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Evening News Virtually Ignores Paul Ryan’s Medicare Privatization Plan

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Evening News Virtually Ignores Paul Ryan’s Medicare Privatization Plan

Paul Ryan medicare

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters. 

Weekday evening programming on the largest cable and broadcast news outlets almost completely ignored a long-standing Medicare privatization scheme favored by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) in the days since he first resurrected the idea of radically reshaping the American health care system toward for-profit interests.

During a November 10 interview with Fox News host Bret Baier, Ryan misleadingly claimed that due to mounting “fiscal pressures” created by the Affordable Care Act, the Republican-led Congress would be forced to engage with what Baier called “entitlement reform” sometime next year. Ryan falsely claimed that “because of Obamacare, Medicare is going broke” and that the popular health insurance system for American seniors will have to be changed as part of any legislation to “repeal and replace” President Obama’s health care reform legacy. From Special Report with Bret Baier:


According to a Media Matters analysis of broadcast and cable evening news coverage from November 10 to November 27, Ryan’s plan to privatize the nationwide, single-payer health care coverage currently enjoyed by millions of seniors has gone unmentioned on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox News. Ryan’s so-called “premium support” plan was briefly mentioned on the November 22 edition of PBS NewsHour when co-host Judy Woodruff pressed President-elect Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, as to whether Trump would accept Ryan’s privatization proposal. By comparison, during the same time period, MSNBC ran six prime-time segments exposing Ryan’s privatization agenda:

According to a July 19 issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation, conservative lawmakers are likely to pursue “a proposal to gradually transform Medicare into a system of premium supports, building on proposals” adopted by Ryan when he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee. These so-called “premium supports” would provide each Medicare beneficiary with a “voucher” that can be used for the purchase of private health insurance; they represent “a significant change from the current system” that pays health care providers directly for services rendered.

In essence, Ryan’s plan would privatize Medicare and redirect hundreds of billions of tax dollars that currently go to doctors, hospitals, and other medical service providers through the costly private health insurance market.

This startling scheme bears similarities to a failed 2005 attempt by the Bush administration to partially privatize Social Security. Democratic members of Congress are already aligning themselves against Ryan’s throwback plan to gut Medicare, and it’s not actually clear if Trump is supportive of the initiative, which he refused to fully endorse on the campaign trail.

As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) pointed out last July, claims that Medicare is “nearing ‘bankruptcy’ are highly misleading,” and Ryan’s specific charge that Medicare is “broke” because of the ACA is completely wrong. President Obama’s health care reform law greatly improved Medicare’s long-term finances and extended the hospital insurance trust fund’s solvency by 11 years.

The looming fight over the future of Medicare, which serves over 55 million beneficiaries and accounted for 15 percent of the entire federal budget in 2015, has been well-documented, but it has garnered almost no attention on major television news programs.

Millions of Americans who rely on broadcast and cable evening news are completely unaware of the stakes in this health care policy fight. They are also unaware that Ryan’s privatization scheme would leave millions of retirees at the whims of the same private insurance market that right-wing media are currently attacking because of increased rates.


Media Matters conducted a Nexis search of transcripts of weekday network broadcast evening news programs on ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS and weekday prime-time news programming (defined as 8 p.m. through 11 p.m.) on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC from November 10, 2016, through November 27, 2016. We identified and reviewed all segments that included any mention of “Medicare.”




  1. I Am Helpy November 28, 2016

    Watching the dumbasses who voted for Trump as they come to understand that he plans to ruin their lives is going to be my new hobby.

    1. Thoughtopsy November 28, 2016

      Oh I’m so totally with you on that one.
      That and “helping” them understand it.

      Hey exactly how many sockpuppets are there on this site for the Trolls?
      I notice that nearly every “super troll”… i.e. Otto, Aglandickhead, and the others are ALL suddenly off air. Simultaneously. I’d expect one or two to drop out every once in a while if they were individuals… are they really all the same person/organisation just with multiple puppets?

      Very curious.

      1. I Am Helpy November 28, 2016

        Otto got suspended for a while for sock puppeting

        1. Thoughtopsy November 28, 2016

          It’s just very weird that all the worst offenders seem to be silent at the same time. Like you said on another post: It’s as if they are paused, waiting for new marching orders, or have been redeployed elsewhere.

          1. Otto T. Goat November 28, 2016

            Clearly you are on to something, and not a paranoid retard.

          2. plc97477 November 29, 2016

            Maybe putin needed them for something.

          3. dpaano November 29, 2016

            No, they’re just practicing their Hitler salutes and the high-stepping parade steps for Trumps inauguration parade!

      2. Otto T. Goat November 28, 2016

        We are all the same Russian state-sponsored hacker.

      3. Mama Bear November 29, 2016

        yes, they are all Russian/Trump paid trolls who were supposed to get paid by the number of comments they garnered. My guess is Trump stiffed them. No surprise.

      4. FireBaron November 29, 2016

        That’s because enough people got fed up with them and blocked them.

      5. RED November 29, 2016

        I despise the sick Cons as much as the next guy, at least if the next guy despises sick Cons with a burning hatred and disgust, hehehe. But I’m not sure they will ever learn, it’s the reason they have the disease in the first place. I still take great joy in ridiculing and reminding them each day what horrible human beings they’ve become. But in my mind I think the best hope we have is like Bernie suggested to have millions gather in D.C in protest. And I would even go further and say shut the system down. There’s no point in trying to convince Cons are hoping that morons who have never been able to figure out the causes for their problems will suddenly figure it out with more pain. Na, I think energies should be directed to reminding the powerful that not only are the thinking people not afflicted with the Con sickness are a majority and we are a majority that will no longer allow their kleptocracy to continue regardless of what ignorant fundies believe. And it needs to movements of people, not the donation machines of the Democratic party, that seems to be all they ever want is money, what o they do with that money? Nope, we need organizations that still may need money but that are using that money to charter buses to DC.

    2. Nativegrammy December 2, 2016

      I will also enjoy watching all these incredibly ignorant people squirm and attempt to understand what is going to happen to their lives going down the toilet. However being over 70 and being both on Medicare and getting SS, unfortunately I and all those who think like me, will suffer as well, and more troubling are my children and following generations will not have the comfort of knowing they have the guarantee of their government that when they reach that “golden” age to receive SS and Medicare that they have invested in through their payroll taxes regardless of what happens in the private sector “investment” products, IRA’s, 401k’s, Roth IRA’s etc. will be there for them come Hell or high water. And those private sector products are at the mercy of crooked Wall Street creatures who tend to be far less than honest and are far too greedy than any human has a right to be, along with many businesses who deduct contributions from employees income to “invest” for them in pension plans that all of sudden disappear when the business goes belly up, too many horrible stories to count on the many ways the little guy gets shafted. But SS has always been there, and can be strengthened for decades to come with a little thought and good faith work!!!

      1. I Am Helpy December 2, 2016

        I want to be clear that I don’t really enjoy watching people suffer. But sometimes I have to admit there’s a certain amount of cosmic justice at work. Maybe that Buddha guy was on to something.

  2. 1standlastword November 28, 2016

    Paul Ryan intends to create major pain for all Americans including Trump loyalists.

    I recall Trump saying there are some people in the party he would keep and some he wouldn’t have uses for.

    I think Ryan’s days as speaker are short!

    He’s going to have to hold the party together in all its various and sundry components and he seems to be strongly wedded to his long held pet plans to starve the beast much of that seems to run contrary to Trump’s promises to a public that has been deeply injured by the beltway permanent political class like Ryan.

    I just think “drain the swamp” applies to the likes of Ryan as SOTH.

    1. Mama Bear November 29, 2016

      from your lips to god’s ears!

    2. FireBaron November 29, 2016

      As wonderful as that may sound, the President has no control over who the House and Senate pick for their leaders. They are not his corporate flunkies he can hire and fire at will. In fact, out of all the congressional leaders, Ryan has the potential to be the most dangerous to Teflon Donnie, as he is the one who is empowered to establish a committee to determine if the President should be impeached for “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”. Trying to usurp Congressional Authority is definitely part of that, so Teflon Donnie needs to take care in what he tries to do.

  3. carole.carey November 29, 2016

    After 5 years I abandoned my previous job and I never felt better in my life… I started working online, over a website I discovered on-line, for several hrs a day, and I profit now much more than i did on my old job… My last month paycheck was for Nine thousand bucks… Great thing about this job is that now i have more free time with my kids…

  4. Dominick Vila November 29, 2016

    The reason the media ignored Speaker Ryan’s renewed efforts to replace MEDICARE with a voucher system, privatize SS, repeal the ACA, and trash MEDICAID, is probably because this is old news. Slashing social programs was one of the main components in Paul Ryans 10-point plan when he was Romney’s running mate. The difference now, is that the GOP has full control of Congress, the WH (starting in a month and a half), and soon the SCOTUS. Much depends on how much Republican congressmen and Senators are willing to risk when they run for re-election. They all know that one of the most determined constituencies in the USA are senior citizens, and that messing with our livelihoods is political suicide, even if Ryan’s plan only affects those under age 55 when it comes to SS and MEDICARE. I wonder if he knows that million of seniors use MEDICAID to pay for assisted living facility costs?

    1. Jennifersflores November 29, 2016

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !mj336d:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive if you don’t check it
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  5. pisces63 November 29, 2016

    He’s been preaching this lie with the added ACA lie for years. such a lying idiot. This has been his end game. NOW, with the abundant lies told about ACA, he adds a lie to it, also. these miscreants rule all and none has any moral fiber, sense of right or wrong. Quark is a Ferengi(Star Trek N G), Stereotypically capitalists and motivated only by profit. Fits him and he looks like him.

  6. Budjob November 29, 2016

    Paul Ryan,is the weasels weasel!

  7. latebloomingrandma November 29, 2016

    Why would the “news” media talk about Ryan’s Medicare plan when they had “emails” and “Benghazi”??? Plus, wasting away their time that should be actual news stories to give Donald free time.
    Unfortunately, people today have short attention spans and are too lazy to sort out the truth from the multitude of falsehoods out there. How else to explain why so many vote against their own self interests or listen to a con man and believe him so easily.
    If you had any knowledge of Paul Ryan and extreme conservatives, they are pretty much “Buck up people, you’re on your own.” Government help is no good. You don’t need it; that is until you need it. Just yourself, not “other ” people.
    Of all the countries in the world, the US is only #1 in our military. We are down the list for all other metrics of a great country in which to live. And we are placing the Republicans in the driver’s seat to improve this? God help us all.

  8. yabbed November 29, 2016

    The Trump voters are going to suffer greatly from the privatization of Medicare. Red states, the poor states, are going to be saddled with paying their own states Medicaid costs instead of the feds taking money for rich blue states, like NY and CA, and giving it to the red states for their indigent health care covered by Medicaid. And then there is the coming change in Social Security due to privatization of that program. They have already said benefits will be cut, eligibility age will be raised, and the system will go private so each person will have a tax benefit to saving themselves for their retirement instead of deducted payments going to Social Security for their future. It’s going to be painful for the working and middle class.

  9. Jon November 29, 2016

    Lyin’ Ryan has no principles other than enrich his owners in business. He would be insane to actually believe that profit driven businesses would be cheaper or more efficient. He would be insane to believe they will put the good of the individual ahead of maximizing profits.Of course he is not insane and knows better. He just doesn’t care.

  10. dpaano November 29, 2016

    This is the problem with our current news media…..they give us crap, but they don’t report on the actual things that we, as a nation, care about! I guess they think if we don’t read about it, we won’t care what happens to our lives!

  11. crane.tammie November 29, 2016

    After 5 yrs I finally quit my office work and I never felt better in my life… I started working from home, for this company I stumbled upon online, for several hrs daily, and I earn much more than i did on my last job… Last payment i got was for 9k dollars… The best thing about it is that i have more time for my family…

  12. nataliamccombs December 1, 2016

    It’s been 1 yr since I decided to resign from my previous work and it was a best decision i made in my life… I started working online, for a company I discovered over internet, several hours every day, and I earn much more than i did on my old work… My payment for last month was for 9k… Awesome thing about this job is that now i have more free time for my loved ones… http://chilp.it/728813e

  13. Nativegrammy December 2, 2016

    The all consuming obsession of Republicans to dismantle, destroy, eliminate all of the “New Deal” to prevent what was the worst economic collapse in history of the modern industrial world and provide a safe future for the most vulnerable, the elderly along with the “Great Society” to eliminate poverty, to protect the elderly, and attempt to eliminate racial injustice, has been an unending question, WHY? The programs implemented by FDR and LBJ that has improved the lives of millions of Americans directly and substantially improve the quality of life for Americans for almost 80 and 50 + years respectively and counting along with the passage of ACA by Pres. Obama, and the Republican all consuming fixation to kill what has improved life for millions along with moving this country to a more perfect union, has been a continuing source of befuddlement, confusion and anger. For decades I have listened to Republicans threaten continuously attack SS and Medicare, almost all financial regulations, the Civil Rights Bill, the Voting Rights Bill, all created to keep greed at bay, or improve the quality of life for the majority of Americans in the most fundamental life improving ways, provide unrestricted access to the ballot box and address our original sin, racism and bigotry. And yet, with particular mention the last 15 to 20 years, all has been either ripped apart i.e., the Voting rights act by a right leaning Supreme Court, Glass-Stegall repealed by of all people a Democrat in Bill Clinton, and the insistence of “privatizing” SS and Medicare which seems to be Paul Ryan’s mission in life. a real threat now and am certain along with an idiot president like Trump and ill advised advisors and the “cabinet” he’s selecting, who to a person, all hate these programs, the THREAT is real. This is what I know, PRIVATIZING means someone or some corporation is going to make an obscene amount of money, as they are in business for PROFIT, not for a hobby, and that means if services are cut to improve the “bottom line” a give out fat bonuses, gramma and granpa too bad, so sad, and I would like Paul Ryan to give me the name of one insurance company whose dying to write insurance on an 80 year old man or woman times millions, no profit, top high a risk, no reward!!! And a $5000 annual voucher, really??????????? By the time my husband and I reached Medicare age, 65, we were paying $25,000 a year on premiums for average health insurance policy and both of us in good health. And that was “cheap” comparatively. Another crash in the market like 2008, kiss off your “privatized” SS, but I assure you the CEO of what ever company manages you SS dollars, will be richer than God…………….All I can say is screw the Republican Party, I will fight and speak against what they are doing anyway I can, and hope the idiots that voted this party into complete power, will pull their collective heads out of the their asses and stop simply hating people of color, people of religious minorities, and every contemptible social issue the Republican Party uses to win elections in the most destructive and divisive ways, and they will all see what really is going to affect their lives, because all the rest is nonsense, everyone’s quality of life is about to be threatened big time!!!


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