Posts Tagged ‘medicare’
Paul Ryan introduced himself to America on Wednesday night and he was funny, substantive, serious, sharp and real. He was human.While he is not seasoned on the teleprompter, his speech was among the most substantive of Vice Presidential nomination speeches ever delivered. He proved that he is ready for primetime and the face of the future for the Republican Party.
His direct challenge to Obama on the debate over Medicare was spot on. He made it clear that the Romney/Ryan campaign will own their vision to protect current Medicare recipients and secure the future of the program for younger generations.
Well done, sir.
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.
Since I wrote the Case for Paul Ryan post, I have whipped myself into a blind frenzy that Romney really must pick Paul Ryan and hoping that he will pick Paul Ryan.
I don’t know whether Romney will pick Ryan, but it really makes a ton of sense from both a policy standpoint and a political standpoint.
First, let’s think about the long-term reasons to pick Ryan. The most pressing issue facing our country is the out of control spending and ever increasing debt – coupled with the entitlement disaster as more and more baby boomers retire.
When Obama talks about voters facing a big choice in November, he is right. But he has punted on the big choices, never taking serious the looming fiscal crisis. This the guy who promised he would cut the deficit in half in his first term and yet pushed an $800 billion stimulus bill and what will turn out to be a nearly $2 trillion health care bill. This, among other things, has led to our national debt going from $10 trillion when Obama took office to $15.9 trillion today.
The remedy? Paul Ryan. He thinks big. He has vision. He has real answers to the problems.
And guess what? What makes Paul Ryan the right pick from a policy standpoint is exactly what makes him the right pick politically. In tough economic times, with government spending off the charts, a health care law that injects bureaucrats in between doctors and their patients, and systemic corruption within the administration and their cronies on Wall Street and green energy, the cure is the simple plan Paul Ryan has laid out. Simplify the tax code, reduce spending and provide choice in Medicare.
Paul Ryan for Vice President is Joe Biden’s worst nightmare and America’s dream come true.
Paul Ryan is the golden boy. Conservatives love and defend him (see: Gingrich Lambasted Over Health Care Comments and Gingrich Attack Inexplicable etc.), liberals–to show how reasonable they can be–grudgingly describe him as intelligent out of one corner of their mouth while slanderously attacking his policy proposals out of the other (see: throwing Grandma off a cliff).
Recently, TIME named Ryan a person of the year runner-up. In the piece, titled “The Prophet,” David Von Drehle writes, “it was Ryan who brought President Obama down from his cloud of happy talk about windmills and high-speed trains to acknowledge that America has a plateful of peas to choke down after its binge at the dessert bar.” Finishing, “what Ryan had this year was the courage to look the future in the eye. It is a seer’s work to glimpse around the corner and sound the alarm.”
This week, Politifact called the Democrats’ attack on Ryan’s Medicare reform plan the “Lie of the Year.” In 2011, Politifact debunked the claim that Ryan’s plan would eliminate Medicare, end health care for our seniors, etc., “in nine separate fact-checks rated false or pants on fire.” Of course, Politifact is quick to mention that, “with a few small tweaks to their attack lines, Democrats could have been factually correct.” Nonetheless, left-leaning blogs and media-types were outraged: “Is Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ a lie itself?” asked The Week; “Memo to Politifact: Conservatives Lie about the Stimulus All the Time,” whined Media Matters; “Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year is True” said DailyKos; and, the oh-so-clever Mediaite wrote “Politif**ked: Why Politifact’s ‘Lie of the Year’ Is Not Just Wrong, It’s Irresponsible,” Good grief!
So, why did TIME and Politifact, not exactly bastions of conservative thought, feel so magnanimous towards the gentleman from Wisconsin?
The left is rewarding Ryan because he’s not running for president. Liberals everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief in August when Ryan announced that he would not enter the race. Ryan is likeable, he’s principled, and he’s smart without being condescending–Gingrich and Obama should take lessons. Most importantly, Ryan can discuss the complex policy issues confronting our nation in forthright language that neither oversimplifies nor understates the gravity of the situation. After watching the circus that is the GOP primary race, the left is so thankful to Ryan for staying in his Budget Committee Chairman box, rather than posing the most legitimate threat to Obama, that they will even go so far as to validate some of his positions.
Can someone please ask Paul Ryan one more time if he’s a hard no on a presidential bid?
Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan has released a new proposal with Democrat Senator Ron Wyden that would reform Medicare in a way that will ensure that seniors have real choices when it comes to their health care.
The genius of this plan is that it would allow seniors to stick with traditional fee-for-service Medicare – thus undercutting Democrat claims that Republicans are “ending Medicare as we know it.”
The irony in the Democrat’s claim is what they did to Medicare through the passage of their health care bill in 2010. They cut $500 billion over ten years in order to fund new government programs and the created a 15-member board to make decisions about what procedures and prescriptions would be covered by Medicare – essentially standing between doctors and their patients.
Given the ever-increasing opposition to the health care law, Democrats might want to be careful about how they play this card in 2012.
Already there are consequences of the passage Obama’s government takeover of health care.
Dr. Joseph Scherzer is informing patients that he will close his practice by 2014 – when the bill goes into full effect – if it hasn’t been repealed or struck down by the courts.
While it may be years before most Americans feel the impact of President Obama’s health-care bill, a few patients in Scottsdale, Ariz., got a small taste of life under Obamacare last week when they arrived at their Dermatologist’s office only to see a sign with the following taped to the front door:
“If you voted for Obamacare, be aware these doors will close before it goes into effect.” The note is signed Joseph M. Scherzer M.D. and includes the following addendum: “****Unless Congress or the Courts repeal the BILL.”
Scherzer, who attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, has been a practicing Dermatologist in Scottsdale, Ariz., since 1976. Reached yesterday at his office, Dr. Scherzer, 63, said he plans to stop practicing before 2014 when the bill’s full impact will be felt because he refuses to deal with the headache of increased government involvement in health care.
“I’m absolutely serious [about stopping practicing] and it’s not just because I’ll be nearing 65,” Scherzer said. “The stress is what would push me out the door. From what I’ve gathered hearing from my friends and peers, most physicians I’ve heard from feel the same way.”
Scherzer said the bill’s emphasis on punitive measures for physicians not following government-prescribed treatment methods under Medicare would increase his anxiety level to the point he would no longer be able to practice medicine. The maximum fine was previously $10,000; under the bill it will now be capped at $50,000. Scherzer said the fine system makes seeing a Medicare patients a difficult and stressful exercise.
This is just the beginning of what is to come as the bill is fully implemented. It wasn’t just rhetoric during the debate when there were warnings of fewer doctors, longer wait times and the rationing of care. That is coming, and the proponents of government-run health care know it. Watch how they spin in the months to come.