Paul Krugman is
shrill caustic to “Ron Wyden, Useful Idiot“:
… Sen. Ron Wyden did indeed do a bad, bad thing in his joint proposal with Paul Ryan. Ezra Klein explains why; and the devil isn’t in the details.
What Wyden did was to give cover to the fundamental fallacy of right-wing attempts to dismantle Medicare: the claim that market competition is the key to reducing health care costs. We have overwhelming evidence on this — and it just isn’t true…
Oh, and if someone starts talking about how the Affordable Care Act relies on private insurers, give me a break; the reason the ACA works the way it does is the raw power of the insurance industry, which forced advocates of universal coverage to settle for an inferior system. I still think that deal was worth doing, but there’s no reason to take Medicare, which does it right — or at least closer to right — and degrade it into a worse system.
So why would anyone who isn’t a right-wing ideologue propose that kind of degradation? Inquiring minds want to know.
Dave Weigel at Slate suggests a possible reason, in “Ron Wyden Will Have His Revenge“:
… So what explains the Democrat from Utopia deciding to get on board with this? Occam’s razor: He believes in it. But another factor has to be the fate of one of Wyden’s great contributions to the Affordable Care Act, his Free Choice Vouchers. In April, when the parties were trading away pieces of the government in order to pass a continuing resolution, the vouchers were killed. No funeral — just gone. Wyden banged on about it at the time, but you can see that his Huffington Post column about the diss has as many reads as a slideshow about cats gets in its first hour. Wyden’s idea was unceremoniously killed. And what do you know — Free Choice Vouchers are part of Wyden-Ryan.