would be capped and beneficiaries would be making more cost-sensitive plan choices, selecting among plans with different premiums.”

    So, by setting a benchmark plan the government would be determining minimum care and then providing that. The real debate is over the proper “benchmark plan”.

  9. Robert says:

    Well that’s certainly worth consideration.