June 6, 2011, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today issued the following statement in support of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's proposal to reform Medicare:
"The House Republican plan to phase out the current Medicare program, whereby those 55 years and older would stay in the current system, but those younger would be given more options to buy insurance policies across state lines will extend the solvency of the program. If nothing is done, the Trustees are reporting that the Medicare trust fund will be exhausted in 2024. At that point, benefits will automatically be cut 10 percent, increasing to 25 percent reductions by 2045, say the Trustees. So, it's certainly better than the alternative.
"The reality will probably be much worse than that, since those projections are based on the premise of a robust economic recovery that still has not happened. Every year the economy continues to flounder, and revenues fail to recover to the Treasury, the life of Medicare is lessened. House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan deserves credit for putting a proposal on the table that seeks to foster the program's long-term solvency before it is too late and we simply run out of money to pay for it.
"It is irresponsible to demagogue potential solutions to the Medicare insolvency crisis when all of the alternatives discussed lead invariably to its insolvency. The House Republican budget, if it is to be criticized, can be said to not do enough to restore order to the nation's fiscal house. But its proposals on Medicare are a good enough starting point. The alternative of doing nothing and kicking the can is no longer an option.
"The Obama Administration claimed that it 'saved' Medicare when it adopted ObamaCare. But as the Trustees report notes, the program is still on an unsustainable trajectory. Moreover, all ObamaCare does is take $57 billion a year in Medicare revenues and use it to expand government-run health care to more than 30 million non-seniors. In other words, all it did was to exacerbate the situation by attempting to provide similar services to millions of more people.
"The only alternative on the table at the moment besides doing nothing that Democrats appear interested in is raising taxes to pay for a program that even then will still not be sustained. That's not a good investment in the future when reforms can be made today that will make tax increases unnecessary. Moreover, raising taxes into the teeth of this current recession will harm growth, destroy jobs, and worsen the nation's fiscal picture by slowing the date of recovery."