Home > posts > Growing Support for Ryan’s Medicare Reform 2.0
February 17th, 2012 5:51 pm
Growing Support for Ryan’s Medicare Reform 2.0

Back in December I wrote a column defending a Medicare reform proposal outlined by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR).  Unlike Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget resolution that passed the House in 2011, Ryan-Wyden retains traditional Medicare.  However, like Ryan’s original reform, Ryan-Wyden introduces private sector competition by allowing seniors to use vouchers to select the plan – public or private – that they want, with any savings from a less expensive plan landing in the seniors’ pocket.

At the time, Ryan-Wyden was reported as an idea by two policy wonks with no discernable political support on Capitol Hill.  That changed this week when Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced a bill that substantially mirrors Ryan-Wyden’s Medicare-plus-competition proposal.  Although both pairings are so far quiet on the similarities between their plans, this is a good first step toward getting a common conceptual framework around an idea that increases competition.

Not that you’d know any this from reading Think Progress’ headline announcing the Coburn-Burr plan as “Two Republican Senators Try to Walk Back Paul Ryan’s Medicare Privatization Plan.”  Indeed, one has to read halfway into the article to discover that Coburn-Burr “is very similar to the bipartisan framework outlined by Ryan and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) last year and adds little to the Medicare reform debate.”

To Think Progress’ way of thinking there is little news value when two conservative Republican Senators introduce an almost identical reform plan to one announced by a liberal Democratic colleague and the most influential Republican Congressman.  Almost everyone else knows better.  With support growing for Ryan’s Medicare 2.0 reform, expect to see more movement Ryan’s way as the year rolls on.

Comments are closed.