Driving the Day: Two Medicare Plans

President Obama and Republicans in the House agree: Medicare’s current spending trajectory is unsustainable. From there they completely diverge: Obama proposes rationing of care, while  Ryan’s budget gives seniors real health insurance, not unlike the benefits enjoyed by Members of Congress. That’s right: unelected bureaucrats rationing care vs. individuals making their own health care choices.

And liberals would have us be scared of the Ryan Plan. Insight from policy experts at The Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board clear things up. Our colleague J. D Foster from The Heritage Foundation pointed this out after Obama’s budget speech last week:

The president’s approach to addressing Medicare’s huge unfunded obligations is, he says, to “strengthen” the power of the unelected Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), created under Obamacare. In addition to its current power to cut the salaries of Medicare physicians, which will decrease the number of doctors willing to see seniors as patients, the IPAB would now be able to make decisions over what kinds of benefits will be favored or discouraged under Medicare.

The Wall Street Journal outlines the differences between the two approaches on the Opinion page today, “The Other Medicare Cutters“:

The Independent Payment Advisory Board was created in the ObamaCare statute, and the President will appoint its experts in 2012 to six-year terms. From then on, look out. Democrats cut $468 billion in Medicare spending by screwing down its price controls and gutting the private insurance options of Medicare Advantage, while also boosting taxes by about $89 billion. This money could have strung along the status quo for a few more years, but Democrats diverted it instead to their new middle-class entitlement, which is like eating all the food left in the life raft.

Obamacare, the President’s effort at changing health care entitlements, makes everything worse. Its command-and-control solutions should be mind-blowing to individualistic Americans.


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