Under the plan, seniors would be subsidized up to 75 percent of their monthly premiums, with wealthier seniors receiving smaller subsidies. The eligibility age would also climb, slowly. But FEHBP per-capita costs are rising faster than Medicare’s — so even if the plan were able to save money at the outset as Paul claims, the costs of the new program would likely surpass projected Medicare costs in the near future.
Unlike ObamaCare, Paul says there would be no mandate requiring seniors to buy insurance — “The system is voluntary in that sense,” he said. “But it will be the new Medicare.This will be Medicare. Medicare will be the federal employee health care plan.” But that would create an incentive for healthier seniors to opt out of the program, triggering what health policy experts term adverse selection — and a “death spiral” for insurance premiums.
In all other ways, the plan is structurally akin to Obama’s health care law. It even kicks in in 2014 for all seniors, just as Obama’s law does for the uninsured. DeMint explained, in admirably honest terms, why Republicans are OK with, essentially establishing Obamacare for seniors, but not for everyone else.
“Medicare is already set up as a government program,” DeMint said. “So we’re beginning to privatize with this idea. To go the other way in the private sector for people who have private employment, and to bring that under government control and to define benefits is completely the opposite direction. So what we’re trying to do with Medicare is move it back toward a plan that we would like.”
A plan that would leave most seniors paying the majority of their health care costs and healthier seniors opting out altogether, assuring that insurance rates for seniors would increase exponentially. Yeah, that's a great plan: the end of Medicare in under 2 years. Awesome.