Thursday, April 21, 2011

Medicare, in under 2 minutes

Keith Hennessey has provided a great brief. He says:
The President and his allies ominously warn that the Ryan plan would “end Medicare as we know it.”

But let’s be honest, how much do you really know about Medicare? If you’re under age 65 there’s a good chance that you know very little about the program. You have had no reason to, at least until now.

Five years ago I had to help a Cabinet Secretary and a senior White House staffer get up to speed very quickly on the absolute basics of Medicare, just the broadest brush strokes. They, like you, needed to understand Medicare principally from a top-down budget perspective, rather than as a participant in the system. I created a simple two-page outline for them to study.

I have updated the numbers in that document and offer it here, hoping it can provide some basic facts and context to the Medicare component of the current budget debate. This outline won’t make you an expert, but at least you’ll have a starting point.

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