Is it a voucher? Technically, no. Ryan’s plan is something called “premium support.” Unlike a voucher, where the money goes to the person, premium support is a subsidy that goes directly to the health insurance company.
What’s the difference? In Ryan’s view, there’s a huge difference. Ever since the House Budget Committee chairman first started promoting the budget plan before its release in April, he has insisted that his Medicare plan is premium support, not a voucher. The difference, to Ryan, is that premium support is more like the health care plans for members of Congress, or the Medicare prescription drug program — where consumers can pick which plan they want and the federal government pays for it.
In practical terms, though, that distinction probably won’t make much of a difference to seniors’ pocketbooks.
Isn’t that what a voucher is, when you partially pay for something on someone’s behalf, and then that someone can go and collect that something if they pay the balance that the voucher doesn’t cover? Are we supposed to call these things “gift certificates” or what?
People don’t use weasel words like “premium support” when they think they’ve got the upper hand.
A voucher by any other name would still smell as foul. This is vouchers, v-o-u-c-h-e-r-s.