Friday, May 6, 2011

Running Away from Ryan’s Plan

The Republicans are figuring out that the Ryan Medicare plan is toxic.

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said Thursday he has no interest in bringing up House Republicans’ proposal to replace Medicare with subsidies for private insurance if it’s not going to pass the Senate.

“I’m not really interested in laying down more markers,” said Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.). “I’d rather have the committee working with the Senate and with the president to focus on savings and reforms that can be signed into law.”

Translation: they don’t want to get tagged with being the people who tried to kill off one of the most popular programs the government has come up with in the last fifty years.

There’s one small problem: every Republican in the House of Representatives voted for it. Not only do the Democrats know that, they’re already running ads about it. And it’s also showing up in the polls. In New York, for instance, there’s a special election coming up on May 24. It’s in a strongly Republican district, but thanks to the Ryan budget proposal, the Democrat has a real shot at winning.

Mr. Camp also admitted that another one of the Republicans’ signature plans — to repeal the healthcare bill that was passed last year — is dead. It’s not like they actually had a chance at repeal, but that’s what they were all shouting about, so it’s funny to see them slink away from it like they never even brought it up.

The Republicans always talk about “shaking things up” when they run for office. Ironically, the only ones so far to be all shook up are the Republicans.