Strong Medicine

by Ramesh Ponnuru

Rep. Paul Ryan is the most prominent Republican to advocate a serious plan to replace Obamacare. I write about that plan at Bloomberg View today.

Thanks in large part to Ryan’s efforts, congressional Republicans have already embraced two of the ideas in his speech. They want the federal government to give states a fixed amount of money to run Medicaid, instead of paying for half of whatever the states decide to cover for the poor. And they want to replace Medicare with “premium support” for future senior citizens, who would purchase private insurance using capped federal subsidies.

But Republicans have had less to say about the uninsured, or the majority of Americans who are eligible for neither Medicaid nor Medicare. They have advocated tort reform and the creation of an interstate market for the purchase of individual insurance, both of which might make coverage a little bit more affordable. But as Ryan acknowledges, that’s not enough.