Obama: Ryan’s Ideas Are Too Radical Unless They’re Also My Ideas

What is it about the [Paul] Ryan plan that liberals find so appalling and unacceptable? Well, according to the president’s speech — and columns by Alan Blinder, Paul Krugman, and Ezra Klein — it’s the fact that the Medicare “premium-support credits” could be used only for private insurance, and that the credits themselves would be indexed on an annual basis to consumer inflation, not health costs. They argue that, as the years go by, the credits will fall farther behind the actual cost of insurance, and leave seniors with larger and larger premium bills.

But, wait a second, there’s something vaguely familiar about how the Ryan Medicare plan is supposed to work … In the new state-based “exchanges” erected by Obamacare, persons with incomes between 133 and 400 percent of the federal poverty line will be eligible for new, federally financed “premium credits” — dare we say “vouchers”? These vouchers can be used only to purchase the private health-insurance plans that are offered in the exchanges … growth in the government’s contribution will be limited, first to the rise in average incomes and then the CPI.

That’s right: Obamacare’s new health-entitlement vouchers are indexed to general consumer inflation too. So if Ryan’s Medicare plan is “cruel” and “inhumane” because the credits supposedly fall behind rising costs, then the exact same criticism can be leveled against Obamacare.

Full editorial by James Capretta at National Review Online is worth reading.

Comments (6)

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  1. Ken says:

    Excellent editorial. Capretta’s always good.

  2. Bruce says:

    Obama is hypocritical and two-faced? No kidding.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    It’s unfortunate that Ryan’s ideas are dismissed out of hand solely because of politics. At the very least, the Administration should consider Ryan’s proposal the start of a bargaining point.

  4. Vicki says:

    Nice gotcha.

  5. Tom H. says:

    Good point.

  6. Jack says:

    Absolutely. However, Rep. Ryan’s plan is a bit short on details. While both “The Path” and the ACA shift costs, the ACA is much more clear on controlling actual health care costs.

    I am a huge proponent of CDHC, and I love reading Mr. Goodman’s analyses. But, I would have to choose the ACA over Rep. Ryan’s proposal on the basis of cost-control details. Rep. Ryan’s plan seems ineffective overall.