Liberal commentators have been celebrating Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate. They think that being able to run against Romney by attacking the “right wing” plan proposed by Ryan.
The centerpiece of their attack will be their claim that Ryan’s plan “ends Medicare as we know it.” What they fail to recognize is that the passage of the President’s health care bill already ended Medicare as we know it because it cut $700 billion from Medicare to pay for new government programs and will ration future care through the 15 unelected members of the IPAB (Independent Payment Advisory Board) which is the function in which President Obama’s health care guru, Don Berwick said, “The decision is not whether or not we will ration care–the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open.”
Here are the facts. Ryan’s reform of Medicare doesn’t even affect any one 55 years old or older. And for those that are 54 years old and younger, when they reach eligibility age, they will have a choice of traditional Medicare or the new program, which is modeled after the prescription drug benefit in which insurance companies compete for your business.
The bottom line is that current seniors are not affected by Ryan’s plan and future seniors have a choice. By contrast, current seniors are already being hurt by Obama’s health care bill because many are losing Medicare Advantage and premiums are going up.
So, the Left can do their happy dance, but the American people, particularly seniors, are well informed and will see through the demagoguery.
Avik Roy over at Forbes does a much better job than I do to explain why, as he calls it, the “mediscare” attacks won’t work. Full piece here and a couple good excerpts below:
The Obama campaign, upon learning of the Paul Ryan pick, went straight for the jugular. Ryan’s plan “would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors,” said Obama spokesman Jim Messina this morning. But that’s not true.
As we’ve documented extensively at The Apothecary, the Wyden-Ryan Medicare plan—so named because it was coauthored by progressive Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.)—only applies to Americans younger than 55 years of age, and gives those younger individuals the option of remaining in the traditional Medicare program, or choosing a comparable private-sector insurance plan.
The policy-wonk term for this approach is “competitive bidding,” an idea that originated with Democrats. The Wyden-Ryan plan is nearly identical to one that was introduced a few weeks earlier by Mitt Romney.
The bottom line: if Romney and Ryan leave you the option to remain in the 1965-vintage, fee-for-service, traditional Medicare program, and you claim that Medicare has “ended as we know it,” what you’ve really ended is the English language as we know it.