The Kaiser study claims that a Medicare “premium support” plan — that the authors claim resembles the plan offered by Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic senator Ron Wyden — would drive up costs on seniors by hundreds of dollars per month. Conveniently, the Kaiser release provides helpful state-by-state numbers so reporters can pull out premium-hike estimates in critical swing states.
There are three problems with the study. First, it doesn’t analyze anything close to the Ryan-Wyden plan. Second, its methodology is biased against the benefits of competition and consumer choice. And, third, if there were any conclusion to be drawn from the data used to produce the study, it’s that Representative Ryan has been right all along in saying that private plans have the capacity to dramatically reduce costs for Medicare — without shifting costs onto any seniors… [U]nder Ryan-Wyden, future enrollees into the program — those who have not yet enrolled in any Medicare option — would be guaranteed at least two options that would cost no more than what current Medicare would require. So, under Ryan-Wyden, no senior — present or in the future — would ever have to pay more than they do today for Medicare. Period…According to the data used by Kaiser, private plans can in fact deliver the guaranteed Medicare benefit package at lower cost than Medicare FFS in large portions of the country
James Capretta at the National Review Online.