House Dems: Paul Ryan is ‘downright sickening’

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has some “downright sickening” plans today, according to the campaign arm of the House Democratic Caucus.

“This is downright sickening,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee emails (signed “Democratic Headquarters”) said in an email today.  “Today, House Republicans will vote for Paul Ryan’s Medicare-destroying budget. And guess what Ryan’s doing right after? Here’s what: Hosting a lavish fundraiser in the shadow of the Capitol, hobnobbing with those who will benefit the most from his budget — deep-pocketed millionaires and billionaires.”

The message continues with a fundraising pitch. “The ultra-wealthy and their shady special interests are the Republican Party’s biggest supporters. “So when the big-money backers come out of the woodwork tonight, will your grassroots power be there to match them?”

Here’s some background on the Ryan plan from the National Constitution Center’s Scott Bomboy (full piece here):

The Ryan plan doesn’t end Medicare, but it is a huge reform effort.

The proposed plan seeks to lower costs to taxpayers by using a system of payments given indirectly to seniors, who would in turn use the money to buy health insurance.

The Ryan plan calls them premium-support payments. Opponents call them vouchers.

The free market would then force insurance prices lower, according to the theory, through competition among insurers, while cutting costs to the federal government. and the Kaiser Family Foundation have breakdowns of the Ryan’s “Path To Prosperity” plan from March 2012.

Under Ryan’s plan, seniors currently in Medicare stay in the existing system. But in 2023, people over 65 would pick an insurance plan in a new Medicare exchange system, with Medicare competing with other insurers for their business.

The government would send money, called a premium-support payment, directly to the insurer picked by the consumer.

If the consumer picks a plan more expensive than the government premium payment they receive, the consumer must pay the difference out of pocket. If the consumer picks a cheaper plan, they pocket the difference in the form of a rebate check.

The Ryan plan set the premium payment to consumers at the cost of the second-least expensive government-approved plan.

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