AUFC - Charlie Bass: What, me, vote to end Medicare?


Congressman Charlie Bass: What, me, vote to end Medicare?


Concord Monitor, 6/20 : "The allegation that I voted to end Medicare is just absolutely factually false," [U.S. Representative Charlie] Bass said.


Wall Street Journal: Bass-Ryan Plan “would essentially end Medicare

Statement from Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Americans United for Change: “Numerous independent analysts have concluded that the budget plan that Charlie Bass voted for on April 15 would effectively end Medicare and replace it with an ever-shrinking private voucher system that would not keep up with health care costs and would leave seniors paying at least $6,000 more out of pocket.   Rep. Bass seems to think he and his Republican colleagues can scrap Medicare for a private voucher system and still call it ‘Medicare’ – they can’t.  Just ask the folks at Coca-Cola how that worked out when they tried changing their formula and still called it Coke – no one bought it, just like no one is buying the Republican plan to privatize Medicare.  The radical plan Rep. Bass voted for doesn’t stop at dismantling Medicare – it would also kick millions of seniors in nursing homes today off of Medicaid, all to pay of trillions of dollars in new tax breaks for millionaires, big oil and companies that ship jobs overseas.”

Bass-Ryan Plan “would essentially end Medicare”

Ø      Wall Street Journal, 4.4: 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.

Ø      The Economist, 4.5: But there is one thing about it that's fairly clear, regardless of what's in the details Mr Ryan will announce today: Mr Ryan's plan ends the guarantee that all American seniors will have health insurance.

Ø      McClatchy-Tribune News Service, 4.5: Ryan's is the opening move in a political chess match that's likely to unfold over several years. His plan effectively would end Medicare for seniors, revamp Medicaid for the poor, scrap the 2010 health care law, roll back nonmilitary federal spending overall and lower individual and corporate tax rates.

Ø      New York Times columnist and Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, 5/16:  I know that serious people are supposed to be shocked, shocked at the Democrats calling the Ryan plan a plan to dismantle Medicare — but that’s just what it is. If you replace a system that actually pays seniors’ medical bills with an entirely different system, one that gives seniors vouchers that won’t be enough to buy adequate insurance, you’ve ended Medicare. Calling the new program “Medicare” doesn’t change that fact.

·        More Krugman, ‘Vouchercare Is Not Medicare’: But Comcast, the station’s owner, rejected the demand — and rightly so. For Republicans are indeed seeking to dismantle Medicare as we know it, replacing it with a much worse program…. But there’s nothing demagogic about telling the truth.  Start with the claim that the G.O.P. plan simply reforms Medicare rather than ending it. I’ll just quote the blogger Duncan Black, who summarizes this as saying that “when we replace the Marines with a pizza, we’ll call the pizza the Marines.” The point is that you can name the new program Medicare, but it’s an entirely different program — call it Vouchercare — that would offer nothing like the coverage that the elderly now receive. (Republicans get huffy when you call their plan a voucher scheme, but that’s exactly what it is.)


Ø      Talking Points Memo, 6.14: Here's Tom Scully -- former Bush administration director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services -- on the Republican plan, in an interview with me. "It gets rid of -- and I would do that -- gets rid of the current Medicare program where the government is the insurance company and the government sets the prices."


Ø      Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4.7: The first year the voucher would apply, CBO estimates that total health care expenditures for a typical 65-year-old would be almost 40 percent higher with private coverage under the Ryan plan than they would be with a continuation of traditional Medicare. CBO also finds that this beneficiary's annual out-of-pocket costs would more than double — from $6,150 to $12,500.  In later years, as the value of the voucher eroded, the increase in out-of-pocket costs would be even greater.