Cutting Waste and Fraud Is Not a Medicare Reform Proposal

A candidate who promises to preserve, protect, and defend Medicare, save it from going bankrupt, implement his plan for only those under 55, and let you keep your benefits exactly as they are now if you don’t like his changes: this is the candidate Democrats are portraying as a faceless monster diabolically wheeling grandma off a cliff.

We’ve reached the apotheosis of the Democratic Party’s political strategy: take the Republican who’s most likely to do it the favor of justifying, rescuing, and strengthening its bloated, big-government welfare programs, and then smear him as their callous, murderous destroyer.

Ten days after Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential nomination announcement, liberals are still spreading the meme that Paul Ryan was a suicidal choice, because he dared come up with a serious Medicare reform proposal—gradually turn the program into a voucher-supported private system—and include it in two House-passed federal budgets.  The Left waited five minutes after the VP pick, then cried, “See! Romney didn’t get a Ryan bounce. He screwed up!”

Wait until Americans hear Ryan debate Joe Biden and field questions from a smarmy, economically illiterate, and biased press. Then they won’t be crowing that Romney committed hari-kari.

Pundits imply that Romney should have picked a VP candidate with no strong positions on Medicare or any other issue of substance, lest he alienate independents. But the opposite will hold true: if any voters truly are undecided, they’re going to be blown away by what Ryan has to say on Medicare and every other budgetary topic he addresses in his upcoming campaign appearances, because it’s so much bolder and more honest than what any other politician has said to date.

Since they don’t like the Big Bad Wolf’s proposal, what are Democrats’ plans for shoring up Medicare?

They have none. They don’t even think there is a problem.

The New Yorker’s John Cassidy argues that Medicare is doing just fine, and that the only reason costs are out of control is the large number of retiring Baby Boomers.

Contrary to Democrats’ claims, Medicare is not more cost-effective than private health insurance. The federal government prohibits the sale of private health insurance across state lines, which cripples the private insurance industry’s ability to compete and innovate.  No such hindrance exists for Medicare.

Medicare is not more cost-effective than HMOs. The IRS hamstrings HMOs by virtually forcing health insurance plans to be tied to employers rather than employees, which reduces flexibility and competitiveness. No such obstacle exists for Medicare.

Medicare could never survive on its own, not without sponging off of the much larger private insurance industry. If Medicare had such a bright future, more doctors wouldn’t be refusing to accept Medicare patients with every passing year.

So what is Obama’s proposal to address Medicare’s imminent bankruptcy? He says that we don’t need to cut benefits… that we can keep it solvent simply by reducing fraud and waste. In his words, “My plan saves money in Medicare by cracking down on fraud, and waste and insurance company subsidies… My plan’s already extended the life of Medicare by nearly a decade.”

Please. Every politician who wants to preserve the status quo and eschew cutting a dime from a popular federal program claims that gobs of money can be saved just by reducing fraud and waste. Everyone wants to reduce fraud and waste. John Gambino wants to reduce fraud and waste.

Obama also claims he can save hundreds of billions of dollars by reducing subsidies to insurance companies and hospitals—as if they’re going to altruistically pony up the difference rather than cutting services or finding a way to pass the cost on to customers.

Democrats show no interest in accepting that Medicare is going broke, and that benefits will soon be cut. They live in a fantasy land where, at best, they pretend they can save hundreds of billions of dollars via rosy projections of improved Medicare cost-efficiency a few years down the road, after the next couple of election cycles, by which time voters have forgotten about their unfulfillable promises.

At worst, they ignore the problem and demonize Republicans for proposing solutions.

Comments

Comments

  1. Rich K says:

    The key here is the last paragraph of Mr. Spiegel’s piece…”Democrats show no interest in accepting that Medicare is going broke, and that benefits will soon be cut.” If the President doesn’t think it is an issue, his lemmings will ignore the issue as well. So what you have here is an apathetic body of partisans who feel nothing is wrong. Fantasyland in real time….

  2. sda53 says:

    obama plans to kill off the old as fast as possible so naturally he has no plan for Medicare. I listened to Ryan today and like his plans. At least he has a plan, unlike obama who is so arrogant we are not allowed to question him. Medicare does need to be revamped and protected for people the age of my children. We put that money there and it was never to be in the general fund much less stolen from to start a new agenda. Without our permission that money should not be touched. This is just like if a bank took what you had out of savings and told you they would spend it wiser than we would. obama should be prosecuted for this alone not to mention the other hundred reasons. Unseal his records Congress and do your job to get rid of this traitor, muslium, foreigner you let in office.

The Daily Show rips into Florida gun law

The Daily Show sent one of their “correspondents” down to Florida to "investigate" Governor Rick Scott’s law banning doctors from asking their patients about gun ownership.

Kimmel on the DEA's 'stoner rabbit' fear

In one of the more ridiculous anti-pot arguments we've seen in a while, the DEA in Utah is super concerned that, if they legalize edibles for medical use, all the local bunnies will get stoned out of their minds and lose their natural instincts.

Jon Stewart mocks Netanyahu

Jon Stewart spent a good deal of time Tuesday evening bashing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial speech before Congress, saying sarcastically, “Even though Netanyahu was speaking only two weeks before the Israeli elections, he wasn’t there just to use our Congress as the most elaborate campaign commercial background ever.”

Stewart calls House GOP 'turds'

Jon Stewart was looking forward to the end of congressional gridlock now that Republicans control both houses.

John Oliver gloats over net neutrality

John Oliver, who once spurred his followers to crash the FCC’s website demanding net neutrality, is positively gleeful over the news that the agency has approved rules to regulate the internet like a public utility.

White House

Calling for cooperation, Obama engages in confrontation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid appeals for bipartisanship, President Barack Obama in just three days has provoked Republicans on issues as disparate as immigration, Wall Street and the Keystone XL pipeline — a combative mix of defense and offense that underscores Washington's political realignment.

It’s on: Obama follows through and vetoes Keystone pipeline

Defying the Republican-run Congress, President Barack Obama rejected a bill Tuesday to approve construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, wielding his veto power for only the third time in his presidency.

Biden: The middle class is ‘being killed,’ in worse shape than any time since the ’20s

Joe Biden—everyone’s favorite creeper and truth-bomb-dropper.

MSNBC Host: Obama’s terrorism summit is a ‘dog and pony show’
You know it’s bad when President Obama has even lost the support of MSNBC. MSNBC Host Andrea Mitchell basically called the White House’s Summit on “Countering Violent Extremism” a farce during her show Wednesday. “Here he has the summit, no heads of government coming, the participation has not been at a particularly high level. We’ll have […]
Obama assures ‘almost complete confidence’ there have been no NSA abuses

The president’s interview with Re/code over the weekend touched on privacy issues, with Obama insisting with “almost complete confidence” that there have been no abuses of the government’s vast surveillance program.

Congress

DeSantis, Lee push for higher education reform
Higher education is finally getting some attention from Republicans in Congress. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R- Fla.) introduced the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act Wednesday, the House companion legislation to what was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R- Utah). The HERO Act would allow states to create their own accreditation systems for […]
Can Congress pass NSA reform in the next 100 days?

After failing to pass NSA reform last year, Congress has less than 100 days left to try again, or allow the entire phone metadata program to sunset on June 1.

Trey Gowdy says he's going straight to Hillary

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email controversy has opened up a new front in the House's investigation of the 2012 Benghazi attack, with Rep. Trey Gowdy saying Tuesday that his investigators would be going straight to Clinton and her team to obtain all relevant correspondence.

More Congressmen had student loan debt this year
The student loan debt crisis is not just a growing problem among the American public, it’s growing among members of Congress as well. A grand total of 47 members of Congress reported a cumulative total of between $1.8 million and $4.6 million in student loan debt in 2013, as calculated by OpenSecrets based on personal […]
Congress sends Homeland Security bill to Obama

Congress is sending President Barack Obama a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the budget year, without overturning the president's immigration policies.