Paul Ryan has consulted with Frank Luntz and the Republican Party has now chosen to revert to their old
meme lie: The Affordable Care Act destroys Medicare.
Via Think Progress:
RYAN: Millions of dollars of negative ads are being run to try and scare seniors and trying to confuse seniors. You know, the irony of this Bill, is with all this Mediscare that the Democrats are running, it’s Obamacare itself that ends Medicare as we know it. Obamacare takes half a trillion dollars from Medicare — not to make it more solvent but to spend on this other government program, Obamacare. And then it creates this 15 panel board of unelected, unaccountable, bureaucrats starting next year to price control and ration Medicare for current seniors.
This is already popping up on the right wing blog network as the new messaging around Medicare. So let's just debunk it right here and now.
The Affordable Care Act does not end Medicare as we know it, and the Affordable Care Act is not an "other government program." To be clear, what the Affordable Care Act does is to stop insurance company subsidies and establish cost controls to bring down the cost of health care overall.
I could go into a wonkish discussion of why the panel he refers to is the best chance we have to bend the cost curve and actually contain costs for all -- not just Medicare recipients -- but really, if Paul Ryan is kidding himself into thinking there aren't panels out there now making decisions on everyone's health care in the private sector (HIS plan), he's nuts. Every day someone at an insurance company will make a decision about price controls and rationing for their insureds. It may mean they deny a procedure, or they decline to include a specific medication in their formulary, or whatever. The only difference between that panel and the one established under the ACA is that the motive for decision-making will not be profit, but outcomes. That's a big difference.
Policy wonks believe that the board and the payment reforms can help reduce costs in a transparent process and Ryan himself proposed a very similar commission in 2009 and maintains many of the ACA’s Medicare cuts in his plan. In fact, Ryan’s Patients’ Choice Act (PCA) sought to establish “two governmental bodies to broadly apply cost effectiveness research” and had more teeth than the ACA, including provisions to allow for penalties for physicians who did not follow the guidelines.”
I'd like to thank Fox News for allowing Paul Ryan to spew his nonsense unchallenged. Roger Ailes must be grinning ear to ear right about now, except for the fact that Ryan is just trying to distract everyone from what he's actually tried to do, which is to end Medicare and privatize it forever. Insurer death panels are Ryan's game. Don't ever let him forget it.
2:00 PM Update: The House just voted (again) to affirm the Ryan budget in a weird rules maneuver so they could tack it onto the Homeland Security Appropriations bill in a 'deem and pass' move. Via Nancy Pelosi:
Despite Americans soundly rejecting the Republican budget to end Medicare–with a new CNN poll out today finding 58% oppose and opposition from senior citizens even higher at 74%–House Republicans doubled down on ending Medicare by passing a Rule on the Homeland Security Appropriations bill which “deems” that the Republican budget is passed:
Provides that H. Con. Res. 34, including the related 302(a) allocations printed in the Rules Committee report accompanying the resolution, shall have force and effect until a conference report on the concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2012 is adopted.
House Democrats unanimously opposed the Rule today and the Republican budget ending Medicare which increases costs by $6,000 a year for seniors, cuts benefits immediately, and puts insurance companies in charge.
Jared Polis explains what they did: