Democrat says Paul Ryan has a point 

You’ll have a hard time finding it on the Washington Post’s website (it's not included with the other column that appeared in the print edition) but Democrat Matt Miller’s column in today’s Washington Post makes an interesting point: Democrats may be making a serious policy and political mistake in attacking the main mechanism—premium support—of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan. “This line of attack,” he writes, is “based on two dubious premises. The first is that America’s inefficient health care sector will be permitted to continue its spendthrift ways. The second is that premium support itself can’t be a way to help encourage the system to end them.” Later on he writes that “the Democratic case on Medicare . . . is therefore caught between two claims that can’t both be true: (1) we spend much more on health care than anybody else without much better results; and (2) if we cut the growth of this spending to below the rate of GDP growth, we’d have to curtail Americans’ access and quality of care.”

Miller certainly isn’t endorsing the Ryan plan and he takes visible glee at the Democratic victory in the New York 26th district special election in which the Democrat’s attacks on the Ryan plan clearly played some part. But Miller is a policy maven more than he is a political cheerleader and Democratic officeholders who are interested in sustainable public policies—are there any out there?—would do well to take notice. As well as those Republicans who (unlike Ryan) have been stumbling in their attempts to defend his plan.

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Michael Barone

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