The Washington Post reported that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan won applause from the Republican freshman caucus when he criticized President Obama for saying that Ryan's Medicare plan would turn the program into a voucher system. The Post should have reminded readers that Ryan Medicare plan does turn the program into a voucher system.
Ryan's plan gives beneficiaries a fixed amount on money that they can use to buy insurance in the private market. This is what most people would consider a voucher system. The Congressional Budget Office's projections indicate that it would raise the cost of buying Medicare equivalent policies by $34 trillion, approximately 5 times the size of the projected Social Security shortfall.