"If we were to implement the Ryan plan, you could rest assured that many, many senior citizens would die who otherwise wouldn't have to," said former insurance executive Wendell Potter on Tuesday's The Ed Show. Stark language, but he had the math to back it up.
"Over the past 10 years, premiums in this country have increased 113%," explained Potter, who is now an analyst at the Center for Public Integrity. The vouchers provided by the Ryan plan, which have a value based on the rate of inflation, would not be enough to increase future premium increases, he said.
"The cost of medical care has always exceeded the rate of inflation, so over time, the value of that voucher would diminish, to the point that seniors would be paying a lot more out of their pockets for the premiums, and a lot more out of their pockets for medical care," Potter said.
Not all seniors would be able to keep up; and those that couldn't just wouldn't get the medical care they need. "If we were to implement the Ryan plan, you could rest assured that many, many senior citizens would die who otherwise wouldn't have to, because of the fact that benefits would be reduced," Potter said.
Of course, that is not what the Romney campaign is saying. It has a new television commercial out blasting the Obama administration for allegedly cutting $726 billion dollars from Medicare. That charge "is absolutely false," said Potter. "What the president is doing—what needs to be done—is to reduce payments over the next several years, but he is not cutting benefits."
In a column for Lean Forward on Tuesday, Potter said that Ryan was a "dream come true" for the health insurance industry, "and a potential nightmare for just about everyone else in America under the age of 55."