Krugman On The GOP's 'Vouchercare' Plan

Rachel Maddow sat down with The New York Time's Paul Krugman to discuss a topic from one of his recent op-eds, which was now vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan's lie packed speech at the Republican National Convention this week, whether

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Rachel Maddow sat down with The New York Time's Paul Krugman to discuss a topic from one of his recent op-eds, which was now vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan's lie packed speech at the Republican National Convention this week, whether he should be considered a Very Serious Person by our Villager chattering class that seems to love him despite the fact that the man wants to turn Medicare into a voucher system for our seniors.

Republicans keep pretending this is palatable because it won't affect current seniors, but I've got to wonder if they're really so cynical to believe that current seniors don't care about their children and grandchildren, or that they won't find out that if we would follow through on Romney's plans to revoke the Affordable Care Act, current seniors would be harmed. The sad conclusion is that the GOP is planning on the stupidity of low information voters to carry them along this election. Here's to hoping they are proven wrong if they really think running on privatizing Medicare and turning it into a voucher system is a good idea and that most people won't figure that out once it's said and done.

Here's Krugman's latest on the topic from the NYT: The Medicare Killers:

Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday night may have accomplished one good thing: It finally may have dispelled the myth that he is a Serious, Honest Conservative. Indeed, Mr. Ryan’s brazen dishonesty left even his critics breathless.

Some of his fibs were trivial but telling, like his suggestion that President Obama is responsible for a closed auto plant in his hometown, even though the plant closed before Mr. Obama took office. Others were infuriating, like his sanctimonious declaration that “the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” This from a man proposing savage cuts in Medicaid, which would cause tens of millions of vulnerable Americans to lose health coverage.

And Mr. Ryan — who has proposed $4.3 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade, versus only about $1.7 trillion in specific spending cuts — is still posing as a deficit hawk.

But Mr. Ryan’s big lie — and, yes, it deserves that designation — was his claim that “a Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.” Actually, it would kill the program.

Before I get there, let me just mention that Mr. Ryan has now gone all-in on the party line that the president’s plan to trim Medicare expenses by around $700 billion over the next decade — savings achieved by paying less to insurance companies and hospitals, not by reducing benefits — is a terrible, terrible thing. Yet, just a few days ago, Mr. Ryan was still touting his own budget plan, which included those very same savings.

But back to the big lie. The Republican Party is now firmly committed to replacing Medicare with what we might call Vouchercare. The government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance. And, if the voucher proved insufficient to buy decent coverage, hey, that would be your problem.

Moreover, the vouchers almost certainly would be inadequate; their value would be set by a formula taking no account of likely increases in health care costs.

Why would anyone think that this was a good idea? The G.O.P. platform says that it “will empower millions of seniors to control their personal health care decisions.” Indeed. Because those of us too young for Medicare just feel so personally empowered, you know, when dealing with insurance companies. Read on...

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