Rubio: We have to save Medicare

posted at 9:58 am on May 26, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Marco Rubio throws down the gauntlet on Medicare reform in a powerful video and column in yesterday’s Miami Herald, scolding Democrats for demagoguing Paul Ryan’s reform plan without offering a plan of their own to save the program from bankruptcy. Rubio starts with the personal, telling how Medicare allowed his father to die with dignity and his mother to access health care after a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice, and says the program must be saved — but really saved, and not just kept on life support for another couple of years:

But Medicare is going bankrupt. Anyone who says it is not is simply lying. And anyone who is in favor of doing nothing to deal with this fact is in favor of bankrupting it. Medicare will go broke in as little as nine years. No one likes this news, but it is the undeniable truth. And the sooner we begin to deal with it, the better off we are all going to be.

My goals are simple. First, I will not support any plan that changes Medicare for people like my mother who are currently on the plan. We cannot ask seniors to go out and get a job to pay for their healthcare.

Second, any solution must solve the problem. We need to save Medicare, not simply delay its bankruptcy.

And third, any solution cannot hurt economic growth. At a time of high unemployment, Americans cannot afford to pay more taxes.

Rubio says that he backs the Ryan plan, because (a) it actually solves the problems in Medicare, and (b) no one has offered any alternatives. For those who oppose Ryan’s plan, Rubio says he’s open to other ideas … but where are they?

Where is the House Democrat plan to save Medicare?  Where is the Senate Democrat plan to save Medicare?  Where is President Obama’s plan to save Medicare?

They have no plan to save it, and they do not plan to offer one. They have decided that winning their next election is more important than saving Medicare for my mother and retirees like her.

Indeed.  They have made a political calculation that doing nothing benefits them in the short term, but it leaves Americans twisting in the wind, especially with the budget crises that have to get solved now.  We cannot solve the red-ink catastrophes without addressing its major source, and we cannot plan for future spending without addressing the hundreds of trillions in unfunded liabilities we now have in Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs.  Anyone who says we can is simply not telling the truth, for whatever purposes they have.

Don’t like Ryan’s plan?  Fine.  Let’s see your alternative, and pretending nothing’s wrong is totally unacceptable.  That’s the proper response to people in either party that want to demagogue the Ryan plan.  Rubio delivers it masterfully here.


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Save Medicare? Screw Medicare. What about saving the COUNTRY?

Paul-Cincy on May 26, 2011 at 9:59 AM

I hate this word “save” being used in relation to Medicare.

Something about it doesn’t sit right with me.

blatantblue on May 26, 2011 at 10:00 AM

OK, let’s get it started: Rubio 2012!!!!!!! LOL

pseudoforce on May 26, 2011 at 10:00 AM

President Rubio makes some excellent points.

/wishful thinking

mankai on May 26, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Is he the only one who has taken a stand with Ryan?

GOOD for him!

golfmann on May 26, 2011 at 10:02 AM

What do you have Democrats? Mediscaring? Demagoging? Finger wagging? Death panels? Lying? Your parents would be ashamed of your behavior.

ted c on May 26, 2011 at 10:03 AM

I *heart* Rubio

Go baby go!

Just telling it like it is…where is the gop leadership?

cmsinaz on May 26, 2011 at 10:04 AM

When did saving Medicare become a conservative goal?

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:04 AM

When did saving Medicare become a conservative goal?

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Well… Do you consider Karl Rove a “conservative”?

tetriskid on May 26, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Ryan & Rubio need to shove back hard against the Fascist-Democrats and squishy RINOs. Medicaid, Medicare & Social Security necessarily need to change. Demographics require it.

rbj on May 26, 2011 at 10:08 AM

But Medicare is going bankrupt. Anyone who says it is not is simply lying.

Or delusional.

Akzed on May 26, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Rubio > Rand Paul

jp on May 26, 2011 at 10:09 AM

I like it.
Instead of saying “they are demagoging” [too high-brow and vague for most people], he said, “they are simply lying.” The Democrats are simply lying: Obama, Congress, the lot of them. The more often and more widely this is reported, the better.

G. Charles on May 26, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Young Republicans vs. old Democrats, the visuals help.

thebrokenrattle on May 26, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Don’t like Ryan’s plan? Fine. Let’s see your alternative, and pretending nothing’s wrong is totally unacceptable. That’s the proper response to people in either party that want to demagogue the Ryan plan. Rubio delivers it masterfully here.

And it’s so effortless. How hard is it for Republicans to simply ask any Democrat engaging in scare tactics to offer up their alternative? And if the Dems attempt to go the Pelosi route(i.e. their plan is the status quo), then you’ve got Clinton’s remarks, Obama’s remarks, the Bowles-Simpson plan, along with the projections showing it’ll be broke as soon as 2024.

Doughboy on May 26, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Ok, so here’s the ad someone should produce. Crisp, good looking Dem head shot “Vote for me, blah blah blah”. Bedraggled soaking wet sloppy looking GOP “Um, I really want you to vote for me.” Scene fades with sub-title “minutes earlier.” Show a soundstage with a senior citizen in a clear tank filling with water labelled “unfunded expenses” – water up to neck. Dem is avoiding eye contact with struggling senior while getting hair and makeup touched up. GOP walks in (stage left?), takes in scene, says “Seriously. Seriously?” then walks over to tank, pulls plug, gets drenched… Cut back to opening sequence. Voice over “Seriously? Yes – it really is that serious. Help us to help Medicare.”

TubbyHubby on May 26, 2011 at 10:12 AM

President Rubio makes some excellent points.

/wishful thinking

mankai on May 26, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Not so wishful… We should just practice it now.

Darn.. he is a masterful speaker though; he runs circles around Barry. No TOTUS and actual substance rather than Hope! and Change! I look forward to hearing his keynote speech at the RNC convention in 2012.

Illinidiva on May 26, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Or delusional.

Akzed on May 26, 2011 at 10:08 AM

My ears are burning!

-crr6

Chuck Schick on May 26, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I’m already tired of the language of this debate, but the GOP has to win this battle of language. We have 18 months to go and Mediscare seems childish and demagogue and demagoguing no longer have any impact. It’s time to drop the courtesies and simply tell Americans at every turn that Democrats and liberals are lying to them because the numbers don’t lie. No need to call them liars, but repeatedly express profound confusion about why Democrats are willing to lie to Americans.

Beyond that, the GOP needs to develop a stock set of figures that they can beat into Americans over the next 18 months. Although we know that the “50 million uninsured” figure was a bogus number, it was a constant talking point for Dems, and it seemed to offer enough credence that conservatives always had to spend time discussing it if they even bothered. Whatever key figure Ryan can come up with to hit liberals and persuadable Americans with he should do so. Something irrefutable and that should scare people to death would be nice. Most of all, it should be unforgettable.

Also, the GOP needs to come up with some language to destroy Obamacare’s 15-person board. If it’s death panels, so be it. But that might be too easily dismissed by Dems, liberals, and the media as a Palin fabrication. Fine. How about calling it what it is: a medical Star Chamber.

BuckeyeSam on May 26, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Leadership. I like it. Shift the talk to the lack of action (of any kind) from the Democrats. Go on with your bad self, Rubio!!

search4truth on May 26, 2011 at 10:15 AM

In my heart of hearts, I sadly feel that Obama is going to win reelection in 2012. There are a lot of factors that go into my feeling this way, but I know one thing…

2016 is going to be EPIC!

Abby Adams on May 26, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Well… Do you consider Karl Rove a “conservative”?

tetriskid on May 26, 2011 at 10:06 AM

No, and neither was his boss.

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Rubio’s less than a year younger than I am.
Gawd-strong conservative men are soooo HAWT!

annoyinglittletwerp on May 26, 2011 at 10:20 AM

In my heart of hearts, I sadly feel that Obama is going to win reelection in 2012. There are a lot of factors that go into my feeling this way, but I know one thing…

2016 is going to be EPIC!

Abby Adams on May 26, 2011 at 10:17 AM

I have a hunch he won’t even be their nominee.

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:21 AM

GOP leading…
Dem Do-Nothings distort and delay…

I am heartened that the GOP has doubled-down the Ryan Plan…
courage!

mjbrooks3 on May 26, 2011 at 10:23 AM

I really do like Rubio. I know it’s still early in his term, but he’s what I hoped he would be.

myrenovations on May 26, 2011 at 10:23 AM

As I said in another thread, it was brilliant capturing Bill Clinton and Paul Ryan agreeing on video. What wasn’t brilliant was the MSNBC crew agreeing something has to be done after showing that clip, “and the Republicans have to stop demagoguing it.”. The chief, Joe Scarborough, concurred.

Marcus on May 26, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Here’s an alternative:

Apply Ryan’s plan to everyone, not just those younger than 55. If you think Ryan’s plan is reasonable for those under 55, then it should be reasonable for those over 55 too.

If you don’t think that is reasonable, then Ryan’s plan looks more like an exercise in cynical divide and conquer tactics, with everyone over 55 being exempted from making any sacrifices at the expense of those under 55 who have to make all the sacrifices and get left with woefully inadequete medical coverage when they retire.

I am a lifelong conservative and I know Medicare is broken and needs to be fixed, but that’s what Ryan’s plan looks like to me and why I oppose it.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Good stuff. We need more and more and more of this. the GOP sucks at communicating with the electorate…granted, they have the entire LSM against them. All the more reason they need to work twice as hard to get the word out.

miConsevative on May 26, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Rubio’s less than a year younger than I am.
Gawd-strong conservative men are soooo HAWT!

annoyinglittletwerp on May 26, 2011 at 10:20 AM

I too like Rubio (I’ll just take your word on his hawtness), but is this really conservatism? Yes, it’s much better than anything the libs want, particularly in the short run, but is Medicare the conservative approach to medical care? Really?

Should conservatives defend liberal programs just because they are better than even more liberal programs? It may be good political strategery, but let’s not call it conservatism.

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:28 AM

Won’t win a vote cool breeze. It’d just be pissing in the wind.

spec_ops_mateo on May 26, 2011 at 10:31 AM

There are some realities that both sides need to understand.

The right needs to understand Americans demand that anyone who wants medical care be able to get it. Yeah, I know that it isn’t in our Constitution and Congress has no right to legislate it, but this isn’t civics class. Americans are insistent that nobody be refused medical care. Another reality is that people will not voluntarily pay for insurance when they are well and if they can get it on demand when needed. People will game that system.

The fact that the other side refuses to acknowledge is that we need to pay for universal access. This is a multi-part problem encompassing revenue, limiting service, and reducing costs of services. Their answer of “economy of scale due from single payer” is a non-starter. If the single payer pays too little, nobody will provide the service. If they overpay we will not be able to afford it.

So what is needed is something like what Ryan is proposing. A system where everyone is provided with the means to purchase insurance. That creates a market of individual purchasers in a competitive market. It allows people to choose to pay more out of pocket to reduce their deductible or not. It allows people to pay for additional options regarding elective procedure coverage or not. In short, it puts the power in the hands of the consumers and not the government and not some employer. It uses the free market to induce providers to compete on price, quality and other benefits that they offer to their customers to attract their business. Such a system, however, must place some restrictions on the providers regarding equal access. Just as private schools are required to accommodate special needs students, for example, health care providers must be denied the ability to refuse people with preexisting conditions, for example.

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 10:31 AM

When did saving Medicare become a conservative goal?

[flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:04 AM]

So explain what the conservative goal is? I’m interested.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 10:33 AM

Pitch perfect. And Rubio is just the guy to deliver this message. Awesome video. Republicans are getting it. They have to go on the offensive. This is the way to do it.

And if it doesn’t work, then I’d rather lose telling this hard truth than win by lying and ignoring fiscal reality.

This is the hill to die on. Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are making the right arguments. We have to have faith that the American people will listen and make the right decision.

Caiwyn on May 26, 2011 at 10:35 AM

When did saving Medicare become a conservative goal?

[flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:04 AM]

So explain what the conservative goal is? I’m interested.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 10:33 AM

It used to be getting government out of health care completely so that market forces could work. We never had a goal of universal subsidized health care.

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 10:25 AM

You make a very good point. That said, Americans are used to “grandfather” (or transition) provisions. I’m not set in this position, but I think the GOP is better off acknowledging potential accusations of cynicism and arguing that any transition will be arbitrary to some group. It might help if the GOP (Ryan) succinctly described the thinking that went into choice of age 55 as opposed to, say, ages 65, 62, 60, 59 1/2, or 50, all of which have some role in context of federal entitlement or income tax law.

BuckeyeSam on May 26, 2011 at 10:41 AM

And to think we could’ve had Charlie Crist instead!

“For the first time in my adult life I am really proud to be a” Floridian

GrayDog on May 26, 2011 at 10:42 AM

Keep your hands off Marco. Florida needs him.

katy the mean old lady on May 26, 2011 at 10:50 AM

I have the solution to this.

“KILLIAN IS LYING TO YOU”

fossten on May 26, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Rubio hits the note that Ryan sometimes misses with his charts and statistics. You have to be passionate and angry and Rubio is. Bravo!

How hard is it for Republicans to simply ask any Democrat engaging in scare tactics to offer up their alternative?

You’ll get the “Scott Brown” response. “Uh, we can save medicare by cutting out waste, fraud, and abuse in the system. Yeah … that’s the ticket.”

PackerBronco on May 26, 2011 at 10:53 AM

[cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 10:25 AM]

I don’t agree that it is an alternative. I don’t know what I am talking about but, healthcare is too complicated right now to jump in to a full free market alternative to healthcare for retirees.

For example, there are right now, the insurance industry has not system infrastructure for addressing a cold turkey change over like that. It would be a mess and those opposed to it would demagogue it like there’s no tomorrow guaranteeing failure.

Another point, which I don’t know the implications and unintended consequences of and that is the interrelationships of our standard health insurance and Medicaid are to Medicare, not to mention the relationship of each state’s relationship Medicare. I’m trying to remember who said it, I think it was may have been Grassley, but it could have been Simpson, that social security is rather easy to address because has four main interrelated components, whereas healthcare has thousands and they are strewn through regulations up and down the governmental ladder.

Medicare is but one of the structures that will need to be addressed, untangled, made functional fiscally and married with the others and that will take time. Ten years is a good timeframe for people to work on and complete.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Not afraid to say it – I got a semi.

Loved the Dem punkout.

Red Cloud on May 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Just telling it like it is…where is the gop leadership?

cmsinaz on May 26, 2011 at 10:04 AM

What do you mean by GOP leadership? Ryan and Rubio are GOP. Ryan plan got 40 votes in the Senate yesterday.

For you to act as if there is no GOP leadership is dishonest.

antisocial on May 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Flyfisher is exactly right. Saving Medicare has never been a conservative goal. Goldwater and Reagan are spinning in their graves. Rather than fighting for freedom, we have surrendered. We have accepted liberal premises. They never accept ours.

Ronald Reagan: If you don’t stop Medicare, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I am heartened that the GOP has doubled-down the Ryan Plan…
courage!

mjbrooks3 on May 26, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Whatever the GOP does, dammit dont put McConnell out front to explain it.

heshtesh on May 26, 2011 at 11:02 AM

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM

Well unless the government gives us an option to opt out that is not happening. I pay every 2 weeks into social security and medicare.

antisocial on May 26, 2011 at 11:04 AM

If you don’t think that is reasonable, then Ryan’s plan looks more like an exercise in cynical divide and conquer tactics, with everyone over 55 being exempted from making any sacrifices at the expense of those under 55 who have to make all the sacrifices and get left with woefully inadequete medical coverage when they retire.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 10:25 AM

I don’t agree that it is an alternative. I don’t know what I am talking about but, healthcare is too complicated right now to jump in to a full free market alternative to healthcare for retirees.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 10:54 AM

I don’t think 90% of the people know what Ryan’s plan is. If they did, they’d like it. What’s your alternative?

Vince on May 26, 2011 at 11:06 AM

It used to be getting government out of health care completely so that market forces could work. We never had a goal of universal subsidized health care.

[flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM]

What would your proposal be for achieving that instead of Ryan’s plan?

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 11:07 AM

It used to be getting government out of health care completely so that market forces could work. We never had a goal of universal subsidized health care.

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM

That’s a long-term goal, not a short-term one. The short-term goal is to keep the promises made to current seniors without hurting our future economic prospects.

You can’t just cut off seniors who have been forced to pay into Medicare their entire lives, a system that has crowded out private sector alternatives and which people in or near retirement are now counting on as their only option. The government took their money and promised to save it for this. They are owed what they paid for.

Paul Ryan gets this, and so does Marco Rubio.

Caiwyn on May 26, 2011 at 11:09 AM

So what is needed is something like what Ryan is proposing. A system where everyone is provided with the means to purchase insurance. That creates a market of individual purchasers in a competitive market. It allows people to choose to pay more out of pocket to reduce their deductible or not. It allows people to pay for additional options regarding elective procedure coverage or not. In short, it puts the power in the hands of the consumers and not the government and not some employer. It uses the free market to induce providers to compete on price, quality and other benefits that they offer to their customers to attract their business. Such a system, however, must place some restrictions on the providers regarding equal access. Just as private schools are required to accommodate special needs students, for example, health care providers must be denied the ability to refuse people with preexisting conditions, for example.

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 10:31 AM

THIS! Holy cow! Somebody does understand it! …and somebody i do not always agree with. We can find common ground!

Vince on May 26, 2011 at 11:10 AM

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM
Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Flyfisher/Stayright 2012!

DrMagnolias on May 26, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I don’t think 90% of the people know what Ryan’s plan is. If they did, they’d like it. What’s your alternative?

[Vince on May 26, 2011 at 11:06 AM]

I agree with you that the vast majority of people don’t know what Ryan’s plan is, and I’d guess that includes 90% of those in Congress. I also agree that if they did, they would like it.

If you are asking me for an alternative, you may be under the mistaken impression, largely due to the way I write, that I am against Ryan’s plan. I’m not. I’m for it. I think it will not only save Medicare but reduce costs over time, but for that to happen the other programs and the current free-market healthcare insurance industry needs integral reform also. That will take time.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Some seem to have misunderstood my point. My “alternative” deliberately set up a straw man (applying Ryan’s plan to everyone) in order to illustrate the following point:

Ryan’s plan will (barring a miraculous reduction in medical inflation) result in woefully inadequate medical coverage for everyone under 55 to which its new rules apply. In particular, the vouchers won’t come close to covering future costs. The younger you are, the worse your situation will be when you retire, as medical inflation year after year reduces the voucher to a progressively tinier fraction of the actual costs.

Of course my “alternative” is going nowhere. But Ryan’s plan is (justifiably) going nowhere too, in no small part due to the opposition of people like myself. I don’t object to taking my share of the hit, but I do object to taking all of the hit in order to completely exempt others just a few years older than myself.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM

You can’t just cut off seniors who have been forced to pay into Medicare their entire lives, a system that has crowded out private sector alternatives and which people in or near retirement are now counting on as their only option.

[Caiwyn on May 26, 2011 at 11:09 AM]

Nicely put, especially in the context of your point about short vs long term goals.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 11:21 AM

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Ryan’s plan WILL control costs and it will do so via the only viable means. It will introduce competition and free market rules.

I had laser eye surgery several years back. Today the cost of that procedure is 1/3 of what it was. The technology has improved as well, making it safer and even more effective. That is because providers of laser eye surgery compete in a free market for our business.

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Finally, someone with the nads to call out libs for advocating the bankruptcy of Medicare. Louder please, and more often,lather, rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat….

the murmur on May 26, 2011 at 11:26 AM

I’ve been on the fence about whether there’s really any substance to Rubio. This is a check in the substance category. Well spoken!

jnelchef on May 26, 2011 at 11:31 AM

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Exactly. This why I disagree with your position a bit earlier that there must be restrictions on providers–a truly free market allows those things to shake out. Why should providers be forced to do business with anyone? A truly free market allows choice for all–providers and consumers. And in case you wonder, I do have a couple pre-existing conditions, and for most of my life I have had to take care of my own expenses (rather than having a group insurer forced to take me). It is great incentive to take care of myself. Besides, insurance costs are exorbitant because it is treated as a payment system, rather than something for exceptional circumstances. Insurance and government subsidies drive up costs–Medicare is one reason health care costs are so high (I know you know this already).

DrMagnolias on May 26, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Ryan’s plan will (barring a miraculous reduction in medical inflation) result in woefully inadequate medical coverage for everyone under 55 to which its new rules apply. In particular, the vouchers won’t come close to covering future costs. The younger you are, the worse your situation will be when you retire, as medical inflation year after year reduces the voucher to a progressively tinier fraction of the actual costs.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Ryan’s plan is indexed to the CPI and does provide cash accounts for poorer people. Now medical inflation is currently growing faster than the CPI but using the free market strategy, that should decrease dramatically.

The plan is reviewed every 5 years as well for changes. You can’t know what medical inflation will be 10 years from now and that shouldn’t stop you from making changes now.

What cut off point would you make for those older than you who have been paying much longer than you?

Vince on May 26, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Ryan’s plan will (barring a miraculous reduction in medical inflation) result in woefully inadequate medical coverage for everyone under 55 to which its new rules apply. In particular, the vouchers won’t come close to covering future costs. The younger you are, the worse your situation will be when you retire, as medical inflation year after year reduces the voucher to a progressively tinier fraction of the actual costs.

[cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM]

How do you know that? You may be right, and probably would be if the rest of the healthcare industry, including that related to research, FDA regulation, cost accountability, tort reform, etc, etc, etc, isn’t addressed. Where do you start? When should that be finished. Who is going to seamlessly rewrite the laws to streamline the tens of thousand of regulations and integrate it with related state systems.

The closest I can get to checking whether vouchers might work is to check what policies are available under our current system for people aged 64. Any older than that and insurance companies redirect you to the ‘Call us about the Medicare program you are eligible for and how we can supplement that.’ But for those who are 64, they can choose from a range of policies with premiums of about $8k.

Since the insurance industry hasn’t had the need to develop a system that provides policies for those 65 and above, I don’t know that you are correct in your assertions, above, and I’m pretty sure you don’t really know either.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 11:40 AM

DrMagnolias on May 26, 2011 at 11:34 AM

The problem is that if providers are allowed to cherry pick consumers they will do so. Those who are diabetic, for example, would not be able to buy coverage for a reasonable price. This gets back to the realities of life that I cited earlier. Americans would not accept a solution that does not allow those with preexisting conditions to obtain similar coverage for a similar price. I don’t consider this an opinion, but a fact and it doesn’t matter if I want it that way or not.

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 11:40 AM

It used to be getting government out of health care completely so that market forces could work. We never had a goal of universal subsidized health care.

[flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 10:37 AM]

What would your proposal be for achieving that instead of Ryan’s plan?

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I am merely noting how the goalposts have moved…leftward. Conservative leaders of yesterday didn’t call to save Medicare. They were usually forced to pledge they wouldn’t do anything to kill it.

The bottom line is that I am fundamentally opposed to government intrusion in health care in any way. A marketplace that includes government is a distorted market. I believe real competition is the way to go to lower costs, not regulation and subsidy. And that used to be the majority view of conservatives.

flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 11:42 AM

Ryan’s plan WILL control costs

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I’m totally not buying that, especially when everyone 55 or older is still driving up costs though being covered by a completely unchanged “old” Medicare program. More likely it would be a double whammy for those under 55.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Ryan’s plan WILL control costs

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Is that really true? Doesn’t he shift a lot of the burden to the already broke States?

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 11:44 AM

If you assumed that his plan applied to those over 55 as well, would you then buy it?

We will simply have to take our hits to keep the same deal in place for those who do not have the time to compensate their planning which was based on promises made to them. We can offer them the Ryan plan as an alternative, but it would be unjust to force it on them. Just as it stinks that union retirees got such good deals, we cannot violate contracts we made.

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Nothing sends a thrill down my leg than a roomfull of Miami Herald leftist readers, having an orgasm talking death panels as an alternative to the Ryan plan.

MNHawk on May 26, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM

How does he shift any burdens?

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 11:53 AM

The younger you are, the worse your situation will be when you retire, as medical inflation year after year reduces the voucher to a progressively tinier fraction of the actual costs.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 11:19 AM

If you think you deserve a bigger and bigger piece of the pie every year, why are you even here? And frankly, what makes you different than any other welfare recipient?

MNHawk on May 26, 2011 at 11:57 AM

And that used to be the majority view of conservatives.

[flyfisher on May 26, 2011 at 11:42 AM]

Maybe the goalposts have been moved some. Maybe. Still and all, I think the objective is to move government out of healthcare, not into it, so while the goalposts may have moved somewhat the objective is for scoring touchdown, so where the goalposts are is kind of moot right now.

I understand your parsing the words for subtle meaning in this context. I do that a lot, too, in spite of the fact that I also know that, on average, people give little thought to the words they use and how it may be interpreted as often as they are very careful about which words to use because they want them to be interpreted in a specific way.

I’m not sure why you chose some words Rubio used as being in the latter rather than the former category or why, for that matter, it has the import you attached.

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM
How does he shift any burdens?

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 11:53 AM

I don’t know, that’s why I asked the question. I believe it’s Karl Denninger who has written pn the Ryan plan’s cost-shifting to the States.

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 12:03 PM

You can’t just cut off seniors who have been forced to pay into Medicare their entire lives.

Caiwyn on May 26, 2011 at 11:09 AM

So how fair is it to “cut off” someone who is 54 and has been paying into the system for 36 years (and will be continue to be forced to for another 10)? Or someone who is 18 and will be forced to pay into the system for 46 years in order to exempt current and future retirees from making any sacrifices?

What cut off point would you make for those older than you who have been paying much longer than you?

Vince on May 26, 2011 at 11:37 AM

No cut off points. Any new plan should apply equally to everyone. After all, everyone is still going to have to pay in until they retire. Any benefit plan that is justifiable enough to impose on those who are 18, 35 or 54 should be justifiable enough to impose on those 55 or 65. Creating any kind of cut off forces all of the burdens on those below the cutoff. The only fair thing is for everyone to share in the sacrifices that need to be made, not completely exempt some based on an arbitrary cutoff.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 12:04 PM

If you assumed that his plan applied to those over 55 as well, would you then buy it?

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Yes. What’s good enough for the goose should be good enough for the gander. But that’s not Ryan’s plan.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 12:07 PM

But Medicare is going bankrupt. Anyone who says it is not is simply lying.

I truly love this man. Simple and unequivocal. Call the Left out on their lies, and do it every chance you get. Call them what they are, and if the opportunity presents itself, do it to their faces!!

Can we clone Rubio? Or at least his brain?

CantCureStupid on May 26, 2011 at 12:07 PM

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 12:04 PM

You are not thinking this through. If you change the plan now, for everyone, there is nothing in place to implement a new Medicare plan. You have to give the markets time to adjust and new methods and changes to take place.

If you want fair, then we should all have the health benefits that are provided to UAW workers or SEIU workers. After all, employer costs are passed on to the buyer or user of products.

Vince on May 26, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I know the country should be gun-shy of an unproven newbie and I maybe I should be also, but I would vote for Rubio in a second for President. As a matter of fact I would vote for him over any other politician in the country!

RonDelDon on May 26, 2011 at 12:14 PM

If you think you deserve a bigger and bigger piece of the pie every year, why are you even here?

MNHawk on May 26, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I expect a significantly smaller “piece of the pie” than current retirees get today. I just don’t expect to have to make all the sacrifices in order to completely exempt those a few years older than myself. Nor do I think it is reasonable for someone much younger than me to do so either.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 12:15 PM

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I’ve got to ask you a question. I don’t know how old you are but don’t you think that a younger person has more time and resources to plan for his health care needs in retirement rather than one who is in or near retirement?

Vince on May 26, 2011 at 12:15 PM

Karl Denninger:

Medicare is one of the worst examples of forced cost-shifting at the point of a gun. It creates monstrous distortions in the delivery of health care and, when coupled with a legal environment that permits behavior illegal in other fields (anti-trust exemptions, demands to provide service to those who cannot pay, including those who can’t pay by choice and explicit legal support for price-fixing across international boundaries) we have created a “free money spigot” that has cranked up the cost of health care at multiples of the general inflation rate while failing to materially improve the quality of care.

But compound functions like this cannot go on forever. The solution is not “vouchers”, which simply shift the cost yet again, this time onto the back of seniors instead of the population generally. Nor can we realistically exempt anyone 55 and older – the bulk of the boomers are in the bracket from 55-65, and they will enter the system over the next ten years.

We must fix the structure of health care in the United States.

Read the rest here: Ryan’s Falsehoods Continue

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I submitted Denninger’s pieces for discussion, not because I agree with his every word.

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

OK, I read it. It’s twaddle. He thinks that price controls will somehow solve our problems. “Sticking it to big pharma and big blah blah” who are to blame for high prices.

It is the voice of one who neither understands capitalism nor trusts the free market. Of course big pharma will charge as much as they can for their product! It is what they do. The way to keep them in check is by having other pharma companies compete with them. That is why eye surgery is constantly improving in both price and quality. If my provider could have charged me $1,000,000 he would have. But I had other providers to go to.

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Read the rest here: Ryan’s Falsehoods Continue

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

I read it but didn’t see his solution. Control the price of medicine and procedures? Get fat people to run every day?

Ryan’s plan at least has tort reform in it and a better understanding of the free market. Who is this guy and what makes him an expert?

Vince on May 26, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Oh crap. I looked Denninger up and he’s a birther.

Vince on May 26, 2011 at 12:44 PM

Vince on May 26, 2011 at 12:15 PM

I am in my early 50s. A spartan health insurance plan already costs me 5 figures annually and the cost has been going up by an average of over 20% annually each year for over a decade. At anything like that rate of medical inflation, health insurance will cost me six figures annually by the time I retire (and it would be seven figures for anyone 25 or younger). I don’t think I have enough time and resources to plan for such costs and I don’t think a 25 year old does either. I don’t see Ryan’s voucher making much any kind of meaningful difference against those kinds of costs, and that’s assuming his means test doesn’t leave you with nothing.

I think the “time and resources” argument has more validity for Social Security than it does for Medicare. We have to either find some way to dramatically reduce medical cost inflation or it will either A) bankrupt the country or B) bankrupt its retired citizens (but only those under 55 in the Ryan plan).

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 12:45 PM

He thinks that price controls will somehow solve our problems.

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Mmmmm, price controls:

“The catalyst for the country’s imploding economy: socialism and price controls. Sound familiar?”

(HT: Instapundit)

Dusty on May 26, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I submitted Denninger’s pieces for discussion, not because I agree with his every word.

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Oops, I see I left out the link to his plan. I will have to find it again.

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I expect a significantly smaller “piece of the pie” than current retirees get today. I just don’t expect to have to make all the sacrifices in order to completely exempt those a few years older than myself. Nor do I think it is reasonable for someone much younger than me to do so either.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 12:15 PM

That’s not what you’re demanding. You will get every bit the health care, and then some, compared to what retirees today get. What you won’t get is unlimited access to ever possible NEW care. Care today’s retirees haven’t even heard of, just as they get access to care THEIR parents hadn’t even heard of. That’s what’s driving endless spending increases.

You know what? You and me aren’t going to do that. The money is gone, for endless increases. You’re going to have to learn to pick and choose what new treatments you’re going to have access to.

MNHawk on May 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Denninger’s system is screwy right now, so I can’t access his actual written plan. However, he has written extensively on health care. Much of what he has written conservatives will agree with. Some of it, however, you won’t, and neither do I. Regardless, he’s a smart guy who should be heard. He understands MATH and he believes in freedom. You can’t take one post and fully understand his position.

Here was his slap at Newt last week:

But Gingrich did let slip one thing that made sense. In the process of castigating social engineering, he endorsed it by saying that people must be forced to buy or simply be given health insurance so they don’t free-ride on society.

There you have it: Forced to buy or be given.

Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah…..

From each according to his abilities, to each according to their needs.

Hmmmm…. and who said that Laurence? Do you remember?

Communism is a funny thing. It has a way of creeping up on you sometimes. It often comes like a thief in the night, being couched in the term “contributions” or “entitlements.”

—-

Everyone wants to argue over a real issue (health care) but nobody wants to take on the root cause of the issue: the ability to cost-shift and borrow, directly and indirectly, that has ridiculously driven up costs. Leverage is the problem, and the solution is to remove it, forcing only those treatments that are cost-effective to be offered, and putting consumer choice back into the equation.

Stayright on May 26, 2011 at 12:59 PM

You’re going to have to learn to pick and choose what new treatments you’re going to have access to.

MNHawk on May 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM

I agree with all your points. Put more bluntly, rationing is inevitable, no matter how much politicians like Sarah Palin want to score cynical political points with lines about “death panels”.

But I’m not going to support being forced into a much worse rationing regime than someone a few years older than me based on an arbitrary age cutoff. Nor will anyone else below the cutoff once they figure out what is going on.

That is why the Ryan plan is an albatross around the neck of Republican candidates. If the GOP doesn’t repudiate this aspect of the plan, they will lose control of the House (forget the Senate) next election. They already lost one safe seat by a wide margin this week . That should be a 100 decibel wake up call. And the more people find out about the Ryan plan, the worse it will get.

Something needs to be done, but the Ryan plan is the wrong answer and will send the GOP back into the political wilderness, ironically without ever having any chance of passage whatsoever.

cool breeze on May 26, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Sen. Inhofe on Obama

“He has never been rejected in his life, and I think there’s something — I’m not qualified to diagnose him — but there’s something wrong with a guy that is s going to go out of his way to do all these things…”

“…he is incredibly arrogant and he really believes that he can talk anybody out of anything.”

Schadenfreude on May 26, 2011 at 1:21 PM

The system is bankrupt. Not just in cash but morally.

You can’t save Medicare.

Want to do the right thing? Add it to Medicaid, divide by 2, block grant it to the States, phase out over 5 years.

If the people love it so much, let them petition their States for this boondoggle and let the States pay for it.

ajacksonian on May 26, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Somebody/Rubio 2012

Rubio made a great case, and its one that we need to make everyday until the problem is fixed. Sticking our heads in the sand is not a solution.

El_Terrible on May 26, 2011 at 1:39 PM

ajacksonian on May 26, 2011 at 1:22 PM

There is what should be and then there is what is. Americans demand universal health care in some way, shape or form. Americans consider it a right. I don’t like it, I think that it goes against our Constitution and what I think matters not. Rage against the machine if it makes you feel better, but that’s all that your rage will accomplish.

When that is out of our system, we need to consider solutions that are within the constraints that the real world imposes on us.

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 4:31 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he was not willing to change Medicare despite the fact that the program has an estimated $24.6 trillion in unfunded liabilities

J_Crater on May 26, 2011 at 5:25 PM

“Medicare is going bankrupt — and anyone who says it isn’t is simply lying.”

Not coincidentally, the same may be said of America.

rukiddingme on May 26, 2011 at 11:35 PM

I don’t usually post on HotAir. I go on Medicare on June 1. I am not particularly happy about it, but there are no other options except pure self pay. Government took all the air out of any idea of an over 65 health insurance marketplace. Then, as usual, government over promised and now cannot live up to its promises. So, those of us who have been paying into the system since 1967 or 1968 are fixing to be left high and dry unless something is done.

I am willing to listen to any Democratic plan, but crickets chirping are not going to cut it. If Democrats really don’t like the premium support plan Ryan proposes, give us an alternative. But, as everyone who looks knows, the current Medicare system cannot continue.

RickCaird on May 27, 2011 at 7:03 AM

Am I the only one who is a little annoyed that the right is working so hard to save Medicare ie: that socialist government healthcare program? Why is it imperative we save government healthcare for the elderly, but also imperative to make sure younger people never get it from the gov? This is not an argument in favor of euro style healthcare, but rather just why is this such a good program when it serves one segment of the population, and an unconstitutional, socialistic abomination if people under 65 get it?

snoopicus on May 27, 2011 at 8:45 AM

There is what should be and then there is what is. Americans demand universal health care in some way, shape or form. Americans consider it a right. I don’t like it, I think that it goes against our Constitution and what I think matters not. Rage against the machine if it makes you feel better, but that’s all that your rage will accomplish.

When that is out of our system, we need to consider solutions that are within the constraints that the real world imposes on us.

MJBrutus on May 26, 2011 at 4:31 PM

I actually think your right. Most americans want gov provided healthcare, and guess what, most get healthcare spending comes from the gov.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703575004575043490639289022.html?mod=rss_Today%27s_Most_Popular

snoopicus on May 27, 2011 at 8:57 AM