Jonathan Chait

Republicans Admit Their Health Care Complaint Was Bogus

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Well, they don't admit it, they just concede it in substance.

During the health care debate. Republicans fiercely decried cuts to Medicare, and also insisted they were unsustainable and shouldn't count as savings because Congress would never allow them to stick. Now Paul Ryan's "Pathway to Prosperity" includes those very cuts Ryan once insisted amounted to funny numbers.

Ryan's response? Here's the quote given to the Wall Street Journal:

A spokesman for the House Budget Committee said that the Ryan plan allocates $10 billion to preserve the Medicare Advantage program for seniors. The health care law cut $136 billion over 10 years from that program, which allows seniors to enroll in private managed-care plans. The spokesman also noted that under the Ryan plan the Medicare spending cuts would go toward deficit reduction, rather than creation of a new spending program, as the Democratic health law creates

Ha. Now we're getting closer to their real belief. They don't think those Medicare cuts are so unsustainable, after all. They just don't like the idea of cutting parts of Medicare in order to cover the uninsured. They'd rather use the money to reduce the deficit or cut taxes. 

That's a perfectly fair preference. But it sure exposes the fervent complaints by Ryan and other Republicans about the "phony" cuts.

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