Is Ryan’s Medicare proposal a “bridge to far?” Should we instead offer a two-track plan?
One of the key components of Paul Ryan‘s blueprint to save America from bankruptcy involves changing Medicare to a modified voucher system. Despite continual affirmations that the plan will NOT affect anyone currently enrolled in Medicare, nor anyone currently within ten years of eligibility for Medicare, the Democrats have already begun to demonize it. This will be the centerpiece of their campaign strategy.
What is astonishing are recent polls showing that nearly 80% of Americans are opposed to changes in Medicare, INCLUDING over 70% of those who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters. Yes, it is early in the debate, and yes, it’s only one poll, but many on the right have already commented on the implications of these numbers. It is possible that 50 years of an ever growing welfare state have so conditioned the American ethos that we won’t be able to institute such a dramatic change in a short time.
Let us assume that Ryan’s plan became law today. That would mean that for about the next 50 years, we would have a two track health system for seniors: those under existing Medicare, and those who would come under the Ryan reforms.
So why not defuse ALL the Democrat objections in one fell swoop. Anyone now today over the age of 27 ( I’m choosing that number, because that is now the age up to which “children?” can remain on their parents medical coverage. It could easily be another age) ….will have the option, at age 65, to choose the existing Medicare plan, or the Ryan plan.
In addition, any who choose the existing Medicare structure when they reach 65 will have a one-time opt out, to change to the Ryan plan. And any persons NOW currently on Medicare will also be allowed to make a one time choice to adopt the Ryan plan. I suspect that millions would do so.
As conservatives, we believe in the free market system, and the marketplace of competing ideas. This idea completely negates all Democrat opposition to Ryan’s proposal, and will allow for the time needed to implement such a major restructuring of Medicare, with voter support.