Tuesday, October 2, 2012

excerpts from the WSJ's "The Mediscare Boomerang"

Here's the link...

President Obama's $716 billion is a "cut" only in the sense of slowing the rate of spending growth over 10 years, which is the baseline Democrats always use. Medicare spending will continue to rise rapidly...

LOVE that point! LOL! The GOP is usually so tin-ear (or complicit) on this silly approach! Glad to see it bite the Dems on the butt.

Either Mr. Obama's apologists can defend raiding one insolvent entitlement to finance another one and own the cuts. Or they can say these Medicare cuts don't really count as cuts, as the media fact checkers are suddenly finding ways to do. In which case it means repudiating Mr. Obama's repeated claims that the Affordable Care Act reduces the deficit and that "I have strengthened Medicare"...The larger reality is that Medicare cannot and will not continue as it is, as the President used to admit. A sampler of his rhetoric from the town-hall summer of 2009: "Mark my words," he declared in Grand Junction, Colorado, "Medicare in about eight to nine years goes into the red. . . . It is going broke"...

I didn't remember Obama saying such things. Wow. Here's the WSJ's overview of the Romney-Ryan plan:

Their "premium support" reform explicitly preserves traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Starting in 2023, seniors could either pick traditional Medicare or choose from a menu of regulated private plans. The reform is modeled after the health program that already covers all federal workers, including Members of Congress. The subsidies increase with health costs, so seniors wouldn't bear more risk. The plan wouldn't kick in for a decade, shielding everyone who is in or near retirement. Our preference would be to start immediately, but the delay is one of many political accommodations to help ease the worries of current retirees.

Finally, a few more salient thoughts on the politics of the topic-- an interesting irony that Obama has made it (politically) feasible for the GOP to enter this debate for the first time. That's one odd thing to be thankful for: that if we'd had a John Kerry or Al Gore, Medicare would still be a cheap "third-rail" issue.

In a normal political year, the liberal Mediscare tom-toms might have scared Republicans from this issue, and Mr. Ryan probably would have remained an admired if sidelined Congressman. But Mr. Obama decided via the Affordable Care Act to remake the entire health-care system including Medicare, and thus he also changed the politics. The...unpopularity of ObamaCare [has] made Paul Ryan's reform politically possible, meaning that voters may be open to hearing the real choice they face between command and control or private competition and more patient choice. Throw in the lousy economy and the Obama spending and debt binges, and the GOP this year has a chance to win a health-care debate if it goes on offense and contrasts its solutions to Mr. Obama's. That's the real reason liberals and the press corps claim to be so upset by the Romney Medicare ad. By governing so far to the left, Mr. Obama may have neutralized Mediscare and made voters more receptive to center-right solutions....


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