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Santorum Explains How Ryan’s Medicare Privatization Plan Will ‘Ration’ Care To Seniors

By Igor Volsky  

"Santorum Explains How Ryan’s Medicare Privatization Plan Will ‘Ration’ Care To Seniors"

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During a roundtable with voters in Iowa this morning, Rick Santorum explained how Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize the Medicare program for future enrollees would “ration” care to seniors by capping the amount of money beneficiaries would have to spend on health care services:

SANTORUM: There will be a rationing of care, there has to be. There is a rationing of every economic resource. There is not unlimited amounts of money to spend on anything…[Obama] has put a cap. Now, that’s one way of solving the problem. The other way of solving the problem is to put a cap in a different place and what Paul Ryan suggested and I believe in — in fact advocated for in 2003 as part of Medicare….which is putting a cap on the amount of money we give you to buy your own insurance. So instead of capping the overall budget and making you wait, thinking you got a card, but the card isn’t going to be worth anything, because you got to wait for it, we’re going to put the cap on the other end — on you.

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Santorum attempted to establish equivalency between the Affordable Care Act’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — a 15-member commission that would make recommendations to Congress about lowering Medicare reimbursements if costs increase beyond a certain point — and Ryan’s plan to “limit the government’s exposure” by giving seniors pre-determined vouchers with which to purchase private coverage. But the differences couldn’t be greater: while health reform will begin to change not just how much providers are paid for their services, but how they’re paid for delivering them, the Ryan plan shifts simply some of the costs borne by the federal government to the individual without improving the system’s efficiency or removing its many redundancies. As a result, the federal “cap” that Ryan imposes will fail to keep up with skyrocketing health care spending and force seniors to pay more for the same package of benefits every year.

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