I’m a firm believer in the James Carville Rule: When your opponent is drowning, throw him an anvil. Case in point: Paul “Wonder Boy” Ryan. His plan to privatize Medicare is as about popular as head lice, and the Republicans who voted for it should be forced to own it lock, stock and barrel.
Unfortunately, there’s always a Democrat looking to be the next Joe Lieberman. Case in point: Senator Ron Wyden, who is teaming up with Wonder Boy to push for a “premium support” monstrosity designed to — you guessed it — privatize Medicare. Think Progress explains:
So here, in a nutshell, is the problem: In an interview with the Washington Post, “Ryan and Wyden acknowledged that their plan might not bring in more savings than under the current law.” Yet they’re willing to set the nation on an untested path of private competition that breaks up the large market clout of Medicare (which is now experimenting with more efficient ways to pay providers) and pushes seniors into less efficient private plans. It moves the health care system closer to the Ryan ideal in which future Congresses would be able to reduce federal costs by eating away at the premium credit seniors receive. Over time, Medicare will start bleeding beneficiaries, becoming an ever smaller program.
With Democrats like Wyden, who needs Republicans?