The other day I was watching former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean on CNBC do his best to bash the Medicare reform plan authored by Paul Ryan and endorsed, with a key change, by presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Dean botched it and the other panelists called him on it. He simply didn’t know the details.
You can almost smell the panic. Dean and many Democrats try to dismiss the Romney-Ryan plan as a “voucher,” suggesting it would send checks to seniors with a note saying, “This is for your health insurance. Good luck.”
Well, no. Today’s seniors wouldn’t be affected at all. The plan wouldn’t be implemented for 10 years. And the money wouldn’t go to individuals. It would go to providers (see below).
Last week President Barack Obama joined other Democrats in recycling the “end Medicare as we know it” line, which the left-leaning PolitiFact site labeled the “2011 lie of the year.” The original version of Ryan’s idea would have offered only private-sector policies, but the latest iteration includes traditional Medicare as one of the choices. How would that “end Medicare”?
As Yuval Levin wrote at National Review, it is only now dawning on Democrats that it is Obama — not Romney — who would cut Medicare for current seniors. The Congressional Budget Office recently estimated that Obamacare will yank $716 billion from Medicare’s planned spending over the next 10 years.