In dialogue with Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) stated that the proposals of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) end Medicare by “transforming” it into a voucher plan. He follows House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in making that acknowledgment, despite the denials of House Speaker John Boehner:
WEINER: I’m going to say something now that is factually true and that Mr. Kingston cannot deny: Under Ryan’s plan, which apparently Mr. Kingston supports, we end Medicare as a guaranteed program for seniors. That’s the simple fact. If you don’t like it, Mr. Kingston, vote “no.”
KINGSTON: Anthony, you know that the Ryan plan transforms it to put market forces in there, and I know you don’t like the free market.
WEINER: What does ‘transform it’ mean?
KINGSTON: What it does is it takes it to a voucher so that seniors can get out, and by the way we’re talking about people under 55 years old, Medicare as we know it will not exist because it is a path to go broke…
According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, by 2030 a voucher would cover only one-third of a private insurance policy equivalent to Medicare. No doubt there will be many seniors who will be deprived of medical care and less enthusiastic than Kingston about the Ryan plan.