WaPo fact checker: No, seniors won’t die faster under Ryan plan

posted at 12:15 pm on May 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The problem with the debate over the competing visions for health-care reform, Glenn Kessler writes at the Washington Post, is that Paul Ryan’s plan has not yet been cast in legislative language.  That allows critics to assume the worst about it, and certainly Ryan’s critics have tried pushing the envelope on dire predictions for the health of seniors under his so-called “voucher” plan.  But Kessler slams HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for an especially unsubstantiated charge that seniors would “die sooner” under Ryan’s plan:

Secretary Sebelius made this eye-popping statement Thursday while testifying on Capitol Hill, after Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J) asked her a question about the Medicare plan advanced by House Republicans: “What might that cost shift and lack of guaranteed benefit mean for an oncology patient, a person with cancer? Give me an example, what it might do there.”

Her answer was strong stuff, suggesting that the GOP plan could cause people to “die sooner” if they had cancer and ran out of money. We have been critical of some of the ways Republicans have described the plan, but is this even remotely possible?

There is one thing to keep in mind in the debate over the Ryan plan: all seniors would be guaranteed coverage.  Ryan achieves this by adjusting the amount of credit seniors would get in the Medicare exchange system based on their pre-existing conditions, which would allow insurers to operate their risk pools more rationally.  The scenario that Sebelius describes, Kessler notes, doesn’t match up to the reality of Ryan’s stated parameters at all.  And while Kessler doesn’t note this, people should also keep in mind that the existing Medicare system nor the ObamaCare system doesn’t guarantee full payment of treatments now, let alone in the future, as anyone on Medicare could easily attest.

Kessler lowers the boom on Sebelius’ Mediscare tactics:

[T]his is in some ways akin to the false claim that Obama wanted to create “death panels” in the health care law.

Sebelius could have chosen to highlight the trade-offs people might face, or questioned the vagueness of Ryan’s proposals to deal with people who can’t afford to pay their bills. Instead, she decided to present a highly inflammable comment as a statement of fact — that there was “no question” people would run out money “very quickly” and then they would “die sooner.” She should be ashamed.

Kessler gives Sebelius three Pinocchios for this statement, but don’t be surprised to see Democrats continue to use this argument.

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Ryan wrote and people went broke…and DIED!!!11!1!1!11

Rocks on May 9, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Pinocchio, Schminnocchio

Lie? This adminstration?

They NEVER lie!

golfmann on May 9, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Rocks on May 9, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Ryan legislated and people vegetated… and DIED!!!11!1!1!11

Abby Adams on May 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Ryan is just another long list of Conservatives that want to kill people…
I am telling you, every time some mealy mouthed liberals does this, conservatives should humiliate them with ridicule.
After we kill the seniors, than we want to eat their pets…

right2bright on May 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Sebelius used to party with a man who killed full term babies for a living. She has no shame.

Vera on May 9, 2011 at 12:22 PM

“[T]his is in some ways akin to the false claim that Obama wanted to create “death panels” in the health care law.”

So, dude lies while accusing her of lying. Whodathunkit?

PJ Emeritus on May 9, 2011 at 12:24 PM

That is pretty rich when you consider that Obamacare is a work in progress with many of it’s requirements left as fill in the blank choices by unelected officials.

Cindy Munford on May 9, 2011 at 12:24 PM

A member of the Obama Administration’s lips are moving. Ergo, they’re lying.

olesparkie on May 9, 2011 at 12:25 PM

I think it is safe to assume Sebelius was channeling her inner Alan Grayson when she made this boneheaded comment.

pilamaye on May 9, 2011 at 12:26 PM

If someone were to genuinely “run out of money”, they would be covered by Medicaid.

Kohath on May 9, 2011 at 12:30 PM

This old bat knows that making a statement like that about seniors will get the seniors all bent out of shape to get out and vote for d’s that will see to they live! Not one person around bho ever tells the truth about anything, ever!
L

letget on May 9, 2011 at 12:30 PM

Not surprising in the least.

Sebelius is too slimy for words. She will do anything to get ahead.

How anyone who calls herself a devout Catholic could support someone like the abortion murderer George Tiller has no moral core. None.

NavyMustang on May 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

to quote obama’s pastor, the infamous rev. (w)right: “he (obama) is a politician, he will say whatever he needs to get elected.”(after being thrown under the bus) sebelius is the same, mirror, as are all of his appointees. they can’t find a real job is this economy but human play-back machine.

mydogwonthunt on May 9, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Where is the downside when Democrats say all of these dopey things? Their purpose is all for psychological effect. All of the Democrats playbook is psychology. Saying that “such and such many seniors are going to die because of Ryan’s budget plan” is psychological warfare. Narrative is psychology.

Weebork on May 9, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I still think Sebelius is Gray Davis in drag. Think about it, when was the last time we saw Gray Davis?

slickwillie2001 on May 9, 2011 at 12:40 PM

The Americans seem likely to live longer with government they can easily afford. I am not making a merely flippant remark. In arguing for restraint in “Medicare,” “Medicaid,” and “Obamacare,” it seems good to put emphasis on the longterm benefits to health, of keeping government easily affordable at all levels.

In any case, it seems urgent that the Americans realize and keep in mind that no amount of care will keep the aged healthy indefinitely. Taking money at gunpoint from young men and women, who could otherwise bring up children, is causing the populace as a whole to age and weaken. The Americans complain about unrestrained immigration, but they must understand that, having fewer children than their neighbors, and not even bothering always to maintain their fertility at a level sufficient to replace them, they must expect to be crowded out.

Kralizec on May 9, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I don’t know why we have to waste all this time and money over this debate…

… If you are sick, just go to any emergency room and tell them you are an illegal alien.

/

Seven Percent Solution on May 9, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Sorry, America.

There are absolutely no returns on a ‘Sebelius’!!!

– a glad-to-be-rid-of-her Kansan

landlines on May 9, 2011 at 12:56 PM

[T]his is in some ways akin to the false claim that Obama wanted to create “death panels” in the health care law.

Yes, but only in the sense that her claim really is false. That Obama “wanted” to create “death panels”, is not in dispute at my house.

littleguy on May 9, 2011 at 12:57 PM

The scenario that Sebelius describes, Kessler notes, doesn’t match up to the reality of Ryan’s stated parameters at all.

And is anybody surprised?

davidk on May 9, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Sebelius “should be ashamed.”

Whoever wrote this really hasn’t come to terms with the congenital defects of the Democrat psyche.

SKYFOX on May 9, 2011 at 1:00 PM

I don’t know why we have to waste all this time and money over this debate…

… If you are sick, just go to any emergency room and tell them you are an illegal alien.

/

Seven Percent Solution on May 9, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Why the sarc tag? You are absolutely right.

davidk on May 9, 2011 at 1:03 PM

[T]his is in some ways akin to the false claim that Obama wanted to create “death panels” in the health care law.

This claim is false only because “wanted to” should actually be “has”!!!

The Obamacare bill actually has unelected political hacks in charge of panels which determine whether you can get health care. “Death Panels” is a completely accurate characterization of these panels, which have the absolute power to deny you health care based upon your political beliefs. “Wanted to” is totally irrelevant at this point.

landlines on May 9, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Okay it is well known now that Obamacare does contain “Death Panels” … That is not a lie…

CCRWM on May 9, 2011 at 1:14 PM

It’s understandable that Andrews, who’s little more than a partisan hack, would ask a wide open question like that, but where are the Republicans on the committee? I can’t understand why one of them didn’t nail her on that statement. Where’s Marco Rubio when you need him? Is he the only Republican, in Washington, who understands the problem and knows how to do this?

bflat879 on May 9, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Rocks on May 9, 2011 at 12:17 PM

Ryan legislated and people vegetated… and DIED!!!11!1!1!11

Abby Adams on May 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM

But the Democrats regurgitated!… and LIED,and LIED,and LIED!

cartooner on May 9, 2011 at 1:34 PM

If this ain’t a Death Panel, what would you call it?

cartooner on May 9, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Kathleen Sebelius lie like a dog on a rug in the sun????

Frauds selling fraud with fraud. Pretty much sums up ObamaCare and those who sold this fraudulent and unconstitutional bill.

Roy Rogers on May 9, 2011 at 1:50 PM

And Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will be the loudest and most obnoxious dem out there repeating this lie.

ctmom on May 9, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Ryan’s plan killing seniors is not like death panels. The panels that would choose which people won’t get covered, thereby shortening their lives, exist and were enacted into law.

hawksruleva on May 9, 2011 at 2:15 PM

we have to pass it to actually see whats in it.ask Nancy about that

BruceB on May 9, 2011 at 2:18 PM

The Fourth Circuit will not announce which judges will make up the panels hearing the cases until the morning of arguments.

It is expected that the issue could reach the Supreme Court as early as next term, in the heat of the next presidential debate.

Schadenfreude on May 9, 2011 at 2:34 PM

As much as I hate to pass judgements, I think Kathleen, who is not getting any younger either, may just have a chance to say hello, and have a chat with Dr. Tiller one day.

capejasmine on May 9, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Isn’t that the SOP of this administration – to lie in order to get their way?

sadatoni on May 9, 2011 at 3:10 PM

The only question to ask in this debate is:

“If ObamaCare is so great for America, why do all of the President’s closest political allies beg for (and get) waivers, while cheering that the rest of the nation, those “less equal animals”, are forced to have it even though they don’t want it?

Freelancer on May 9, 2011 at 4:21 PM

OT: Just saying, and I don’t say this lightly, Sebelius is one cold looking chick.

Little Nell on May 9, 2011 at 4:23 PM

The woman has no shame…

Khun Joe on May 10, 2011 at 4:08 AM