Every so often, we will post a few op-ed pieces from newspapers, mainstream websites, or elsewhere from the blogosphere:
A quicker than normal Quick Hits today, with just one item. An editorial by Rep. Paul Ryan that appeared in the Washington Post.
You can view the entire editorial, HERE
You can also view his Roadmap for America’s Future, HERE
I’ve waxed poetic about Rep. Ryan several times on this site but as the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee he has shown leadership that very few on either side of the aisle have been able to do. Unlike the left, he is being practical and realistic with the financial constraints of our current entitlement programs:
Rather than tackle the drivers of health inflation, the legislation chases the ever-increasing premiums with huge new subsidies. Already, Washington has no idea how to pay for the unfunded promises in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — and creating this new entitlement would accelerate our path to fiscal ruin. When you strip away the double-counting, expose the hidden costs that must be funded and look at the price tag when the legislation is fully implemented, the claims of deficit reduction are as hollow as claims of cost containment.
Unlike some on the right, he is willing to concede that the social gain of improving health care access is vital to our country’s well-being:
House Republicans continue to offer common-sense solutions, with specific legislation. Last May, Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Burr and Rep. Devin Nunes and I collaborated to address rising costs while securing access to quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans. The Patients’ Choice Act takes on the discriminatory and inflationary tax exclusion, delinking the tax benefit from employers and attaching it to individuals through universal tax credits. The tax exclusion for employer-provided health coverage subsidizes insurance instead of health care, hides the true cost of coverage and disproportionately favors the wealthy at the expense of the self-employed, the unemployed and small businesses. Health-care economists across the political spectrum and reform-minded Democrats such as Sen. Ron Wyden identify the backward tax treatment of health care as a problem that must be addressed.
The Patients’ Choice Act includes additional reforms — such as an emphasis on preventive care, medical malpractice reform and interstate shopping — that could be advanced one at a time in a bipartisan fashion to fix what’s broken in health care without breaking what is working.
That last line is key – fix what is broken, but not by breaking what is working. The majority party fails to understand this, and ignores all polling that show upwards of 80% of Americans are satisfied with their health care. They would rather use their near super-majority to push social programs that they realize they will never again get the option to pass. The reason Democrats want to rush is not to get care to people quicker – remember, Obama’s plan wouldn’t even begin for another 4 years – but because they realize the more time people have to look at their proposal the less likely they are to buy in. There plan isn’t transparent…its translucent.
Read the editorial, check out Ryan’s links – I think you will find the information quite helpful in understanding there are better options out there, even if the media doesn’t cover them.