Avik Roy Defends Ryan

Charges and countercharges here. They all have to do with whether Ryan in being hypocritical in his criticisms of Obama. My take:

  1. Ryan’s budget also cuts Medicare spending by the same $716 billion that ObamaCare takes out of Medicare, as Tom Saving and I explained in USA Today. (WSJ runs all the budget numbers and they are reproduced at Ezra’s blog.) Also, neither Ryan nor Obama has a realistic plan to slow down the rate of growth of Medicare without harming seniors. However, Ryan at least is not locked in to ruinous ceilings on provider fees that ObamaCare imposes. So he could follow our market-based suggestions instead.
  2. Ryan did decline to endorse the Simpson-Bowles commission recommendations. But he has been willing to work across the aisle. He has not staged public events where he insults and embarrasses the president – burning all bridges in the process. The president, by contrast not only does not talk to Republicans; he doesn’t talk to Democrats either.

The biggest problem I have with folks on the left is they continue to talk about ObamaCare like it’s a $1.8 trillion dollar free lunch. All gain; no pain. Sorry, there’s no tooth fairy.

Comments (8)

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  1. Kyle says:

    Can’t wait for the debates. Harder to dissemble.

  2. Nichole says:

    It would be nice to see realistic plans for health care and decent retirement options.

  3. Devon Herrick says:

    to slow the rising cost of Medicare. Republicans want to use competition among private Medicare plans to slow the rising cost of Medicare. Both parties want the same thing; they both have the same goal in mind. What’s important isn’t so much how each party would achieve this goal; but how they would use incentives. Price controls (cutting physician fees) constrains prices in ways that result in shortages of providers willing to treat Medicare patients. By contrast, Republicans want competition to drive down the cost. Competition is where health plans try to take business away from other health plans by offering better services at a better price. The only way this will work is if Congress gets the incentives right. But, with price controls the incentive is to game the system, maximize against reimbursement formulas or withhold services when the prevailing price is below what doctors are willing to work for.

  4. Robert says:

    The biggest problem I have with folks on the left is they continue to talk about ObamaCare like it’s a $1.8 trillion dollar free lunch. All gain; no pain. Sorry, there’s no tooth fairy.

    TINSTAAFL – There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. I learned that at the very beginning of my foray into economics, perhaps these folks should go back to school.

  5. Greg Scandlen says:

    I didn’t catch the full explanation, but Allan Simpson said something to the effect that Ryan voted against the Commission report because he caught an error that everyone else had missed. Simpson seemed to be grateful for Ryan’s diligence.

  6. Eric says:

    Ryan and Roy conveniently overlook the have that Obama did try to negotiate a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit using a mix of spending cuts and some tax hikes. This flores in the gave of the assertion that he doesn’t talk to Republicans about these issues. In fact, it was Eric Cantor and Ryan that were ultimately responsible for the house GOP’s intransigence on this issue, leading to the credit downgrade.

    I agree that it is misleading to assume/assert that reducing the growth of Medicare spending will have no effect, but Romney/Ryan’s mendacity on this issue gives him little credibility. They subscribe to the same magical thinking, that reopening the donut hole and and eliminating preventive care for the elderly will have no effect on current beneficiaries. And that competition will magically reduce costs enough to prevent more of them from being shifted onto future elderly (our causing any harm) without resorting to adverse selection. And that eliminating the provider cuts won’t raise Medicare premiums.

    We do need to have a better discussion on these topics than the current campaign had provided, but Ryan has absolutely lost his credibility as a serious thinker on entitlements by parroting the Romney campaign’s attacks.

  7. Eric says:

    Sorry, smartphone typos. Not sure what “flores in the gave” was supposed to be, but based on context, it should be something about contradicting Roy’s assertion.

  8. August says:

    Ryan’s bipartisanship is a very interesting idea; he has shown that he can compromise in theory (see Ryan-Wyden http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/wydenryan.pdf)but his ideological budget plans show little evidence of real cooperation.