Rep. Paul Ryan took a break from considering a Senate run to give a talk on his Medicare voucher plan, and his take should be a revelation to the seniors who thought Medicare was something they paid into, and therefore earned.
It turns out, Medicare … is welfare:
Speaking in broad terms Monday before the Economic Club of Chicago, House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) defended his controversial proposals to slash entitlement spending and privatize Medicare.
Though billed as an effort to revamp his widely criticized budget, Ryan avoided describing his health care plans in specific detail, eschewing even the friendly terms he and other Republicans have used to explain it since he first unveiled it earlier this year. Instead, Ryan reframed the entitlement cuts in his budget as “strengthen[ing] welfare for those who need it,” and accused Democrats who have attacked his budget as engaging in class warfare.
The House budget would phase out the existing Medicare program and replace it with a new program to provide future retirees with private insurance subsidies, which would shrink in value over time relative to steeply rising health care costs. This stands in contrast to the fairly broad consensus among Democrats that health care costs are best reined in by altering provider incentives and placing some restrictions on government-financed health care services, while allowing Medicare to remain a single-payer program for all beneficiaries.
Ryan characterized this distinction differently.
“If I could sum up that disagreement in a couple of sentences, I would say this: Our plan is to give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers. Their plan is to give government the power to deny care to seniors,” he said, according to prepared remarks. …
Meanwhile, Ryan is also trotting out the tried and true charge against Democrats who defend the social compact and want the rich to pay a bit more in taxes: class warfare.
That, and he’s fighting with Newt Gingrich.