Friday, August 17, 2012

A very good point re: Ryan medicare plan

Josh Barro on Bloomberg reminds us that the Ryan Plan would delay actual reforms to Medicare for 10 years. 
What are the chances that such reform will withstand a decade of partisan demagoguery by opportunist politicians?  Congress has proven time and time again that even when congress passes its own legislation that "forces" spending cuts down the road, the spending cuts don't happen.  Look at the medicare doc fix - every year, congress passes a 1-year funding bill to avoid the cut.  Listen to the howls of politicians about impending mandatory cuts from sequestration.  What are the chances those cuts actually go through?
A similarly lame attempt to "reform" medicare a decade down the road will similarly fail.  There is no shortcut to real reform, but that's what we need to curb health care spending in the long term.  Instead of gimmicks, real reform is going to require serious policy analysis, honest proposals, intelligent cost-benefit analysis, and good-faith compromise.

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