What to tell your friends about the Ryan Plan

| August 13 2012
Hannah Thoreson

Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans for the federal budget are now receiving a new level of scrutiny as a result of Mitt Romney choosing him as his running mate.  His plans are controversial, but nothing to be feared.  What can you tell people who want to engage on the issue in social media?

1.  The Affordable Care Act guts Medicare of $700 billion over the next 10 years.  The status quo is no longer a choice between “Medicare as we know it” and reform.  The only way to reverse those cuts is to repeal the health care law.

2.  It’s not just the “Ryan Plan”, it’s the “Ryan-Wyden Plan”.  The bipartisan reform package was introduced into the Senate by Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, who had this to say about it:  ”Paul [Ryan] has also long-shared my view that the best way to hold down health costs is to give all Americans the ability to hire and fire their insurance company.”  So why was it controversial when Mitt Romney said the same thing?

3.  President Obama agreed that there was a need for reform in 2011.  

“The vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements, would prefer frankly not to do anything on these debt and deficit problems,” he said.

But doing nothing is irresponsible and is really not an option, Obama argued.

“If you look at the numbers then Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up,” he said. “It’s not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing. if you’re a progressive that cares about he integrity of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid … then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes required to make this sustainable in the long term.”

Mitt Romney could probably steal some of those lines for his stump speech.

4.  The Ryan-Wyden Plan does not leave seniors out in the cold without health insurance.  It is based on the extremely popular Medicare Advantage reform, which provides seniors with premium support for purchasing comprehensive private health insurance.  The oldest, sickest, and poorest seniors would receive the largest subsidies.  Contrast that to what the President’s health care law established with IPAB, which is designed to ration health care and will likely end up having the opposite effect.

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