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Lower Drug Costs Don’t Support Ryan Medicare Proposal

May 15, 2012

We’ve updated and expanded our 2011 analysis of why the Medicare Part D drug benefit, which private insurers deliver, has cost much less than the Medicare trustees and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) originally expected.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says the lower spending reflects...

What If Chairman Ryan’s Medicaid Block Grant Were Already in Effect?

April 23, 2012

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal to block-grant Medicaid would cut federal funding by one-third by 2022 and even more after that, we recently explained.  To help show how states would likely fare under the proposal over time, we ...

Chairman Ryan and the Medicare Part D Myth

March 21, 2012

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan claims that his troubling proposal to convert Medicare into a premium support system — where beneficiaries would receive a voucher to buy private coverage or traditional Medicare — would control costs.  He notes that the Medicare Part D drug benefit, which private insurers provide, has cost much less than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) expected...

Ryan’s Rx for Medicaid Would Add Millions to the Uninsured and Underinsured

March 20, 2012

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget again proposes to radically restructure Medicaid by converting it into a block grant and to slash federal funding by about one-fifth over the next decade (as well as to repeal health reform’s Medicaid expansion).  All told, it would add tens of millions of Americans to the ranks of the uninsured and underinsured.

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No Big Changes in Latest Estimates of Health Reform Law

March 19, 2012

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act claim that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have substantially revised their estimates of the law and now predict it will cost more, and reduce the deficit less, than originally expected.

These claims are false.  As CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf explains on his...

Insurers’ Risky “Risk Adjustment” Proposal

December 12, 2011

To encourage insurance companies to compete for customers based on price and quality — not on attracting the healthiest enrollees — the Affordable Care Act calls for insurers in the individual and small-group markets with sicker-than-average enrollment to receive payments to compensate them for their resulting higher costs.  The payments will come from plans that enroll healthier-than-average...

Block-Granting Medicaid Would Shift Costs to States

October 25, 2011

In a letter yesterday to the congressional “supercommittee” on deficit reduction, Republican governors stated their opposition to reducing federal Medicaid spending by shifting costs to states. But that’s exactly what would happen under their proposal to turn Medicaid into a block grant.

Debunking the Myth of Private Insurers and Medicare Part D

June 6, 2011

Columnist Robert Samuelson says the Congressional Budget Office may be wrong in estimating that the House-passed plan to convert Medicare into a voucher to buy private insurance would raise total health costs per beneficiary by upwards of 40 percent. Samuelson, however, may be drawing the wrong conclusion from Medicare’s experience with its “Part D” drug benefit.

Medicaid Funding Formula Under Ryan Plan Likely Even Worse than Advertised

April 12, 2011

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan calls for cutting Medicaid by $771 billion (over 22 percent) over the next decade by converting it into a block grant. Ryan’s plan and a CBO analysis outline some of the basics of the block grant proposal. Based on this information, however, we find that the Ryan block grant would produce “only” about $500 billion in cuts over the next ten years. This means that states’ block grant amounts each year would have to be even more inadequate than described, in order to produce the required drastic cuts.

What If Ryan’s Medicaid Block Grant Were Already in Effect?

April 12, 2011

As I pointed out last week, the Congressional Budget Office has found that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal to block-grant Medicaid would significantly shift costs to states, beneficiaries, and health care providers. To help illustrate how states would likely fare under the proposal over time, we compared how much federal funding they would have received under the block grant for fiscal years 2000 through 2009 to what they actually received (excluding the temporary increases provided during recessions). We found that the Ryan block grant would have cut federal Medicaid funds to most states by more than 25 percent by 2009 and to several of them by more than 40 percent.

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