Conservative Media Gloss Over Mandate In Ryan's Medicare Plan

Conservative Media Gloss Over Mandate In Ryan's Medicare Plan

Blog ››› ››› SERGIO MUNOZ

As conservative media scramble to defend Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) from charges that his proposed overhaul of Medicare would negatively affect seniors, one point is noticeably absent from their discussion: Ryan's plan imposes a Medicare "mandate" remarkably akin to the requirement to purchase insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Fox News and other conservative media are apparently ignoring this similarity, despite their two-year campaign against the highly similar provision in the Obama-supported health care reform law.

Fox News' Dana Perino asked on the August 13 edition of Fox & Friends, "who wouldn't want" Ryan's plan for Medicare? Left unsaid is that the health care reform law's constitutional choice of obtaining a private health insurance plan or paying a health insurance tax and Ryan's choice of obtaining a private Medicare plan or paying a Medicare tax are essentially the same.

Health care law expert Simon Lazarus wrote in Slate that:

Republicans' proposal to replace Medicare with partially subsidized private insurance also operates to "compel" people to pay for private health insurance policies. Moreover, this mandate is not even a pay-or-play option; Medicare taxes are mandatory, whether workers want to buy eligibility for old-age vouchers or not.

Ezra Klein reiterated the Medicare "mandate" parallel in a Washington Post blog on Ryan's plan:

His plan for Medicare is even closer to an individual mandate. There, everyone has to pay into the system through payroll taxes. When you're 65 years old, you get a voucher that will pay part of the cost of health-care insurance. If you decide not to use the voucher, or the voucher is insufficient, all the taxes you paid into the system are forfeit. Either you buy insurance as a senior, or you face a tremendous lifetime tax penalty.

Posted In
Government, Health Care, Health Care Reform, Medicare, Justice & Civil Liberties
Fox News Channel
Dana Perino
FOX & Friends
Courts Matter
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