Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare sets stage for campaign debate

McClatchy Newspapers
Aug. 14, 2012

Critics of Ryan’s plan, mostly Democrats, argue that there are insufficient guarantees that caps on benefits wouldn’t simply become a way of transferring most costs to the elderly. But with Medicare’s trustees projecting in April that the program’s trust fund will go broke as early as 2024, liberals and conservatives agree that Medicare growth threatens to overwhelm all other government spending.

“Medicare cannot sustain itself as it is now, and I don’t know any nonpartisan person who believes it can,” said Steve Bell, a senior researcher at the nonprofit Bipartisan Policy Center, a group that’s proposed its own deficit-reduction plan, which also includes capping the growth rate of Medicare benefits.