Michael Barone flagged a Matt Miller post earlier this week where Miller makes the case that Democrats should not invest too heavily in attacking Paul Ryan's premium support model for Medicare. Miller writes:
The consensus critique of Ryancare starts by observing that the “premium support” or voucher it would give each senior to help buy private insurance is designed to grow at a slower rate than the expected trajectory of health-care costs. Over time, as the Congressional Budget Office has noted, this gap would shift more and more premium costs to seniors, many of whom can’t afford them. That may in some bookkeeping sense “solve” the federal government’s Medicare problem, but only by leaving millions of sick grandmothers in the cold.
But switch out “Ryancare” for “Obamacare”, “Medicare” for “health exchange”, and “sick grandmothers” for “all Americans” and you have pretty much described one of the biggest problems with Obama's health plan. Investors Business Daily produced the chart above and reported earlier:
Initially, individuals buying insurance via exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) will get subsidies that rise in line with premium cost growth.
But, starting in 2019, individuals would have to shoulder an ever-greater share of premiums as cost curbs kick in if subsidies top 0.5% of GDP, as the Congressional Budget Office projects.
Democrats are attacking Paul Ryan's Medicare plan, in part because vouchers would only track inflation. James Capretta, the top health care budget official in the George W. Bush administration, sees that as “hypocritical,” given that exchange subsidies might in some cases do the same or worse.
Miller is also a senior fellow at The Center for American Progress. CAP released their long-term budget this week and it included the quintessentially progressive solution to unsustainable government subsidized health care spending: price controls for everybody. Specifically, CAP wants to take the powers that Obamacare's Independent Payment Advisory Board has over Medicare and expand them to the entire health care sector.
IPAB is already under heavy bipartisan fire and some Democrats are even calling for its repeal. Democrats might want to rethink their all-out war on the Ryan plan.