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.

Polititainment

George Will to Colbert: Liberals don't want change

Conservative commentator and hapless Chicago Cubs fan George Will swung by "The Colbert Report" Tuesday to plug his new book, "A Nice Little Place on the North Side," but naturally, the conversation didn't stick to baseball.

Clay Aiken: voters 'might wonder' about candidacy

Former "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken concedes that voters "might wonder" about his candidacy for Congress for a new ad.

Los Angeles GOP #StandingWithSriracha

Forget #StandWithRand -- the GOP is now choosing to #StandWithSriracha.

WH responds to 'Deport Justin Bieber' petition

Despite the pleas of more than 270,000 Americans to deport Justin Bieber, the White House has chosen not to weigh in on the issue. However, the Obama administration did use a petition calling on the White House to revoke the pop artist's visa to plug President Barack Obama's plan for immigration reform.

Secret Service once threatened Mr. Met

Mr. Met sure has a lot of fans in New York. But the larger-than-life mascot definitely doesn't have one in the Secret Service, who threatened to shoot and kill him if he approached President Bill Clinton, according to a firsthand account.

White House

Donald Trump is really upset with the way Obama walks

President Barack Obama just can't seem to do anything right, especially in the eyes of real estate mogul Donald Trump.

Obama misses 67 percent of his shots playing basketball at Easter event

President Barack Obama went 1-for-3 shooting baskets at a White House Easter event Monday, prompting basketball scouts to question the leader of the free world's scoring ability ahead of this June's NBA Draft.

PETA is peeved with Michelle Obama and used little girls to tell her about it

First Lady Michelle Obama has earned the ire of three young girls. But they're not upset with her less-than-filling "Let's Move!" school lunches. Instead, these youngins are upset about the real eggs used in the White House Easter Egg Roll.

Jay Carney: “Never been a more transparent administration”

Despite consistent objections by journalists that the White House overly restricts press access, Press Secretary Jay Carney believes that there has "never been a more transparent administration."

Jay Carney: Toughest interview for Obama in 2012 was with Jon Stewart

Give comedian Jon Stewart a gold star sticker. The host of The Daily Show was President Barack Obama's toughest interviewer during the 2012 election cycle, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on Thursday.

Congress

Arkansas US Sen. John Boozman having surgery

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — U.S. Sen. John Boozman is undergoing surgery at an Arkansas hospital.

Republicans are winning the Twitters this year

Congrats, Congressional Republicans -- you're winning the Twitters so far in 2014!

Rep Black: GOP budget makes a path to a bright future

Our nation is $17.4 trillion in debt and out of control Washington spending has no end in sight. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that on our current trajectory we will return to $1 trillion annual budget deficits by the year 2022.

Cruz: Impeach Holder

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) pulled no punches when criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday, as he called on Congress to impeach the Department of Justice head.

Pelosi: GOP not acting on immigration because of race

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) pulled the race card when speaking about Republicans' inaction in passing comprehensive immigration reform and said "race has something to do" with the GOP not bringing such legislation to the House floor.