Sunday, January 23, 2011

Repealing Ryan's Rhetoric

Paul Ryan was given a platform, yet again, by the Journal Sentinel to bash health care reform. As expected, his piece is full of obfuscation and falsehoods.

He begins with the biggest lies regarding health care reform the Republicans are pushing: that it will cost trillions of dollars, it will raise taxes, and it will put government at the center of individual health decisions.

Paul tells us that serious people - policy experts, actuaries, etc. - have looked over the reform and have agreed that it's just smoke and mirrors.

Paul throws around a lot of numbers in an attempt to give his article some gravitas. Everyone else, it appears, is wrong and he has the real numbers. If you haven't heard, Mr. Ryan is a very serious man. Plus, he likes economics (and pretending like he is an economist). Therefore, don't be afraid to let him spoon-feed you his wildly misguided analysis.

Strangely he never mentions any studies or other scholars to support his opinion nor the numbers he cites. One would think, with so many others supposedly in agreement about how terrible health care reform is, Mr. Ryan could at least offer up some supporting evidence.

The best he does is to parrot the right-wing belittling of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO has given nonpartisan, unbiased analysis to both parties on bills since 1974. Republicans are fond of citing the work of the CBO when it fits their goals. When a CBO analysis is in opposition to Republican policy, then the right-wing feels the CBO is full of hacks using smoke and mirrors. And, Mr. Ryan also falsely states that the CBO has admitted reform will increase our national debt. In reality, they have stated that our debt will be lower with the reform than it would have been otherwise. They have also found that repeal could cost $230 billion.

Lets also remember some of the positives accomplished by health care reform:
  • 30 million more people have insurance
  • insurance companies can no longer cap coverage
  • you can no longer be refused for an existing medical condition
  • dependent children can remain on the parent's plan until they are 26
  • free preventative health care
  • small business tax credits
  • Medicare expansion to rural areas
  • enhanced fraud checks
  • improved appeals process
Republicans seriously want to repeal all this? Seems the Republicans are more interested in the health of the insurance companies and other vested interests profiting from our inefficient health system, than in an orderly delivery of health services to American citizens. A better strategy would be for the citizens of Wisconsin to repeal (recall) Mr. Ryan from office. His actions and opinions continually show he does not have much of an interest in the well-being of his constituents.

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