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The Ryan Plan For Medicare

Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare. We’ll look at truth and consequences, on and off the Ryan plan.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan pauses while speaking during  the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, Texas,  Saturday, June 9, 2012. (AP)

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan pauses while speaking during the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday, June 9, 2012. (AP)

Mitt Romney was all about the economy. Add Paul Ryan to the ticket, and suddenly it’s all about the federal budget and, above all, Medicare.

Romney’s VP running mate has been going after Medicare for years. It has to change for the country to survive, he says. End the guarantees of health care for the old. Give a voucher. Let seniors pay the difference.

Romney says that competition will drive down costs. Democrats say there’s a broken commitment there. That too many of us will be old and sick and broke. This hour, On Point: the Ryan factor, and the future of Medicare.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Don Berwick, former administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Gail Wilensky, an economist and senior fellow at Project Hope, an international health education foundation. She sits on the Board of Directors of Geisinger Health System. She was Administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration, directing the Medicare and Medicaid programs under President George H.W. Bush.

From Tom’s Reading List:

L.A. Times “Mitt Romney on Wednesday unequivocally disavowed more than $700 billion in Medicare spending cuts proposed by his new running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin. In an interview on ‘CBS This Morning,’ Romney was asked how he squared his running mate’s plan to cut spending on the popular healthcare program for the elderly with his criticism of President Obama for making the same reductions.”

Kaiser Health News “The Republican-controlled House, along party lines, twice approved [Paul Ryan’s] proposals to overhaul the popular social insurance program for the elderly and disabled by giving beneficiaries a set amount of money every year to buy coverage from competing health plans. That is a fundamental shift from today’s program, where the federal government must help pay for every doctor visit and medical service that an individual uses.”

USA Today “President Obama fought back against Republican criticism over Medicare today, saying he has improved the program by eliminating wasteful spending. ‘I have strengthened Medicare,’ Obama told supporters in Dubuque, Iowa, on the third and final day of his bus tour of the state.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Nov 27, 2014
On Point host Tom Ashbrook raises a toast with a glass of fresh apple cider in the On Point studios. (Jesse Costa / WBUR)

All about hard cider. It’s all over these days. And sweet, fresh apple cider, too. We’ll look at the history and comeback.

Nov 27, 2014
Bob Dylan and Victor Maymudes at "The Castle" in LA before the 1965 world tour. Lisa Law/The Archive Agency)

A new take on the life and music of Bob Dylan, from way inside the Dylan story. “Another Side of Bob Dylan.”

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