Changes in Medicare Unlikely in 2017

According to insiders, it is unlikely that the GOP will attempt to make any changes to Medicare for the first 1-2 years of the Trump Administration.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Overall Opposition Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan -which seeks to privatize the Medicare program by issuing premium vouchers to seniors (for purchasing private insurance)- is not popular among seniors themselves. Seniors fear that privatization will lead to the demise of the program entirely, while Ryan’s believes NOT overhauling Medicare will be what ultimately closes the program down, due to cost trajectory predictions.
  • Overhauling Obama Care is A priori Many pundits believe that because the GOP’s priority is to either overhaul or repeal Obamacare, the Republicans do not want to bite off more than they can chew. Additionally, some GOP members believe that simply overhauling Obamacare will ultimately add move stability to the Medicare program, due to the fact that money originally budgeted for Medicare has been moved to Obamacare., to make up for gaps in participation.
  • Prior efforts have failed miserably Some in the GOP still remember the stiff opposition George W Bush faced when trying to privatize Medicare during his administration; they fear more of the same with Ryan’s plan.

Additionally, members of the party, including those slated to become part of Trump’s administration, have declined to answer specific, or even fairly general questions about Medicare.

For example, Mitch McConnell has publically refused to speculate about what will likely transpire during the first year of the Trump transition at all, while others are staying focused on Obamacare changes, period.

What does this means for Medicare beneficiaries? Simply that for now, they need not fear any abrupt or radical changes to the program.

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