2008 CBO Report Favorably Scored The Medicare Buy-In
Washington, D.C. -- A briefly considered “Medicare buy-in” proposal for 55- to 64-year-olds was apparently killed in the Senate this week by self-styled moderates who claimed it would be too costly for taxpayers. While a requested study of costs by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has not yet been released, a CBO study of a similar plan, conducted last year, found that there would be no public cost, yet consumers would greatly benefit from rates far below those of private insurers, said Consumer Watchdog.
The 2008 CBO report found that a Medicare buy-in (which would allow Americans to pay the full cost of Medicare hospital, doctor and drug coverage) just for ages 62-64 would provide dramatic savings for consumers in that group, most of whom could not buy insurance at any price in the private market due to excludable pre-existing conditions. A comprehensive policy would cost about $7,600 a year, said the CBO.
“A similar private HMO policy would a cost a 62-year-old up to twice as much or more, if they could get a policy at all," said Jerry Flanagan, health policy director of Consumer Watchdog. “The latest proposal in the Senate would provide even deeper savings by allowing people as young as 55 to buy in. By allowing younger individuals to into to Medicare, at their own cost, the risk is spread more widely and prices are lower for everyone. That's the way health care is supposed to work."
Click here to download the 2008 CBO report. The Medicare buy-in option is discussed on page 39.
The 2008 CBO report predicted that the plan would have no cost to government or the Medicare system, as long as premiums were matched to actual costs for the group over time. It also foresaw that premiums would be lower if younger individuals were allowed to participate in the buy-in program, as in the Senate proposal.
- 30 -
Consumer Watchdog is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Santa Monica, CA. Find us on the web at: www.ConsumerWatchdog.org.
12/6/2016Blog PostThe following op-ed commentary by Consumer Watchdog's President Jamie Court, appeared in the Sacramento Bee on December 2,... More >
8/9/2016News ReleaseReport Finds Big Energy Companies Gave Big $ and Got Big Favors From Governor Brown With Dollars and Decisions Flowing In Close Proximity To Each OtherSanta Monica, CA—Public interest group Consumer Watchdog today reported that twenty-six energy companies including the... More >
9/22/2016News ReleaseFair Political Practices Commission Opens Investigation Into CA Democratic Party In Response to Report On 'Brown's Dirty Hands'Santa Monica—The Fair Political Practices Commission has launched an investigation into the California Democratic Party and... More >
1/3/2016News StoryWith four tax initiatives on track for the November ballot, California voters are going to have to decide how much is too much.... More >
8/9/2016News StoryConsumer Watchdog Says Brown, California Dems Got $9.8M From Energy Companies For Favorable LegislationTwenty-six companies with business before the state donated $9.8 million to Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Democratic Party... More >