Center for American Progress Action

NEW REPORT: Romney-Ryan Plan Shifts up to $331,170 in Costs to Future Seniors
Press Release

NEW REPORT: Romney-Ryan Plan Shifts up to $331,170 in Costs to Future Seniors

Read “Increased Costs During Retirement Under the Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan.”

Washington, D.C. — Next week Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will take the stage at the Republican National Convention in Florida—a state where 60% of voters approve of traditional Medicare—with a plan that according to a new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund would increase the cost of retirement for tomorrow’s seniors by up to $331,170 and increase retirement costs to current seniors by at least $11,000. The new analysis provides startling details, arrived at by conservative estimates, on the actual costs the Romney-Ryan Health Plan would shift to current and future seniors.

While the Republican nominee claims that no one over 55 will be affected by his plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program, his vow to repeal the Affordable Care Act would force current seniors to pay $11,000 more for their health care and prescription drugs. These real costs to current seniors include:

  • Increased drug costs and higher Medicare premiums for current Seniors. By repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Romney-Ryan plan would raise health care costs for the average 65-year-old Medicare by $11,000.
  • Higher nursing home and other long-term care costs. Gov. Romney’s plan to slash Medicaid would mean seniors who rely on the program to help pay for long-term care, including nursing home care, would pay $2,500 more a year

In total, under the Romney-Ryan plan if you’re currently 70 you’ll be facing an additional $7,900 in retirement costs, if you’re 65 those costs jump to $11,100, and if you’re currently 55 you’ll confront $18,600 in additional retirement costs.

Yet for people only a year younger than 55—those who will become eligible for Medicare after 2022—the future under a Romney-Ryan administration would be significantly more grim.

The Romney-Ryan plan to convert Medicare into a voucher program would result in unsustainable costs for those who will begin to qualify for Medicare in 2012. Because of cost shifting and increases in systemwide health care costs, Medicare costs for future seniors will increase dramatically under Romney and Ryan.

  • Today’s 54 year old will have to pay increased Medicare costs of $59,500
  • A 49 year old will have to pay $124,600 more
  • A 39 year old will pay $216,600 more than the current Medicare guarantee
  • And, today’s 29 year old will have to save $331,200 more to afford their health care

This same group would incur additional costs as private health insurance plans cherry pick healthier patients. If seniors elect to stay on the traditional Medicare program—an option in the Romney-Ryan plan—the costs for these seniors would likely increase even more sharply than for seniors who chose a private plan.  Because Medicare would no longer enjoy a balanced risk pool, seniors choosing traditional Medicare could wind up paying an extra $29,000 on average over their retirement lifetime above and beyond the costs described above.

CAP Action’s new paper, “Increased Costs During Retirement Under the Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan,” unpacks the details of exactly why Romney and Ryan’s plan to end the guarantee of Medicare by turning it into a voucher is unsustainable and wrong for both current and future seniors. A better, more just solution is to address the underlying causes of high health care costs, reducing costs overall, and enabling everyone to pay less without compromising quality.

Read “Increased Costs During Retirement Under the Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan.

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To speak to CAP Action experts, please contact Madeline Meth at [email protected].