Ezra Klein is one smart dude, in case you didn’t know. In this post, after the dust has settled on the Ryan proposal, he breaks it down in a concise way. I’m pasting highlights from each point, please go read the whole thing. It will empower you with facts to beat back the bullshit flying around the internet and around the water cooler. Go Ezra Klein…
1) Ryan’s suggestion that Medicare and Medicaid can or should be held to the rate of inflation is absurd. His budget has no way of making that happen, save for draconian cuts in both (this goes far, far beyond “means-testing”)
2) The idea that conservatives believe the savings in Ryan’s plan are realistic while those in the Affordable Care Act aren’t boggles the mind. For one thing, Ryan includes the supposedly unrealistic savings from the Affordable Care Act; they can’t be realistic in Ryan’s budget but not realistic in the ACA
3) I suspect Ryan capped Medicare and Medicaid at the rate of inflation rather than at GDP+1% because when he used GDP+1%, he couldn’t get the numbers to add up without including some tax increases.
4) The budget is much more regressive than I thought it would be. In the first 10 years, it has $4 trillion in program cuts, and most of them are coming from programs that primarily serve low-income or otherwise vulnerable Americans.
5) The implication of the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis isn’t just that seniors would pay more for less under Ryan’s Medicare reform but that the gap between Ryan’s plan and traditional Medicare would grow over time.
6) This is related to No. 5, but there’s a big difference between cutting costs and shifting them. Cutting medical care for the disabled doesn’t cut the cost of their care; it just means someone who isn’t the federal government has to pay it.
7) The difference between Ryan’s treatment of spending that occurs through the tax code and Ryan’s treatment of spending that occurs through programs is both instructive and disappointing. On the one hand, he’s willing to slash Medicaid to reduce the deficit. On the other hand, when he slashes the deduction for employer-provided health-care insurance, he’s only willing to use it to lower tax rates. He could’ve slashed regressive tax expenditures to pay down the deficit and preserved Pell Grants.
8) The Heritage Foundation has done itself some serious damage.
Go read the whole thing and I recommend going back a few days and reading Ezra’s other posts on this subject.
It’s Friday, woooo hooooo. Have a great day!
Updated with link! Doh!