Gingrich Spokesman: 'There Is Little Daylight Between Ryan and Gingrich' on Medicare Reform
12:15 AM, May 16, 2011 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
I pointed out that Paul Ryan doesn't see much difference between his plan and what Gingrich was calling for on April 20, and Gingrich's spokesman agreed. "There is little daylight between Ryan and Gingrich," he wrote. "But look how it gets reported. Newt would fully support Ryan if it were not compulsory. We need to design a better system that people will voluntarily move to. That is a major difference in design but not substance."
But if there's "little daylight" between the two, why did Gingrich call Ryan's plan "radical" and "social engineering"?
"Radical means that politically you can't get to what Ryan wants from where we are," wrote Tyler. "It will be demagogued to death. Right wing social engineer refers simply to compelling people to participate without giving them a choice. That is a political mistake."
While Tyler made clear that Gingrich wasn't endorsing the Rivlin-Domenici plan in total, there are some ways in which Rivlin-Domenici amounts to a more radical change than Ryan's proposal. For example, Ryan's plan doesn't touch the current Medicare fee-for-service system for those now retired or 10 years away from retirement. Under Rivlin-Domenici, both current and incoming beneficiaries must start participating in a premium-support system in six years.
As Yuval Levin has written in THE WEEKLY STANDARD, the most radical aspect of Ryan's plan is its gradualism.