The New York Times: The New Republican Landscape
Mr. Ryan called the vote "our generation's defining moment," and indeed, nothing could more clearly define the choice that will face voters next year. His bill would end the guarantee provided by Medicare and Medicaid to the elderly and the poor, which has been provided by the federal government with society's clear assent since 1965. The elderly, in particular, would be cut adrift by Mr. Ryan. ... Fully two-thirds of his $4.3 trillion in budget cuts would come from low-income programs (4/17).
Los Angeles Times: Can Medicare Be Saved?
Ryan's ideas about Medicare address a fundamental problem that last year's healthcare reform bill largely ignored: Consumers don't pay attention to the cost of many of the procedures they demand because someone else pays for them. ... Despite the ideological gulf between Republicans and Democrats, the right path for Congress would be to incorporate into last year's law the elements of Ryan's plan that promote more cost-sensitive consuming and more competitive markets without ending the commitment to affordable healthcare to seniors and the poor (4/17).
USA Today: Our View: Obama, Ryan Know You Can't Handle The Truth On Medicare
In the final analysis, Medicare is no more broken than is all of American health care. In fact, it delivers coverage for lower costs. Doing away with the most efficient system hardly seems the best way to address the central problem driving federal deficits (4/17).
USA Today: Another view: Ryan's Way Is The Better Way
Albert Einstein is reputed to have defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." But when it comes to reforming Medicare, President Obama and Democrats in Congress offer only more of the same (Michael D. Tanner, 4/16).
Detroit News: Medicare Can't Be 'Untouchable' If Federal Deficit Is To Be Brought Under Control
Medicare is one of the fastest-growing expenses in the federal budget and, aside from Social Security, the most vexing to solve because of the political risks involved. But real solutions for fixing Medicare can't be kept off the table in discussions of corralling federal spending. The Republican deficit reduction proposal should serve as a starting point for that debate (4/17).
CNN: Fareed's Take: Obama's Intelligent But Flawed Budget Speech
I praise Republican Paul Ryan's plan for its courage in presenting a budget that takes risk and proposes pain. It also had the effect of spurring Barack Obama to present his own serious proposal. I prefer Obama's approach - which is also closer to that of the Simpson-Bowls Commission - which contains a mix of spending cuts and some tax increases, but it needs much larger cuts to entitlement programs to make it work. But let's step back: What is critical here is that finally, after years of kicking the can down the road, America is having that long-delayed debate about its future (Fareed Zakaria, 4/17).
Journal Sentinel: A Hopey, Changey Deficit Plan
[Medicaid block grants] give federal taxpayers certainty and states a budget. Especially if states, closer to the front lines, are freed to deliver care in more efficient ways now barred by federal micromanagement, they can see to it that what we do spend actually helps the poor. ... The president's plan, such as it is, consists of faintly sweet vapor (Patrick McIlheran, 4/16).
McClathy / The Myrtle Beach Sun News: With Ryan's Medicare And Medicaid Debate, May Sanity Prevail
The Affordable Care Act went a long way toward forcing the country to deal with that reality and is projected to help stem the tide of rising health care costs, slice into our debt and provide health insurance to millions more Americans. It's going to be tempting to demonize Ryan's budget the way many Affordable Care Act critics demonized that law. But I hope we all resist that temptation. This is a discussion too important to our collective future to do anything less (Issac Bailey, 4/18).
National Journal: Is Entitlement Reform The GOP's Waterloo?
Five months after a midterm election that turned in part on GOP warnings that Democrats' health care overhaul would gut Medicare, liberal activists may soon give Republicans a taste of their own medicine. ... Some activists are targeting lawmakers with a starkly political message: Defend entitlements or pay a price (Eliza Newlin Carney, 4/18).
Kaiser Health News: Governors' Letter Shows Why Medicaid Block Grants Are Necessary
Shortly after House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., unveiled his plan to convert federal Medicaid funding to a block grant, 17 governors issued a letter to congressional leaders to say they "strongly oppose" it. ... Under block grants, states would keep 100 percent of the savings from rooting out fraud and abuse, which would encourage states to spend their Medicaid dollars wisely, reduce the cost of the program, and enable states to do more with fewer resources. ... It wasn't their intention, but those 17 governors inadvertently demonstrated why block grants are necessary (Michael Cannon, 4/18).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: 'Obamacare' Looks Likes To Survive Court
Opponents of President Obama's health care program lost the legislative battle, but they have high hopes of stopping the program yet. That could be accomplished by defeating Obama in 2012 and electing a Republican Congress. Or it could be done sooner, without an election, by the Supreme Court. But one eminent conservative legal scholar says: Dream on. Harvard Law professor Charles Fried, who was solicitor general under Ronald Reagan, believes the constitutional argument against Obamacare is so weak that even the Roberts court will reject it (Steve Chapman, 4/17).