Sen. Ron Wyden: My Medicare Compromise With Paul Ryan Makes Government-Run Medicare Permanent


In case anyone was tempted to make the argument that the Paul Ryan-Ron Wyden Medicare compromise released this morning offers a stepping stone toward a fully private Medicare system, here's Sen. Wyden attempting to soothe wary liberals by insisting that the plan actually makes traditional, government-run Medicare permanent. Via Philip Klein at The Washington Examiner:

"What this bill does is it embeds for all time a program that progressives have felt very strongly about, and that is traditional Medicare will always be part of this program," Wyden said. "Not something that will be shrouded in ambiguity. It will be permanently there. That, of course, is important for progressive folks."

When I wrote earlier today that the Ryan-Wyden compromise makes it even tougher to make an argument against the existence of a federally run health insurer, this is the sort of thing I was talking about. Passing legislation usually requires compromise, but this one gave up a lot of ground in hopes of sparking bipartisan support for reform. And after making the sacrifice play, Ryan may not even end up with much to show for it. Senior Democratic staffers are already issuing anonymous sneers at the plan. And despite Wyden's assurances, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has taken to warning her Twitter followers that the plan is just a sneaky attempt to kill traditional Medicare completely. 

NEXT: Reason TV: Author D.J. Waldie on Being a 'Partisan of Suburban Places'

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. And despite Wyden’s assurances, an unpaid intern in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi‘s over-staffed office has taken to warning her Twitter followers that the plan is just a sneaky attempt to kill traditional Medicare completely.

    1. Thanks for that translation, SF. “Free” medicine for all!

      1. Hey, we can’t have a free society without free stuff!

        1. Freedom. It’s right there in the word, you dummies!

  2. weasels all
    the republican party must be destroyed

    1. dont worry, the gop’s destroying itself

    2. weasels all
      the republican both partyies must be destroyed


      1. Thank you. I hate those “but the _____ party is better than the other party.” people.

  3. People like Ryan are just stupid and naive. Ryan really thinks that if he works with leftists that he can win them over to his side. Leftists are like the honey badger. They take what they want and they don’t give a shit. They don’t care that Ryan worked with them. Their ultimate goal is complete control of everything. And every compromise with them is just a step closer to that goal.

    1. The honey badger sure has received a boost in popularity this past week. What’s the deal with that?

      1. Search honeybadger on Youtube. There is this hysterical video where a flaming gay man voices over scenes from a BBC documentary on a creature in India called a honey badger. This creature is the nastiest most bad ass thing in nature. It literally eats king cobras for lunch. It does all of these things while the narrator says things like “honey badger don’t give a shit”. You have to see it to get it. But it is hysterical.

          1. For once I am glad I am blocked from youtube. I can’t even imagine the horrors that must follow that link.

    2. American politics is a zero-sum game by design (first past the post, winner-take-all elections), and everybody in it wants “control” of “everything.” Dems want 100% victory. GOP wants 100% victory. Greens want 100% victory. That is how the system works by design.

      Ryan and “the Leftists” he is working with both hope that compromise now will benefit their own side more than the other side in the long run. So don’t hate the players; just hate the game.

      1. The problem is that leftist never give an inch. They only negotiate on how far they will go. Here Ryan is negotiating with leftists getting them to agree to “okay we will only take half of your shit” thinking that will be it and will satiate them. That is where he is naive. It will never end with them until they have everything they want. And every deal they make will only involve them getting more and never involve them giving up anything other than some of the “more” they are demanding.

        yeah, they really are that vile. And that is one of the biggest reasons we are where we are.

        1. Along the bell-curve of political positions, there are small but determined minorities, Left and Right, who will “never be satisfied,” as you put it, until they have an intolerable amount of power and control.

          In the fat middle are the large majority of people, who would be satisfied with much more modest political arrangements involving much less absolute control.

          1. But that middle don’t care enough to be involved. And the far left own the culture. So they are able to cow and bully people into their positions and an ever expanding government.

            1. Yep, it’s only the far-left that’s the problem. Why, we actually are for small government,but we’re all so stupid, we just get suckered into helping them over and over again! Poor old GOP and all it’s noble idealists, getting taken advantage of by leftists. We contribute nothing to the problem, because we don’t love Big Government, only leftists do!

  4. People like Wyden are just stupid and naive. Wyden really thinks that if he works with the right that he can win them over to his side. Right leaning Real Americans are like the honey badger. They take what they want and they don’t give a shit. They don’t care that Wyden worked with them. Their ultimate goal is complete control of everything. And every compromise with them is just a step closer to that goal.

    1. Yeah. That makes sense. Everyone who wants a free market and freedom just want to control everything.

      Freedom is slavery.

      1. What you call “free” is every bit as controlled and ordered by the threat of force as any other system. You draw lines of legalized murder around every tree stump and pond and call it “property.” No one forsakes violence; it is in our nature irreducibly. The violence you favor you call “self-defense” or some such thing, ipse dixit, is all.

        1. Oh Jesus Tap Dancing Christ. Stop it White Indian.

          1. “White Indian” has become the equivalent of the Guy Fawkes mask around here; anybody can don it to give grief to the orthodox.

            1. Sure they can. But when it is obviously the same griefer troll putting out the same tired points, that fact will pointed out and the troll ignored.

              1. “White Indian” posts come from somebody other than “There is no ‘we,'” and differ substantively, as well.

                White Indian would say that Indian tribal ways are the ‘natural’ and ‘just’ and ‘non-coercive’ default, much as you would say for your own favored system.

                I say there is no such “non-aggression” default. All social states, from the most primitive to the most advanced, involve competition for, and allocation of, resources, with violence as one essential mechanism. The “correct” balance is a political question.

  5. Uh congressional actions aren’t permanent. Future congresses have the power to change/overturn them. I know that doesn’t happen much in practice but fuck this “embeds for all time shit.”

    1. Stop stating facts, Apatheist. It is most unwelcome in this forum.

      1. I think you missed the point, which is no surprise. That quote is from Wyden himself. He arrogantly believes that what and him his enlightened buddies in congress come out with now is good for Americans for all time. Of course it is fucking difficult to get rid of entitlements so maybe their arrogance is warranted. Either Ryan is too retarded to figure it out, doesn’t give a shit because he thinks it makes his TEAM look good or understands and intends that consequence.

        1. But the orthodoxy around here is that every government program is, by some magical principle of political science, irreversible. If Social Security and Medicare survive politically, it is because of some sinister operation of “special interest politics” not a legitimate display of democracy in action.

          1. I can’t speak for others but I understand that everything is reversible even within our political system. I also think something can be special interest politics and a display of democracy in action. There are large numbers of voters who benefit from SS and MC and they are a special interest. I also think that our system was designed so that “democracy in action” was not “legitimate” just because a majority says so (the consitution is supposed to limit what government does, no mater what the say).

            This is why I don’t see democracy as legitimate because it is just the tyranny of the majority. The fact that it happens anyways is why I think our political system and the constitution are fatally flawed.

            ” But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain ? that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”
            -Lysander Motherfuckin Spooner

            1. Man, that is a GREAT quote!

              Kinda reminds me of my favorite quotable from No Country for Old Men —

              Anton Chigurh: “Alright. Let me ask you something. If the rule you followed brought you to this, of what use was the rule?”

          2. the orthodoxy around here is that every government program is, by some magical principle of political science, irreversible.

            That orthodoxy is based on a functioning economy from which the gov’t can sap enough revenue from.

            I’d be inclined to stick to that orthodoxy if the alternative is complete economic collapse.

            1. lemme put that another way.

              that attitude only looks like orthodoxy because the funding situation has been favorable for so long.

  6. So what happens when the Medicare “trust fund” runs out of cash?

    Do doctors just suddenly stop getting paid? Cause that would be awesome.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.