The Significance of Wyden-Ryan

Yesterday’s announcement that Democratic senator Ron Wyden and House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan have teamed up on a bill that would shift Medicare to a “premium support” model — instead of getting insurance from the government, seniors could receive a subsidy to spend on a private plan — is a bombshell with far-reaching implications.

To begin with, this is very bad news for Democratic political consultants. For months now, they have been salivating at the prospect of turning the 2012 election into a referendum on the evil “Ryan plan” to “end Medicare as we know it.” The president, to his everlasting shame, signaled that this was the Democratic game plan when he attacked Ryan and all House Republicans for having the courage to advance entitlement reform. Among other things, the president essentially accused the GOP of pushing an un-American reform model that would deny health care to poor and sick seniors.

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