Ryan Budget Plan Will Lead to Rationing in Medicare, Says Cato Expert

By Garance Franke-Ruta

From this morning's Politico Pulse, my personal favorite of the many topic-specific email newsletters the paper sends out early each day in addition to Playbook, comes this discussion:

RYAN PLAN = SELF-RATIONING?-The Ryan plan to privatize Medicare will control costs by requiring seniors to ration themselves, said Michael Tanner with the Cato Institute. "Rationing is going to go on within the Medicare system. It's a fact of life" given financial constraints, he said. "The question's going to be, is that decision going to be made by government and imposed top down under the current system? Ryan wants to shift that responsibility to individuals and from the bottom up."

--Ways and Means ranking member Pete Stark, 79, responded, "When he gets to be where I am, which is touching 80, those extra few months are precious." He continued, "We shouldn't be running around saying we're not going to extend your life a day a week or a month. ... We don't do those death squads or whatever the Republicans call them. I don't think the government should direct somebody to pull the plug."

No link since if you're not a Politico Pro subscriber you can't read the fully story. But I'm pretty sure talk of self-rationing won't be helping Ryan sell his plan any time soon; self-rationing is also know in layman's terms as not being able to afford care.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/04/ryan-budget-plan-will-lead-to-rationing-in-medicare-says-cato-expert/236959/