Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sunday Question for Conservatives

I guess it has to be a Paul Ryan question, doesn't it?

Okay. By the end of the campaign, will it seem more that Romney has endorsed Paul Ryan's plans on the budget and Medicare (and Social Security?), or that Ryan has moved away from those plans?

And: same question, except if Romney wins, move the time frame to January 2013 -- and November 2016.

11 comments:

  1. Romney endorsing Ryan budget and Medicare but not SS.

    I see nothing bold in picking Ryan. Similar to Dole picking Kemp he is caving in to the Laffer crowd. He would be better off calling for breaking up big banks rather than pushing the same supply side dogma which the GOP has been doing for decades.

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  2. I think the choice of Ryan signals Romney's interest in making the race more about the issues, but he's yet to reveal exactly what they will be. Ryan has a history of being able to get under the President's skin by asking him straightforward policy questions. It will be interesting to see how that translates into his attack-dog role as VP candidate.

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    1. That's a good point, Couves. It will also be interesting to see if the press changes its coverage of Ryan as he moves into attack-dog mode.

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    2. If anyone got rattled by questions, it was Paul Ryan who sniveled about being unappreciated and how unfair it was for Obama to shred his heap of steaming bull-pucky in public. The pop-eyed granny-butcher isn't ready for prime time, much less a position involving public money.

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  3. I say Romney moves away from Ryan's budget positions, which will leave troublingly little justification for the VP pick. The downside to Ryan's Medicare overhaul is currently fodder for Kos and other liberal wonk-sites; too complex for sound bite consumption. I'll take a cut anyway.

    Basically, the combination of the voucher system and partial privatization will almost certainly cause the healthier, younger elderly to gravitate out of traditional Medicare and into the cheaper, private alternative (which will resemble Medicare Advantage on steroids). To some extent health care for the elderly will resemble the pre-ACA status quo for the rest of us: those on the right side of the moat having good health care; those on the wrong, screwed.

    IMHO, the AARP and similar groups have not pushed this argument for two reasons: 1) Ryan's plan is a winner for their healthier, younger constituents, and 2) the dangers aren't easy to communicate. The elevation of Ryan to a prominent executive position ratchets up the threats associated with his Medicare plan, which may motivate elderly groups to coordinate their opposition.

    An important digression here: the 'poor' elderly who find themselves on the wrong side of the Ryan Medicare divide differ from the young poor in one critical respect - many of the elderly poor were prosperous once but either a) never read the Millionaire Next Door, and spent to their income or b) experienced some serious mid/late life bad luck. As such the poor elderly should be a much more vocal and demanding voting bloc than the poor young.

    And Romney can't afford to lose the elderly vote. Which makes one wonder a bit how he can afford to keep Paul Ryan.

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    1. I am a member of AARP. They are very careful in all their publications not to endorse political candidates. They take positions on issues, they did endorse Obamacare, but they are careful to be neutral in elections. The professional staff of AARP is likely mostly Democratic, but the membership is about evenly split, if anything leans slightly Republican, so they always maintain a non-partisan position in elections.

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    2. That wasn't my impression of Ryan's reforms at all. The basic idea is to make middle and upper income folks pay more for their health care on a sliding scale according to their ability to pay, with the poor and the sick receiving the same level of support they get now. Don't tell anyone, but it's actually a lot like Obamacare. Of course that doesn't stop Democrats from calling it "social Darwinism."

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    3. It bears no resemblance whatever to Obamacare, Couves, which is why you very carefully avoided facts and figures and talked about your "impression".

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    4. Couves, I'm no expert, so as always, keep the grain of salt handy, but I think your point illustrates why this is a hard one to demagogue. As I understand it (!), the premia in the privatized side of Ryanicare will be higher, per your understanding, though that effect may be quickly overwhelmed by the actuarial ratings greatly favoring the privatized side (and reducing costs - and increasing them on the traditional side).

      The interesting question is whether the premia would be high enough to create a firewall preventing mass migration of the good insurance risks over to privatized Ryanicare. My understanding is that it isn't close. But the question is certainly moot.

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    5. Nick, As Obama has told us many times, his health care plan was originally a Republican idea. You shouldn't be so surprised that it closely resembles what Republicans would like to do with Medicare.

      CSH, I'd be surprised if anyone who is eligible for Medicare is buying insurance on the private market.

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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