A voucher program is not “premium support” no matter what type of spin Ryan gives as it relates to his program. This to me is a classic example of Republicans saying they are benevolent while only holding dear the causes of their corporate masters. What they should be offering to do is stopping the corporate welfare that they endorse through tax cuts for the rich and bailouts for the financial industry and subsidies for big oil and other powerful lobby interests. Why is it that the Republican plans only discuss monies that will help regular people while they ignore putting any additional burden on their corporate benefactors? Its ideological. And I, for one, will not lend it any credence.
Some commenters have asked a good question, albeit in a belligerent tone: how does the Ryan plan differ from the Affordable Care Act? After all, in both plans people are supposed to buy coverage from private insurers, with a subsidy from the government.
Well, the answer is that the ACA is specifically designed to ensure that insurance is affordable, whereas Ryancare just hands out vouchers and washes its hands. Specifically, the ACA subsidy system (pdf) sets a maximum percentage of income that families are expected to pay for insurance, on a sliding scale that rises with income. To the extent that the actual cost of a minimum acceptable policy exceeds that percentage of income, subsidies make up the difference.
Ryancare, by contrast, provides a fixed sum — end of story. And because this fixed sum would not grow with rising health care costs, it’s almost guaranteed to fall far short of the actual cost of insurance.
This is also why Ryancare is NOT premium support; it’s a voucher system. No matter how much they say it isn’t, that’s exactly what it is. -Paul Krugman