Tonight in Washington Representative Paul Ryan will receive Politico’s “Health Care Policymaker of the Year” award. Washington Monthly blogger Steve Benen deftly summarizes the many reasons why Ryan is so undeserving of said award.
It’s been several months since the political world debated Paul Ryan’s approach to health care in detail, so perhaps Politico has forgotten some of the more important realizations from the debate. Let’s remind the publication of the relevant details.
First, Ryan’s health care agenda repealed the entirety of the Affordable Care Act—in the process, taking coverage away from millions of Americans—and replaced it with nothing. What’s more, by scrapping the ACA altogether, Ryan would add billions to the deficit, and his plan simply asserted the opposite without evidence.
Second, Ryan’s plan claimed to control health care costs. A closer look reveals that Ryan’s claims were wrong. Indeed, Ryan pushed to shift Medicare cost burdens from the government to families, and apply the savings to more tax cuts.
Third, accusations that the Ryan plan would “end Medicare” were accurate. The right-wing lawmaker intended to scrap the existing program, replacing it with a privatized voucher scheme—and the vouchers wouldn’t cover escalating costs.
Fourth, though it often went overlooked, Ryan’s proposed changes to Medicaid were a tragic mess.
And perhaps best of all, independent scrutiny found that the numbers in Paul Ryan’s plan simply didn’t add up.
To know all of this, and give this guy an award “Health Care Policymaker of the Year” anyway, is madness.
Blogger Digby jokes that “To honor [Ryan] for his work on healthcare policy is akin to honoring Governor Scott Walker as Public Employee of the year.” The Politico award is reminiscent of a similarly ridiculous “fiscal responsibility” honor bestowed upon Ryan earlier this year by three leading deficit hawk groups, which I described in my recent Nation piece on the austerity class.