Is Mitt Romney Right to Want to Repeal Obamacare's Medicare Cuts?
Avik Roy and Josh Barro debate the question.
- Last week, I wrote a piece for my Forbes blog, The Apothecary, pointing out that Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion from 2013-2022, hampering Democrats' efforts to demagogue Republican proposals to reform the program.
- My friend and former colleague at the Manhattan Institute, Josh Barro, sees this as a betrayal of fiscal hawkishness. "What Romney and Ryan are up to is simple: They want to have it both ways on Medicare," he wrote at Bloomberg View. "They are for Medicare cuts, because Medicare is expensive and the federal budget needs to be controlled. And they are against Medicare cuts, because Medicare cuts are unpopular. The political impulses behind this strategy are clear. Why any policy experts would try to offer a substantive defense of it is not."
- I responded over at Reihan Salam's blog at National Review, where I explained that not all Medicare cuts are created equal. Budget resolutions that promise to reduce Medicare spending, without actually introducing any structural reforms to the program, haven't worked in the past, and are unlikely to work in the future.
- Josh wasn't buying it. "By saying we don't need any cuts for ten years and can even rescind those contained in PPACA, Romney signals that Medicare's cost crisis isn't so dire. We can even afford to spend $700 billion more on it than the President wants to! This will undermine the case for reform in the future, not bolster it."
- On Thursday, Josh and I debated the subject over Twitter.
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- M LarkentoThis is somewhat like "how many spreadsheet columns can a policy wonk put on the screen of an iphone" - Since politicians don't ever understand the math, the...This is somewhat like "how many spreadsheet columns can a policy wonk put on the screen of an iphone" - Since politicians don't ever understand the math, the reality will be a pincushion.more2012-08-18T21:13:43.777Z