What’s Wrong with Vouchers?

James Kwak explains why Paul Ryan’s notion for vouchers replacing Medicare doesn’t work:

If you are forty years old and healthy now, you simply cannot insure yourself against the risk that you will be uninsurably unhealthy when you are sixty-five.

You retire, and you lose your health insurance. But you’ll have vouchers, right? You can use them to buy private insurance. (This assuming — if you’ve gotten sick before that date — that the Obamacare rule re: pre-existing conditions is still in force.)

That’s fine as long as you can, in fact, buy that private policy with the vouchers provided.

But as Kwak also points out:

According to the CBO, if you turn 65 in 2030, that voucher will pay for 32 percent of your total health care costs, including private insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.


And we’re not talking about shiftless lazy good-for-nothings who’ve failed to save for retirement:

This is not a poverty problem. If you have a major illness, you will not be able to pay for all of your medical care without insurance unless you are truly, deeply rich; being merely affluent or “high net worth” won’t cut it.

Ryan’s “plan” is smoke and mirrors. Or perhaps more a propos: loaves and fishes.





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