Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), top Republican on the House Budget Committee, today is announcing the reintroduction of his “Roadmap for America’s Future 2.0,” a counter to President Obama’s spending spree.
Ryan’s initiative covers health care reform and tax reform as primary means of bringing the federal budget under control.
In the plan, being revealed at a press conference later today, Ryan will propose:
1. Real healthcare reform by providing a tax credit ($2300 for individuals and $5700 for families) to buy health insurance, opening the markets up across state lines;
2. Medicare reform — including the funding of Health Safety Accounts for those unable to fund them themselves — designed to keep Medicare from bankruptcy, to which it is perilously close;
3. Tax reform, lowering rates and simplifying dramatically the laws which are now too complicated for anyone who isn’t an accountant to understand.
Ryan’s plan has been updated to “reflect the dramatic decline in our nation’s economic and fiscal condition since its introduction in 2008. Roadmap2.0 transforms the federal government to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and to restore our long-held legacy of leaving the next generation better off.”
“Our nation is barreling down a path of uncontrolled federal government spending, unsustainable entitlement growth, and crushing levels of taxes and debt,” Ryan said. “If we resign ourselves to this, our health and retirement security programs will grow themselves into extinction; our debt will explode and cripple our economy’s ability to compete — let alone lead — in the 21st century marketplace; and our failure will condemn future generations to declining standards of living.”
“Simply saying ‘no’ to the further government expansions — simply maintaining today’s ‘status quo’ — is no longer an option: our health care sector must be reformed; our economy needs sustained job creation and real growth; and we must tackle the greatest threat to our economic and fiscal future — the crushing debt burden driven by the unsustainable growth in entitlement spending,” Ryan continued.
Through a dynamic combination of tax credits, an individual ownership shift, price transparency and reforming high-risk pools, Ryan seeks to ensure universal access to health insurance and hand back to the states the ability to drag Medicaid into permanent solvency.
In the plan, Medicare is preserved unchanged for people aged 55 or older. A series of payment reforms based on income and Medical Savings Accounts, Ryan seek to bring Medicare into permanent solvency as Americans pass that age benchmark.
Reforms to Social Security also seek to move the massive, unfunded entitlement into permanent solvency, but would preserve the program in its current state for those aged 55 or older. Younger Americans have the option of investing over one third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to federal employees. One segment of the reform measure includes a property right so Americans can pass on these assets to their heirs.
Reform of these colossal, budget crippling entitlements would put America back on a road to fiscal responsibility and financial security for the government and for the people.
The Roadmap 2.0 also reforms the tax code, allowing folks to stay in the current burdensome tax scheme or switch to a flat tax, postcard-style option.
Ryan’s plan is based on Congressional Budget Office estimates and results from consultation with the Office of the Actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“It’s unlikely that everyone will agree with every aspect of my proposal, and that’s fine,” Ryan said. “My hope is that it will spur all Americans to not only take a hard look down the dangerous path our country is headed, but also to become actively involved in restoring our ability — and long-held legacy — of leaving the next generation of Americans better off.”
For complete plan details, the fact sheet, an executive summary, report language and legislative text, please visit www.americanroadmap.org.