It appears that Democrats have settled on their electoral strategy for 2012, and it has to do with pushing back forcefully on the movement to reform entitlements like Medicare. Plainly put, the left will argue that it is going to give you things while the right is going to take them away.
But this couldn’t be more disingenuous. First, the social programs so beloved by the left are funded at least in part by borrowing from China, not to mention your own tax dollars – much of which could surely be put to better use in your own wallet. Secondly, the Republicans aren’t ending Medicare. They are, in fact, trying to salvage it by letting seniors choose the plan that suits their needs best, and one that forces insurers to issue the best possible plans at the lowest possible prices, as they will be competing against other managed-care plans for business. It’s called competition, and it’s at the heart of the American way.
The GOP has a strong case to make, and it should be out there making it. But instead of defending Ryan’s plan, they should be poking holes in Obamacare. Only then will the benefits of their alternative become clear to the American public.
It deserves all of the ire Republicans can muster. For example, Washington Democrats have cut $500 billion by stopping reimbursements to doctors and hospitals through Medicare Advantage. And what happens when you cut payments? Doctors stop treating Medicare patients.
What’s more, the Medicare board of trustees, part of President Obama’s own administration, bluntly acknowledges that Obamacare does nothing to solve the long term Medicare problem: “Without major changes in health care delivery systems, the prices paid by Medicare for health services are very likely to fall increasingly short of the costs of providing these services. By the end of the long-range projection period, Medicare prices for hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, hospice, ambulatory surgical center, diagnostic laboratory and many other services would be less than half of their level under the prior law. Medicare prices would be considerably below the current relative level of Medicaid prices, which have already led to access problems for Medicaid enrollees, and far below the levels paid by private health insurance.”
So there you have it. Paul Ryan tries to come up with a serious solution and he takes it on the chin; Obama, meanwhile, is the one who should be taken to task for trying to pay for a giant new entitlement – Obamacare – by foisting cuts on seniors.