With Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate, you are about to hear the volume turned up to a fever pitch on the left with fallacious claims that Mr. Ryan wants to cut Medicare to the bone and force seniors to perform in-home surgery on their tumors with a butter knife. Don’t believe it.
As I was reading a piece about Mr. Ryan this morning, it occurred to me that it’s likely that many voters simply find the healthcare issue too dauntingly complicated to even begin to sort it out. They’re right. It is complicated. No sane person would try to fully understand it. But, it turns out, there are a few clear facts and one very clear difference between two visions of the future of healthcare that most of us can understand. The nomination of Mr. Ryan makes the choice more clear.
Here goes. Let’s start with a few key indisputable facts.
- The federal budget is a mess and something needs to be done about it.
- “Doing something about it” without addressing healthcare is folly. As Joseph Rago said in a recent WSJ op-ed piece, “You can’t fix the federal balance sheet by zeroing out foreign aid to Mozambique and arts funding for off-off-off Broadway plays.”
- Healthcare costs in the United States are unsustainable as they take over the federal fisc.
- Any attempt to manage healthcare costs HAS to address Medicare costs. Anyone who says different is lying. Obamacare makes massive cuts to Medicare (where is the liberal media outrage on that).
So, the key question is how the cuts to Medicare will be made and, more important, who will make the decisions? Here’s where the big contrast comes in.
The Obamacare vision for who makes those decisions is an unelected “panel of expert” who will ration care as costs escalate and we move to a single payer system. The Paul Ryan vision has consumers of healthcare like you and me and, importantly, our parents and grandparents making those decisions for themselves. I realize I have had to dramatically simplify things, but when you boil it down, this is the decision you’re making at the polls in November. Two very different visions for reining in healthcare costs. Government making decisions for you or you making decisions for yourself.