Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on Thursday plan to introduce a new Medicare reform plan that would allow seniors to choose between traditional Medicare and new private insurance programs.
The plan has some key differences from the Ryan blueprint that Republicans had rallied around earlier this year — and which Democrats had been united in pummelling in Congress and on the campaign trail as the beginning of the end of Medicare.
The biggest difference is that seniors would have a choice between staying in traditional Medicare, or opting into new private plan alternatives…
The plan has the potential to be a political firecracker, but its most significant change — keeping traditional Medicare as an option — eliminates the greatest political assault lobbed at Ryan’s plan: that it would “end Medicare.”
The Wyden-Ryan plan has other significant differences from Ryan’s original proposal: It institutes a series of consumer protections for seniors, it installs a cap on total Medicare spending and changes the way premium support is calculated.