With Paul Ryan in Town, Will Congressman Young Finally Answer Questions on Their Plan to Gut Medicare?

INDIANAPOLIS – As Speaker Paul Ryan returns to Indiana to help prop up Congressman Todd Young’s empty campaign, Hoosiers are reminded how Ryan worked with Congressman Young to author a plan that would end Medicare as we know it. In fact, Congressman Young’s plan would turn Medicare into a voucher program and drastically increase health care costs for Indiana seniors—plans Congressman Young has yet to account for on the campaign trail.

Young’s plan means that many seniors would be forced to pay significantly higher premiums to stay on traditional Medicare, and an increasing number of seniors would be forced to shift over time to private health insurance plans that could offer fewer protections. Further, Indiana’s 1.1 million Medicare beneficiaries could see higher health care coverage costs while receiving less care under Congressman Young’s plan—increasing out-of-pocket costs for seniors by an average of $6,400 per year.

But what’s worse yet, Young’s plan would re-open the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole,” which would force many Hoosier seniors to pay extra for crucial medications and make some have to choose between medications and other essential items like groceries.

“Not only would Congressman Todd Young and Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan for seniors jeopardize Hoosiers’ trust and assurance in their health care, but it could increase their health care costs by an amount that many cannot afford and were not counting on,” said Brooke Bainum, press secretary. “Re-opening the donut hole, voucherizing Medicare, and drastically increasing out-of-pocket costs for seniors is not the plan of someone who cares about Hoosiers. We should be looking out for our seniors, not making their retirement more difficult. Congressman Young has many unanswered questions for Hoosiers on his reckless plan for Medicare—questions he still has yet to answer during this campaign.”

Here are just some of the questions Congressman Young has failed to answer on his reckless plans for Hoosiers’ retirement security:

– Why do you believe we should break the promise of guaranteed Medicare benefits Hoosiers have paid into their whole lives? What makes you think receiving a voucher for health care costs would deliver the same type of care?

– When looking at ways to reduce the deficit, why do you believe Hoosier seniors should bear the high burden of these efforts?

– Why would you re-open the donut hole that has helped make prescription drug costs more manageable for Hoosier seniors?

– Do you believe Hoosier seniors can afford an extra $6,400 in health care costs that could happen under your plan?

BACKGROUND:

YOUNG’S PLAN WOULD “END MEDICARE”

Wall Street Journal: GOP Plan Would “End Medicare.” “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/04/11]

Princeton Professor: Medicare Would Be “Much More Meager Program For Most of the Elderly” As A Result Of The Young-Drafted Ryan Plan. “Princeton professor Uwe Reinhardt — perhaps the foremost health care economist in the country — said, ‘…In short, Medicare will not disappear – i.e., get killed — but it will be a much more meager program for most of the elderly.’” [TPM, 6/14/11]

YOUNG’S PLAN WOULD INCREASE SENIORS’ OUT OF POCKET HEALTH CARE COSTS BY $6,400

The CBO Found That The Ryan Budget Would Increase Seniors’ Health Care Costs By $6,400. “Analyzing a slightly different version of Mr. Ryan’s proposal last year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that ‘most elderly people would pay more for their health care.’ The additional costs, averaging perhaps $6,400 for a typical beneficiary in 2022, would require older Americans to ‘reduce their use of health care services, spend less on other goods and services, or save more in advance of retirement,’ the report said.” [New York Times, 8/11/12; Congressional Budget Office, 4/5/11]

The Young-Drafted Ryan Plan Would Increase Seniors’ Out Of Pocket Costs By $6,400. “Even so, the plan would leave older Americans on average with $6,400 in extra costs by 2022, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” [New York Times, 8/12/12]

The Young-Drafted Ryan Budget Would Have Forced Nearly Four Million Seniors To Pay An Additional $2.2 Billion For Prescription Drugs In 2012 Alone. “The Republican-passed budget will force nearly four million seniors to pay an additional $2.2 BILLION for prescription drugs next year alone.” [DPCC, 4/21/11]

The Young-Drafted Ryan Plan Would Bring Back The Medicare Prescription Drug “Donut Hole.” “The coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug benefit would be brought back.” [Associated Plan, 4/6/11]

###