In a lot of the discussions of Paul Ryan's proposed Medicare reform--whether by Newt Gingrich, Democrats, or the media--the Wisconsin congressman's plan is often compared to the Medicare status quo. Of course, everyone agrees that Medicare is on an unsustainable course. This chart from the Bipartisan Policy Center is a good reminder that the choice is not whether to change Medicare, but how:
As you can see, Obama's plan will cut Medicare with IPAB--a board of 15 "experts." And the Rivlin-Domenici plan moves everyone on Medicare to a premium support system in 2018, but seniors would have the choice of putting their "premium support" or subsidy toward the traditional Medicare fee-for-service system. Ryan's plan is the only one that keeps Medicare as it is for those on it or 10 years away from retiring.
Without endorsing Rivlin-Domenici outright, both Newt Gingrich and Tim Pawlenty have endorsed the plan's "public option." Ryan calls that a "fine idea worth considering," and he's also open to arguments that the growth rate of Medicare should be higher. But no one besides Ryan has produced a serious plan that doesn't affect current seniors or those 10 years away from retirement. So where are the stories asking whether Obama has put the elderly vote in play?