Rep. Paul Ryan released a video about Medicare yesterday which you can watch on Patriot Update’s homepage.
It is a compelling and substantive argument about the nature of the fiscal problems we face and the solutions he and other Republicans are offering. It’s almost certainly doomed. Unless his allies step forward quickly to bolster his points with an effective political argument, Ryan’s ideas will die a swift death.
Already, they’re showing signs of expiring. Contrast the Ryan video, which is measured and essentially defensive, with the attacks against it. Since the moment Ryan’s plan appeared, Democrats have argued that his goal is to “end” Medicare. This is false. Ryan’s plan would change Medicare. It would reduce funding for the program relative to its current (and unsustainable) baseline. It would not end Medicare, and it’s a lie to claim otherwise. Yet that’s what reputedly serious Democrats and their allies in the press are saying every day.
How are Republicans responding to this onslaught? Most aren’t. Those who’ve bothered to defend Medicare reform strike a curiously passive tone. Here’s Rep. Ryan himself, speaking this week: “There is a Medicare story to be told here and that Medicare story is that Democrats have chosen to shamelessly distort and demagogue the issue to try to scare seniors…We have a year and a half to get the facts out.”
One of the many things Republicans could be saying on behalf of the Ryan plan:
Medicare in its current form is unsustainable. Follow the president’s course and it will collapse, leaving tens of millions of seniors without health coverage.