Ryan-Wyden

Yuval Levin describes the new premium support reform proposal from House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan and Sen. Ron Wyden, the Democrat from Oregon who has drawn praise from across the political spectrum as an innovative policymaker. 

This is yet another sign that Ryan has been willing to move beyond his FY2011 budget proposal, and it further undermines the narrative advanced by Thomas Edsall. The following from Edsall is now put in sharp relief:

Democrats are delighted to see Romney put the Ryan budget once again into the headlines. “When you go through what’s in the Ryan budget to voters in focus groups, they are horrified by it,” Democratic pollster Garin said. “The inequities of the Ryan budget are not just striking, they are shocking to people. To make Medicare much less affordable while continuing to add on new tax breaks for people at the very top is mind-blowing.”

Given Ryan’s willingness to compromise — to advance a plan far more similar to the broad architecture touted by Mitt Romney rather than his original budget proposal from last year — it seems that at least one Senate Democrat, Senator Wyden, is not horrified by the idea of working with Ryan, which is telling. 

Democrats, and for that matter Republicans, should be delighted that a growing number of legislators recognize that a premium support reform might mitigate some of the problems Ryan has identified, e.g., the way that transfers and tax expenditures can exacerbate rather than mitigate market inequality. 

Reihan Salam — Reihan Salam is executive editor of National Review and a National Review Institute policy fellow.

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