President Obama’s healthcare reform law will save Medicare $200 billion by 2016

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While Willard Romney's (aka Paul Ryan's) health care plan is costly and will kill Medicare and replace it with coupons that will ultimately cost seniors thousands of dollars more, President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act will save Medicare billions. The Hill:

President Obama’s healthcare reform law will save the Medicare program roughly $200 billion by 2016, according to an analysis from the program’s actuaries.

The report, released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), said the law will produce savings for the Medicare trust fund while also saving seniors nearly $60 billion in out-of-pocket costs. [...]

The biggest Medicare savings come from cuts to doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers, as well as private insurance companies.

The president's plan closes the "doughnut hole" (the coverage gap that makes seniors responsible for the full cost of their drugs until the total they've spent for drugs reaches the yearly out-of-pocket spending limit) and can potentially save even more money long-term by "shifting the healthcare system to pay more for quality than quantity of treatments."

Now let's take a look at the Ryan/Romney plan, at least what he'll let anyone in on. The L.A. Times provides a few details, describing it as risky:

He would do so by giving Americans a tax break to buy their own health plans. That would give consumers more choices, but also more risk.

Critics and independent analysts say the impact would probably leave a larger number of Americans without insurance.... Romney's plan follows a lead set by President George W. Bush, who unsuccessfully pushed for a healthcare overhaul. [...]

The plan could swell the federal deficit [...]

[T]he shift [free-market competition] could force seniors to pay thousands of dollars more for their care, according to analyses of similar proposals by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

The third leg of Romney's plan would convert the Medicaid program for poor and disabled Americans into a series of block grants to states.

The budget office estimates such a move would cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the healthcare safety net and force major new limits on care. It would also effectively make another Massachusetts experiment impossible. [...]

"It is basically impossible to do this in a way that doesn't cost money," said Gail Wilensky, a former Medicare and Medicaid administrator who has advised several GOP presidential candidates.

Sometimes it seems as if Willard is trying to alienate as many voters as possible. I wish him every success in those endeavors.

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