Friday, June 17, 2011

Adam Hasner: Ryan Plan Preserves Medicare for Seniors

The following op-ed by Senate candidate Adam Hasner appears in today's Orlando Sentinel:

Ryan plan preserves Medicare for seniors
Orlando Sentinel
Adam Hasner
June 17, 2011

Medicare is going broke. That's not Republican spin or Democrat spin. It's a fact.

And it's not far off. Medicare's trustees recently said its eventual collapse has been accelerated. I'm 41. Before I turn 55, the main trust fund in Medicare will be depleted.

Saving Medicare is going to require reforming Medicare, and that means moving past politics as usual.

According to, Florida has nearly 2 million Medicare beneficiaries under the age of 75. These Floridians face the real possibility of living to see drastic cuts to their benefits. Crueler still, seniors like my mom and dad, who are nearing retirement age, may have Medicare benefits for only a few years before the rug is pulled out from under them.

House Republicans, led by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, wrote a plan that balances the budget, pays down the debt, cuts spending and saves Medicare. I support it.

The Ryan plan saves Medicare without making any changes for current beneficiaries or seniors close to enrolling. Future retirees — Americans like me who are 55 or younger — will be offered essentially the same kind of health plan as members of Congress receive, a payment-support system where they pick from approved plans. Poorer and sicker seniors get more money. Wealthy seniors get less.

This common-sense approach would preserve Medicare for seniors nearing retirement and the 3.3 million Florida seniors who already rely on Medicare. It would preserve the promise for future generations by reforming Medicare to make it patient-centered and financially sound.

It is also a far better approach than the president's plan, which up until now has been to put a panel of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats at the center of Medicare-coverage decisions. This approach has been denounced by Republicans and Democrats because it will lead to rationing, higher health-care costs, and diminished choices for patients.

Sadly, typical politicians in both parties are playing politics with Medicare.

Democrats are resorting to distortions instead of presenting solutions. They are trying to scare seniors with outrageous claims that independent fact-checkers call "bogus" and "scaremongering." This is especially outrageous considering that aside from voting for Obamacare, Democrats have not offered any alternatives. The Democrat position seems to be "do nothing" which means Medicare goes bankrupt. That's unacceptable.

Some Republicans are no better. Some are saying they would vote against it, also without offering any credible alternatives. Others are saying they like the plan but disagree with the Medicare portion of the plan. That's like saying you want to eat apple pie without the apples.

These are the typical political calculations we have come to expect from politicians more concerned with winning elections than solving our nation's challenges.

Florida has a higher percentage of seniors than any other state in the nation. Nearly one out of five Floridians relies on Medicare. Florida will pay an especially high price if we fail to act.

I'll support and advocate for the Ryan plan or any plan that shares its goals, because it will put America back on the path to prosperity while saving Medicare for the millions of Florida seniors who depend on this essential program.

This isn't a political strategy or a clever maneuver on my part; it's simply what I believe is the responsible leadership path that's been lacking for too long in our politics.

Floridians must lead the way on saving Medicare, and that will require courageous leaders willing to fight for real reforms and stand up to the status-quo politicians … in both parties.

Adam Hasner of Boca Raton is a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

1 comment:

  1. It's true that our Medicare is very incompetent. I just hope there'd be more health provisions just like in home hospice care and dental health coverage.


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