House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says his proposed 2012 budget would give Medicaid “back to the states” in the form of block grants, and give seniors a list of privately run insurance programs to sign up for instead of the federally funded Medicare program.
Ryan says his Medicare plan offers “premium support” and is targeted to individuals who are 55 and under. These recipients, who turn 65 in 2021, would be given a list of private insurance plans to choose from, which Medicare would then subsidize. Current Medicare recipients who are 55 or older could keep their current Medicare plan.
Ryan says the program would save $1 trillion over 10 years. Provider groups warn that such a move would put the elderly at risk due to a lack of requirements for specific types of care and eligibility. Medicaid and Medicare provide about four-fifths of payments to U.S. nursing homes.