Medicare is one of the government’s most effective programs. Before Medicare and Medicaid, 26 percent of the elderly were in poverty, but today, that number is less than 10 percent.
Despite that success, Representative Paul Ryan proposes to end Medicare as we know it. Currently, Medicare operates so that when a senior gets sick, Medicare pays for the care, with a set lower rate to providers. Instead, Mr. Ryan is proposing what he calls premium support. but it is really a voucher paid to insurance companies. He has proposed that starting in 2021, instead of paying directly for services, the government would provide vouchers to private insurance companies; then they would pay for the benefits. But those vouchers would be less than the cost of Medicare.This article was originally published in The New York Times.