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BREAKING! Paul Ryan Proposes Greatest Threat To Freedom In Known Human History!

[ 23 ] August 12, 2012 |

This is indeed a good point — based on the ad hoc constitutional arguments made by most Republicans, Paul Ryan is proposing to completely destroy American freedom by replacing Medicare with a mandate to purchase insurance. I expect him to force Americans to eat fried cheese curds next!

Of course, Republicans will just go back to the correct position that there’s nothing unconstitutional about mandates — just as they did when Social Security privatization was being proposed. Ryan’s plan is just an excellent illustration of how unserious the argument always was.

…Simon Lazurus also made this point.

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Comments (23)

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  1. Rarely Posts says:

    No, no, no, . . . the healthcare mandate was passed by Democrats. The medicare vouchers would be passed by Republicans. Ergo, constitutional.

    In all seriousness, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Republicans passed a voucher scheme (with its ten-year delayed start point) to begin the destruction of medicare, and if they then sought to have the voucher program ruled unconstitutional once it kicked in. Their goal is to destroy medicare without having to take political ownership for doing it.

  2. ploeg says:

    The provision of vouchers does not mean a mandate to purchase insurance. You might as well argue that I’m obligated to buy every damn thing for which Groupon sends me a coupon. You can decline to use the voucher (and for what the vouchers will be worth before long, many seniors will be forced to do so).

    • Scott Lemieux says:

      Does the Ryan plan permit people not to be insured? That wasn’t my understanding.

      • ploeg says:

        If you’re talking about Medicare vouchers, then yes, you don’t have to use the voucher, just as you don’t have to accept Medicare coverage today. However, accepting Medicare coverage today is a no-brainer. Accepting a Medicare voucher and having to make up the difference in premiums (with all the strings attached) might be a hard choice to make for some seniors, and the choice will become harder over time. Now, if we’re talking about Medicare payroll taxes, that part will still be compulsory, just as you must pay for Paul Ryan’s medical insurance or veterans medical care or any other federal expense. It would seem within the realm of possibility, however, that the pressure to reduce or eliminate Medicare payroll taxes would increase over time as people realize how little they can expect to get from Medicare when they retire.

        And then the Lazarus article additionally talks about the other Ryan plan to replace the current insurance premium exclusion with a flat payroll tax credit, which Lazarus correctly notes is functionally equivalent to the ACA provision to assess a tax penalty if you do not get health insurance. The main difference between the two would seem to be semantic (Ryan gives a “tax credit,” whereas the ACA imposes a “tax penalty”), but the end result is the same. One also notes with amusement that Republicans seem to be much more comfortable justifying such policies with the power to tax rather than the commerce clause, even though the power to tax would seem at first glance to place fewer limits on congressional power than the commerce clause would.

  3. thebewilderness says:

    Most poor people will not sign up for Medicare if it means having $100 a month deducted to pay for a discount coupon that they can’t buy insurance with because they don’t get enough on SS to have anything to put with the discount coupon to buy the insurance.
    I don’t think the doctors, hospitals, and the drug companies, are going to like Ryan strangling their cash cow.

  4. dan says:

    Isn’t Ryan also advocating coercing the states into covering the gap in coverage created by the declining valuing of the vouchers in comparison to the coverage previously received?

  5. wengler says:

    Remember kids, this is a substantial man full of substance.

    They never said what kind of substance.

  6. Bart says:

    Will Ryan vouchers have a cash value; you know, for drugs and stuff?

  7. Room says:

    I’m sure Ryan will be able to reach across the aisle to impose “fees” on the middle class.

  8. JP Stormcrow says:

    Paul Ryan’s political courage cannot fail, it can only be failed.

  9. Everybody go and donate to Ryan’s congressional opponent right now, please.

    With a little luck, we can keep the BrylCreem Twins out of the White House, and since he will have to blow off his local race, also replace him at the congressional level.

  10. squeaky says:

    fresh cheese curds are fucking awesome
    Paul Ryan blows

  11. 4jkb4ia says:

    One should note that the very day after Akin got the nomination, Think Progress dug up his saying to a Tea Party group that he was dubious that the federal government should be in health care at all. I suppose if Romney is saddled with Romneycare that sort of position in the VP candidate is too much cognitive dissonance.

    (I am looking forward to additional good times with Akin being the designated lunatic in the national media. Gail Collins has noticed already.)

    Modification of Epic Rant:
    Bybee did say, in response to a direct question, that he regretted the notoriety that his government service had put on himself and his family and that part of the memo should have been more fulsome. Not that this would cause anyone here to shed one tear for Jay Bybee.

  12. Flounder says:

    At the same time they were whining about mandates, they were demanding federally mandated tort reform in state-run courts and they were trying to mandate that the insurance commissioner of Mississippi become the national commissioner.

    • Usually just lurk says:

      It has always been thus. In 1980 Saint Reagan said he was against the national 55 mph speed limit (that arch communist Gerald Ford had created) on the grounds that he was against having the Feds coerce states into passing state laws by withholding highway funds.

      In 1986 Saint Ronnie raised the national drinking age to 21 by threatening to withhold highway funds to states if they didn’t pass that law.

      Conservatives have no principles. Never have. Never will. The ends always justify the means.

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