The Blog

Rubio Reaffirms His Support of Ryan's Medicare Plan

10:30 AM, May 26, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Keeping hopes for Ryan-Rubio 2012 alive, in an op-ed for the Miami Herald  Sen. Marco Rubio, D-Fla., comes out swinging today in favor of Medicare reform:

America needs Medicare. We need it to continue without any benefit reductions for those like my mother currently in the system. And we need it to survive for my generation and my children’s generation.

But Medicare is going bankrupt. Anyone who says it is not is simply lying. And anyone who is in favor of doing nothing to deal with this fact is in favor of bankrupting it. Medicare will go broke in as little as nine years. No one likes this news, but it is the undeniable truth. And the sooner we begin to deal with it, the better off we are all going to be.

My goals are simple. First, I will not support any plan that changes Medicare for people like my mother who are currently on the plan. We cannot ask seniors to go out and get a job to pay for their healthcare.

Second, any solution must solve the problem. We need to save Medicare, not simply delay its bankruptcy.

And third, any solution cannot hurt economic growth. At a time of high unemployment, Americans cannot afford to pay more taxes.

I will support any serious plan that accomplishes these three things. It does not matter to me if it comes from a Democrat or a Republican. Saving Medicare is more important than partisan politics.

Rep. Paul Ryan has offered a plan that would make no changes whatsoever for anyone age 55 and older. I support it because, right now, it is the only plan out there that helps save Medicare. Democrats oppose it. Fine. But, if they have a better way to save Medicare, what are they waiting for to show us? What is their plan to save Medicare?

That's right. Rubio is still defending Paul Ryan's plan as the senator from Florida. That takes some guts.

I do have one bone to pick, though. Democrats do have a plan for Medicare savings and it was passed into law as part of Obamacare. It's called the Indpendent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and it involves 15 unelected federal buraucrats setting the Medicare budget. IPAB's budget automatically becomes law with no congressional input and there's no way to legally or administratively challenge the board's decisions. This Medicare "solution" might well be unconstitutional because it redelegates a traditionally congressional responsibility to the Executive Branch. (For more on the problems of IPAB see my piece from the May 9 issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.)

The sooner Republicans make the American people realize that Ryan's plan is an alternative to rationing by unelected bureaucrats, the more the Democrats "Mediscare" tactics are likely to be ignored.

Recent Blog Posts

The Weekly Standard Archives

Browse 15 Years of the Weekly Standard

Old covers