The standard critique of the Ryan-Rivlin plan

Paul Van de Water expertly describes the standard critique of the Ryan-Rivlin plan in a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities paper (PDF). It takes the plan at face value and describes the consequences. I agree with Van de Water’s analysis.

However, when I factor in the likely political dynamics, based on what I know about Medicare Advantage, I do not think things would play out as Rep. Ryan and Rivlin expect. That is, I do not believe the savings they anticipate would materialize. That also means the erosion of benefits would not occur, or wouldn’t be as severe.

Neither outcome is particularly good. Benefits erosion would harm low-income beneficiaries. Failing to achieve cost savings would question the whole enterprise. Either way you slice it, it’s problematic.

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