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Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Paradox of Medicare

Ryan’s Medicare plan has been through many iterations, but in all of them the single-payer system in which Medicare exists today would be replaced with a voucher system that would gradually shift medical costs onto senior citizens. A “public option” incorporated into one version of Ryancare would likely outperform private-sector rivals on cost control (government-provided health care always does), but there’s a real question whether Congress would allow a mechanism by which that public option could pass those savings on to consumers. (When a public option was up for debate in Obamacare, Congress worked mightily to cripple its inherent market advantage.)
If it is manifestly true to the Congress that a public option has a market advantage, then it is logical to use that advantage. However, the Congress decided to not use the advantage. Then that becomes a disadvantage.
To whom?
Well, certainly not to the members of Congress.

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