Mary Agnes Carey and Marilyn Werber Serafini of Kaiser Health News did not understand Mitt Romney’s Medicare proposal. They write,
But by giving beneficiaries a fixed amount of money to buy that government coverage, it is clear that Romney’s plan would move Medicare from a “defined benefit” program that pays a share of all medical bills a senior incurs.
No, it is not clear. In fact, that’s not at all what Romney proposed. His fact sheet says he wants to
[g]ive future seniors a choice between traditional Medicare and many other healthcare plans offering at least the same benefits. (Emphasis mine.)
That, in bold, is exactly what a defined benefit is, or a defined minimum benefit anyway. Are Carey and Sarafini worried that private plans will offer more than the minimum benefit for the same price? I don’t think so.
I often turn to KHN for my health policy news. This is very disappointing coverage.