On Milton Friedman's "Optimal Rate of Deflation" Argument...
Reading Ian Morris on the Wheat Lands and the Rice Lands

Robert Pear Writes an Article with Context: Medicare Edition

Now this is what he should be doing!

Robert Pear:

The FEHB Deception: House Republicans say their budget proposal would make Medicare work just like the health insurance that covers federal employees, including members of Congress. But... the two plans are very different, and the differences help explain why the Republican plan has set off a political uproar...

Paul Krugman comments:

What Pear doesn’t quite say is how central this patently false claim — actually, it doesn’t take a “close examination” to see that it’s a lie, a quick skim is quite enough — has been to Republican talking points.

Pear:

Medicare Proposal Financing Differs From Federal Employee Plan: Under the federal employees’ health plan... the government pays a fixed share of premiums. So the federal contribution generally keeps pace with rising premiums, which in turn reflect rising health costs. No such guarantee exists under the Republicans’ plan to transform Medicare....

So, the Congressional Budget Office says, under the Republican plan, Medicare would pay a shrinking share of beneficiaries’ total health costs, and seniors would pay a growing share. For a typical 65-year-old, that share would be 68 percent in 2030, more than twice what it would be under current law....

Beginning in 2022, Mr. Ryan said, “new Medicare beneficiaries would be enrolled in the same kind of health care program that members of Congress have.... Under the federal employee program, the government’s share of premiums is set at 72 percent of the average premium for all plans, but it cannot exceed 75 percent of the premium for any particular plan....

Even so, Conor Sweeney, a spokesman for Mr. Ryan, insisted that the comparison to the federal employees’ plan was valid. “The model, the structure, the approach is inarguably similar: the government pays a share of the individual’s premiums” in both the employee program and the House Republicans’ Medicare proposal...

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