Free Markets, Free People

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden tries to delink himself from Ryan Medicare plan

To date it’s been an attempt that mostly gets fussy about word usage, but my guess is it will get more pointed:

Gov. Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not ‘co-lead a piece of legislation.’ I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget. Governor Romney needs to learn you don’t protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments today sure won’t help promote real bipartisanship.

That’s obviously in reaction to a statement by Romney in which he talked about legislation, not a policy paper.

So Wyden is right, the quote is incorrect.

But Wyden is being a bit disingenuous too.  You don’t vote for parts of a budget so claiming you voted “against the Medicare provisions” of a budget are a bit of nonsense as well.  Democrats voted against the entire Ryan budget, the Medicare provisions being only  a part of that.

Even Think Progress has some problems with the attempted delinking driven by the inconvenient politics of having a Democratic Senator’s name on a plan that Democrats have chosen to mischaracterize and demonize:

The plan Sen. Wyden co-authored with Ryan does bear a striking resemblance to the proposed Medicare changes in Ryan’s latest budget for the House GOP. Both keep traditional Medicare as a kind of public option, in an exchange where it would compete with private plans offering insurance to seniors. The government would give seniors support for purchasing these plans, and that support would be benchmarked to the cost of the second-least expensive plan. The plans would also be prohibited from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions.

Where they begin to differ is Paul supports more market based solutions while Wyden wants government based solutions.

But this sort of linkage is inconvenient when you’re claiming the GOP ticket is “trying to end Medicare as we know it” (even though it is ObamaCare which is pulling $700+ billion out of Medicare).  Avik Roy has the “bottom line” on that meme:

The bottom line: if Romney and Ryan leave you the option to remain in the 1965-vintage, fee-for-service, traditional Medicare program, and you claim that Medicare has “ended as we know it,” what you’ve really ended is the English language as we know it.

Pretty much. 

The point?  Ron Wyden did indeed “co-author” a Medicare plan with Paul Ryan.  There’s no question about that.  And it was indeed a bipartisan plan, by definition.  In fact the paper is entitled “Bipartisan Options for the Future” and lists both Wyden and Ryan as the authors.

Finally, their plan contains this paragraph:

We are a Democrat and Republican; a Senator and a Representative; senior members of our respective Budget Committees; and members of the committees that have jurisdiction over Medicare and health care costs. As budgeteers, we understand the difficulty presented by demographic changes over the next several decades. As members with policy oversight, we recognize and encourage the potential for innovation to improve care and hold down costs. And most important, as representatives of hardworking Americans in Oregon and Southern Wisconsin, we realize our absolute responsibility to preserve the Medicare guarantee of affordable, accessible health care for every one of the nation’s seniors for decades to come.

Sounds like a pretty bipartisan effort to me.

Here’s the problem for the Democrats.  They need badly to demonize Paul Ryan as an extremist who is out to push granny over the Medicare cliff and end Medicare as we know it.  That’s because “Medicscaring” seniors is a tried and true method of gaining votes, and Democrats know it.  They’ve deployed it many times in the past.

And bipartisan cooperation?  No way, no how, can’t let that sort of thing become public knowledge when you have an active campaign beginning to label Ryan as an extremist ideologue.

But the facts don’t support that sort of branding campaign.  Not only has Ryan not attempted in any form or fashion to end Medicare, he’s teamed up with a liberal Senator to put forward a plan to actually save it (even while the loudest critic is pulling that $700+ billion from the program via ObamaCare) and make it sustainable.

How inconvenient. 

That is why Wyden is trying his best to delink from Ryan. And you can imagine from whence the pressure to do so is coming.  But it’s a hard sale to make when his name is clearly associated with Ryan’s on a plan he claimed will “preserve the Medicare guarantee of affordable, accessible health care for every one of the nation’s seniors for decades to come”, isn’t it?

Not that it will stop them from trying.


Twitter: @McQandO

Facebook: QandO

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on RedditPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

27 Responses to Democratic Senator Ron Wyden tries to delink himself from Ryan Medicare plan

  • The Democrats are obvious in their attempts to distance themselves from Paul Ryan, and to demonize him as much as possible. If that means telling a bunch of lies, then so be it. Honestly, I think they will hang themselves with their own rope.

  • Orwell would be aghast.  The Collectivist’s Ministry of Truth, at work in the U.S.

  • I guarantee you somewhere in his campaign propaganda he’s made great hay out of the fact that he was bipartisian on this. Find it, humiliate him, destroy him.

  • As usual, a Democrat was for something before he was against it.    Wait, I have a surprise face somewhere here…..let me find it.

  • HOY, Erp…!!!  Come out, come out…

    AMAZING what these GOP animators can produce…!!!
    Watching that, you’d almost believe that Wyden actually said those things…on a camera…with audio…

  • About the $700+ billion stolen from Medicare by the AHC; for another opinion, read

  • for another opinion

    I see your problem.  You confuse “opinion” with “big, fat lie”.

  • That is why Wyden is trying his best to delink from Ryan.
    So it’s bad when Wyden tries to delink himself from the Ryan plan.  So what does that mean when Romney tries to do it?
    LOL!!  So not only are Democrats trying to distance themselves from the Ryan plan, so is the freakin’ Republican nominee.  Brilliant!
    This is shaping up to be a pretty entertaining election.  I doubt it will top ’08 – what with Sarah Palin and all the comic relief that she brought – but it might come close.

    • Umm…  Poque…???
      Can you say “co-author”?
      Can you say “bi-partisan”?
      Do you understand that RR will produce A freaking budget?
      Can you slide off your bar-stool…???

      • I can do all of those things, actually.
        But the question is, can you tell me why Romney is distancing himself from key points in the Ryan plan?
        Why?  Why?  Come on, Why?  Tell me, why? Come on, come on.  Unless you’re chicken – baaawwkk, bawk, bawk, bawk.
        You’re just chicken.  You can’t tell me why – because you’re afraid.  Isn’t that right?

        • can you tell me why Romney is distancing himself from key points in the Ryan plan?

          Where are you getting this sheet?  Are you reading Little Green Turkey Shit?

          • Are you reading Little Green Turkey Shit?
            Yeah right. I knew you were chicken.
            Put up or shut up, pal.

          • “I have my budget plan,” he said. “And that’s the budget plan we’re going to run on.”

            Umm…  Poque.  He is the candidate for the presidency.  I don’t see that as “running away” or “distancing himself”.
            There are likely a baker’s dozen budget proposals in the air right now, and others will eventuate.
            You really need to get a life.

        • Calling someone else chicken. That’s funny, coming from a guy who lacks the guts to tell us what he actually believes, and is only able to snipe from the sidelines.

          • Actually, I’ve been coming here since ’04.  My beliefs are well documented here – so I don’t believe that I have to restated them for the likes of you Johnny-come-lately types.
            You want to know my beliefs.  Then ask for specifics, or go fish.

          • Don-
            Pogue isn’t chicken dude.
            Maybe a little annoying, but not chicken 😉 (all in good fun Pogue!)

          • @shark

    • Its a bit different with VP’s would you not say?
      I mean do you bash Obama in 2008 for not wanting to separate Iraq into 3 countries as Biden did?

      • Okay then, that’s interesting.
        For that analogy to work in this circumstance, we would have to assume that there was a Republican that agreed with Biden’s Iraq plan. and then once Biden was selected for the VP nod, then that Republican would then distance himself from his previous support for the Biden Iraq plan.
        So if that were to have happened – then yes.  Yes I would bash Obama for that, Harun.  And the Republican for his hypocrisy.  Of course, I would have bashed Obama for distancing himself from Biden’s plan anyway if, and only if, Obama failed to address the question.  Which is what Romney has been doing.
        So maybe you can tell me, Harun, as to why Romney is distancing himself from the Ryan plan.  We all knew that Rags would be too chickensh!t to do it.

        • Odd though, that a plan that no one is going to use needs to be distanced from eh?
          Might mean more if Romney had co-authored it, and was now distancing himself from it.
          What you’re saying is, if Romney doesn’t embrace Ryan’s plan (assuming ’embracing’ means using) then he’s distancing himself from it, as opposed to just saying he has his own plan.
          Those two aren’t quite the same.  Especially since, even though Romney isn’t using the plan, the Democrats want to talk about it and point fingers at it, and criticize it, so they can attack Ryan, when one of their own helped co-author it.  And now the co-author must pretend he was in the other room and they signed his name or something.   You do see the difference?