We’ve been posting here on Inkwell on aspects of the budget plan unveiled by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan today. It’s a plan that could reduce dependency on government and get our national finances in order. But here is one very important plank that needs to be highlighted: repeal of Obamacare is key to implementation of the Ryan plan.
Michael Cannon, the Cato Institute health expert, notes:
As it should, Ryan’s budget would repeal ObamaCare. With a national debt roughly three-fourths the size of the entire economy, we simply cannot afford that law’s two new entitlement programs or its trillion-dollar price tag.
Repeal would also relieve states of the law’s staggering burdens. My colleague Jagadeesh Gokhale estimates ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion will cost New York $53 billion in its first 10 years. It will cost Florida, Illinois and Texas around $20 billion each.
Even former Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., has conceded ObamaCare’s supposed spending restraints were never a plausible strategy for containing Medicare spending. Even if they were, ObamaCare just spends the presumed savings elsewhere. Scrapping the law will enable Congress to replace those phony measures with spending restraints that stick.
Medicare will also be reformed by a system of vouchers.
Because vouchers enable seniors to keep the savings, they will do what ObamaCare won’t: reduce the wasteful spending that permeates Medicare. Seniors will choose more economical health plans and put downward pressure on prices across the board. Indeed, vouchers are the only way to contain Medicare spending while protecting seniors from government rationing.
No doubt, the Democrats will portray the need for seniors to make choices as draconian. Of course, at one time most people did factor in cost in making medical decisions. And most of us would much prefer to make these decisions ourselves and not have a bureaucrat with a green eyeshade ration our care. And making sensible decisions doesn’t mean forgoing proper care:
Skeptics worry that seniors will make bad decisions with their vouchers. They should keep in mind that, according to Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, “nearly 30 percent of Medicare’s costs could be saved without adverse health consequences.” In other words, vouchers come with a huge built-in margin of safety: seniors could consume one-third less care without harming their health.
The Ryan plan does what Obamacare doesn’t-it lowers cost of healthcare without diminishing quality.