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The Facts of Ryan's Medicare Plan

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: All right, folks, I just saw during the break at the top of the hour a story that says that every Democrat congressional race this November will now be run against Paul Ryan.  Do you remember, I think it was New York 26, Kathy Hochul, the Democrat who won that race? I think it was New York 26.  The number doesn't matter.  It's a New York House race, and it was a Republican district since the dinosaur days, and the Democrat won the race.  County clerk Kathy Hochul, all she did was tell people that Paul Ryan's budget cut Medicare.  That was her entire message.  The Republicans up there took for granted that they were gonna win the district, win the race, and they didn't know how to react to it, typically because they weren't focused on the problem and the ideas of it all and they assumed that this woman had no prayers, the county clerk, and she ended up winning.

So the Democrats now think -- and this is why the conventional wisdom crowd is afraid of Ryan.  The Democrats now think all they have to do is tie Paul Ryan to ending Medicare just like Kathy Hochul did, and they win every congressional race.  That's what they're planning on doing.  This is from James Pethokoukis, our old buddy at the American Enterprise Institute.  "Three Things Every Voter Needs to Know About Paul Ryan’s Medicare Reform Plan -- in 100 Words. Number one: No one over the age of 55 would be affected in any way." Did you know that?  You knew that.  I'm asking you, Snerdley, 'cause you think this is a guaranteed win for the Democrats. 

You are sitting there scared to death that all they gotta do is bring up Ryan's Medicare budget, and that's it for us.  Well, there's no reason to be on the defensive over this.  That's my point.  Just stick with me.  I got these sound bites from Meet the Press coming up.  This is my whole point about why we need ideology in the campaign on the ticket rather than nebulous smears and how to fight them and so forth.  It's always frustrated me.  We've got facts on our side.  Ryan's budget doesn't destroy Medicare.  There's no excuse for the Republican Party ever to allow that to be believed, in a congressional race, in a presidential race, or anywhere else.  No excuse whatsoever, because it doesn't. 

Ryan does not destroy Medicare.  Obama is destroying everything.  But specifically to Ryan's budget and its effect on Medicare, his reform, which is designed to save the damn program.  I don't know if you know this, Medicare is the number one spending item in the federal budget. Not Social Security. Not the defense budget.  Medicare is what's going to run us into insolvency.  It has to be reformed and fixed.  And not the way Washington always does it, by kicking the can down the road and supposedly coming up with new taxes or tax schemes to fund it for a few more years.  And that's what Ryan does. 

Anyway, "Number one: No one over the age of 55 would be affected in any way.
Number two: Traditional Medicare fee-for-service would remain available for all. 'Premium support' -- that is, government funding of private insurance plans chosen by individuals -- is an option for those who choose it. No senior would be forced out of the traditional Medicare program against his will."  Did you know that?  You didn't know that?  Well, the reason you don't know it is because the Republicans aren't good enough at getting the truth out.  I know what we're up against, the media and all that.  To me, it's no excuse.  'Cause it is what it is.  If we can't overcome that, all this is academic anyway.  I don't like the idea of built-in excuses for things not working.  It's not who we are. 

So no one over the age of 55 would be affected in any way.  So if you're over 55, you can forget it.  You don't have to even be worried. If Medicare's the most important thing in your life, and you're over 55, Paul Ryan lets you keep it as it is forever.  That's it.  Nothing happens to you.  Zip, zero, nada.  If Obama and Obamacare are fully implemented, you are up the creek, because hello death panels, hello cutbacks, hello all kinds of changes, hello bankruptcy. 

Number two again.  "Traditional Medicare fee-for-service would remain available for all. 'Premium support' -- that is, government funding of private insurance plans chosen by individuals -- is an option for those who choose it. No senior would be forced out of the traditional Medicare program against his will. Number three: Overall funding for Medicare under the Ryan-Wyden plan is scheduled to grow at the same rate as under President Obama’s proposals. Is this 'gutting Medicare' and 'ending Medicare as we know it'? In reality, it’s the market giving seniors cheaper, higher quality choices they can take if they wish, with the traditional program remaining an option."

The way it's going to work, existing Medicare stays as it is, but there now becomes a choice, where, if you want, as a seasoned citizen, you can go out, you can abandon the current plan and join up in a plan run in the private sector, essentially, that will be cheaper.  And you'll have more choices.  But you will have to make them.  You don't have to, but if you want to opt out of the current Medicare plan and choose something that will end up being cheaper and have more day-to-day management of it yourself than just sitting there, it's an option, you can do it.  The fundamental point of the Ryan Medicare plan is that it deals with people who are not yet getting any benefit from it.  They're young. 

The point of Ryan's Medicare reform is to change the status quo for people who are in their twenties and thirties, give them the choice now so that the plan remains solvent when they get to be 55.  That's the focus of change in the Ryan plan.  It's no different than what the entire voucher program was gonna be for health care overall.  I don't know what's so hard to explain about this.  I don't know what's so hard to tell people, if you are over 55, nothing changes.  And if nothing changes, how is that ending Medicare as we know it?  How is that gutting Medicare?  It isn't.  Well, the Democrats don't think choice is good. You're not competent to make the choice. 

The Democrats are trying to scare you into believing that what's gonna end up is so complex that you won't know what you're choosing, you won't know what to choose, you're gonna mess up, you're not gonna have the right plan, you're gonna die.  They don't want you to have a choice.  They want you totally dependent on them.  Ryan's plan puts you in charge of your Medicare and ultimately your Social Security, although I don't want to muddy the waters with that.  I don't scare people with that.  But that's eventually what's gonna happen with Social Security, too, if we are to fix it. 

Now, that's it.  What I just told you is it.  That's Ryan's Medicare reform.  And as far as people over 55 are concerned, the same dollars are spent by Ryan's plan as at present, same dollars.  Nothing is cut in Medicare spending for people over 55.  In fact, the criticism of the Ryan budget on the right is that it takes too long to balance.  It's 30 years.  It doesn't balance 'til you get to 2040.  And the reason for that is gradual. Get on the right track is all that needs to happen.  Like Ryan and Romney winning the election.  I guarantee you, if Ryan and Romney win the election you're gonna see the stock market go through the roof. You're gonna see small businesses start to hire. It's gonna happen so fast you won't believe it, the moment it's known that Obama's out of office.  One of the reasons why the evolution of the Ryan plan is as long as it is, is to keep people from panicking and getting frightened.  This is actually a plan that deals with people who aren't gonna be accessing this program for 30 years, when you get right down to it.

END TRANSCRIPT

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