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President Obama on the Romney/Ryan (r) Medicare voucher plan:

President Obama: ….First of all, I think it’s important for Governor Romney to present this plan that he says, uh, will only affect folks in the future. Uh, and the essence of the plan is that you would turn Medicare into a voucher program. Uh, it’s called premium support, but it’s understood to be a voucher program. Uh, his running mate [crosstalk]…

Jim Lehrer (doormat): And you, and you don’t support that?

President Obama: I don’t. And, and let me explain why [crosstalk].

Mitt Romney (r): Again, again that’s for future…

President Obama: [across] I understand.

Mitt Romney (r): … people, right, not for current retirees.

President Obama: For, for, so if you’re, if you’re, if you’re fifty-four or fifty-five, you might want to listen, uh, ’cause this, this will affect you.

Uh, the idea, which was originally presented by Congressman Ryan, your running mate, uh, is that we would give a voucher to seniors and they could go out in the private marketplace and buy their own health insurance.

The problem is that because the voucher wouldn’t necessarily keep up with health care inflation, it was estimated that this would cost the average senior about six thousand dollars a year a year.

Now, in fairness, uh, what Governor Romney has now said is he’ll maintain traditional Medicare alongside it. But there’s still a problem, because what happens is, those insurance companies are pretty clever at figuring out who are the younger, uh, and healthier seniors. They recruit them, leaving the older, sicker seniors in Medicare. And every health care economist that looks at it says, over time, what’ll happen is the traditional Medicare system will collapse.

And then what you’ve got is folks like my grandmother at the mercy of the private insurance system precisely at the time when they are most in need of decent health care.

So, I don’t think vouchers are the right way to go. And this is not my, uh, own, only my opinion. AARP thinks that the, the savings that we obtained from Medicare bolster the system, lengthen the Medicare trust fund by eight years. Benefits were not affected at all. And ironically, if you repeal Obamacare, and I have become fond of this term, Obamacare, uh, if you repeal it, what happens is those seniors right away are gonna be paying six hundred dollars more in prescription care. They’re now gonna have to be paying copays for basic checkups that can keep, keep them healthier.

And the primary beneficiary of that repeal are insurance companies that are estimated to gain billions of dollars back when they aren’t making seniors any healthier. And, and I don’t think that’s the right approach when it comes to, uh, making sure that Medicare is stronger over the long term.

Jim Lehrer (doormat): We’ll talk….

“….Again, again, that’s for future…people, right, not for current retirees….”

If the republican Medicare voucher plan is so good why doesn’t it apply to everyone?

I’ll repeat the question.

If the republican Medicare voucher plan is so good why doesn’t it apply to everyone?