NPR, April 5, 2011
With the federal deficit in their sights, Republicans are preparing a budget proposal that would reportedly trim $4 trillion in government spending over the next decade. How do they do it? Ending Medicare as we know it is a key part. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chairman of the House Budget Committee, is the man with the plan. Details are set to be released Tuesday. For those who are already 55 and older, there would be no change to Medicare, which covers healthcare for the elderly. But for everyone else, starting in 2021, the government's cost for each Medicare beneficiary would be capped (at a level equal to 2012 expenditures plus an annual adjustment, equal to per-capita growth in GDP plus 1%.) And those younger people would instead look for private insurance, approved by and subsidized by the government, when they become eligible for Medicare.