Tom Frazier: Ryan-Wyden proposal can't beat Medicare

2011-12-30T04:30:00Z Tom Frazier: Ryan-Wyden proposal can't beat MedicareTom Frazier
December 30, 2011 4:30 am  • 

Regarding Wednesday's editorial titled "At last, cooperation on Medicare," while most of us would like to see more bipartisanship, being bipartisan is not automatically good.

The Ryan-Wyden proposal is not a major improvement to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's original plan to privatize Medicare, especially if private insurers get to keep marketing to younger, healthier people. And, if the Affordable Health Care law is repealed, then we will return to preexisting conditions which will further encourage and enable insurance companies to "cherry pick" the healthiest people, thereby leaving Medicare to provide coverage for the rest.

Medicare is popular with older persons, and is more cost-effective and administratively efficient than private insurance. Medicare Advantage, the existing private alternative to Medicare, is 14 percent more costly to taxpayers, so why would we want to have that instead of the existing Medicare?

Privatizing Medicare and repealing the health care law is a prescription for making our health care outcomes even worse than they are now.

— Tom Frazier, Verona

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