The Fiscal Times (click for full article)
Before we get to Ryan’s new ideas, we should recall his old plans for budgetary reform. When Ryan first became chair of the House Budget Committee in 2011, he brought a rafter full of proposals for reforming entitlement programs, the biggest driver of annual budget deficits and national debt, both now and especially in the future.
His first budget overhauled the approach to Medicare and Medicaid, relying on market-based cost containment systems to create a fixed-contribution system. He assumed that private insurers would stabilize costs, which opponents almost instantly derided as “vouchers” – even though it used the same kind of exchange system for seniors that Barack Obama and Democrats had imposed for everyone else in the Affordable Care Act the previous year. Democrats created TV ads showing a Ryan look-alike pushing a wheelchair with an elderly woman in it over a cliff, in one of the least subtle attack ads of recent memory.