Three Videos on the Medicare Debate

by Avik Roy

If you don’t enjoy reading wonky policy papers, here are three videos about the Medicare debate that you might find of use. The first features Paul Ryan, explaining what’s wrong with Medicare today, and how the Wyden-Ryan approach to Medicare reform differs from Obamacare.

The second is an edited, 18-minute clip from my appearance Saturday on MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes, in which Rachel Maddow, Ezra Klein, Melissa Harris-Perry, and others discuss their critiques of the Ryan budget. I point out that Obamacare cuts Medicare by over $700 billion over the next ten years (see the 8:21 mark), and that the Ryan and Romney plans don’t affect anyone over 55 (see 11:08).

This prompts Ezra and Chris to agree that the real debate we’re having is between two different types of Medicare reform, instead of a debate about supposedly unilateral cuts by Republicans. “You’re correct that both Paul Ryan and Barack Obama have proposed the precise same spending trajectory for Medicare,” says Ezra at 10:37.

But the real must-see TV was yesterday’s battle between Rich Lowry and Rachel Maddow on Meet the Press, where Rachel refused to defend Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare:

As Yuval Levin eloquently puts it on the home page, “In the wake of Paul Ryan’s selection as Mitt Romney’s running mate, some [liberals] have seemed downright giddy at the prospect of unleashing that lie, and perhaps even building their entire fall campaign around it. Many of them surely don’t even know it’s a lie. But it is, and a strategy based on a lie can work only if it is left unchallenged.”

The facts in this debate are on our side.

— Avik Roy is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of The Apothecary, the Forbes blog on health-care and entitlement reform. He is a member of Mitt Romney’s Health Care Policy Advisory Group. You can follow him on Twitter at @aviksaroy.

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