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Romney Proposal Would Privatize Part of Medicare (Wall Street Journal)

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Seeking to transform the Medicare market into one that offers “competition, choice, and innovation,” Mitt Romney’s new proposal would offer seniors a choice between the current fee-for-service structure and a voucher to purchase health insurance from private carriers. The proposal is similar to one made by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis and, although it wouldn’t overtly eliminate Medicare, the increased competition among private plans may lower health care costs enough to ultimately drive Medicare out of the market. Mr. Romney didn’t say how much money the plan is estimated to save, but did indicate that he would make no changes to the plan for current Medicare beneficiaries or for seniors about to enter the Medicare market, suggesting that any savings would be slow in coming.