It’s too late for Jane Corwin, but it’s not too late for Republicans planning to run in 2012. They still have time to master the Medicare message — and they’d better, if they want to win. But, more importantly, conservative candidates need to articulate the facts clearly precisely because they’re facts. Medicare can’t sustain itself much longer unless Congress takes action and, so far, the House-passed budget is the only Congressional proposal to seriously tackle entitlement reform.
Today, Rep. Paul Ryan made that crystal clear with the release of “The Path to Prosperity (Episode 2): Saving Medicare, Visualized.”
“If we do nothing, Medicare will nearly double in the next decade, exhausting its remaining funds,” Ryan says in the video.
The video’s effective infographics highlight the indisputable and alarming reality: The average American household spends 50 times more today on health care than it did in 1960. Health care spending now equals 17.6 percent of our economy — a full 11 points higher than the 5.6 percent it represented in 1960. And 10,000 Baby Boomers are added to Medicare every day.
The president’s plan, Ryan points out, would merely insert a panel of bureaucrats between Medicare and health care providers and between those providers and their patients. Those unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats would determine how much Medicare should pay for medical services, as well as what services doctors should provide their patients.
“These are price controls and we’ve tried them before,” Ryan says. “They encourage more consumption and force doctors to charge their non-Medicare patients more. That pushes costs up not down.”
How is it even possible for conservatives to lose this debate? The NY-26 special election shows us how, as Ryan explained on Fox News this morning.
“[NY-26] is a preview of scare tactics, distortions, demagoguery to try to scare seniors into voting for them,” he said. “The irony of it is we’re the ones directly protecting Medicare’s current benefits for current seniors.”
But political pandering will beat out the truth only if candidates fail to make the truth clear or if voters don’t have the courage to accept it.
Ryan, at least, is confident the truth will get out by 2012.
“We have a year and a half and I believe, in a year and a half’s time, the truth will be out and the facts will be known,” he continued on Fox.
This video is an effective step in that direction.
Update: This post originally misstated the average American household spends 50 times more today on Medicare than it did in 1960. Actually, the average American household spends 50 times more today on health care than it did in 1960.