Don't Call it A Voucher Plan!

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 11 2011 2:22 PM

Don't Call it A Voucher Plan!

Yesterday, I asked Sen. Pat Toomey why his balanced budget plan didn't enact the Medicare reforms that are central to Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity." I quickly said that the Ryan plan "voucherized" Medicare; Toomey quibbled with that.

"I wouldn't describe it as voucherizing," said Toomey. "It's more of a support model."

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

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Apropos of that, earlier today some Republican members of the House criticized Democrats for resurrecting "MediScare" -- the horrifying campaign tactic of claiming that Republicans, by voting for the Path, want to end Medicare. Quoth Rep. James Lankford, an Oklahoman who's not in much electoral danger:

All the statements being put out there about vouchers – the Democrats know full well this is not vouchers. ... It is very different than that. They know very well these are issues that we’re trying to resolve in the Budget Committee and that it’s not some radical and extreme proposal,

This is what the Path for Prosperity says. "This is not a voucher program," it says on page 46, "but rather a premium-support model. A Medicare premium-support payment would be paid, by Medicare, to the plan chosen by the beneficiary, subsidizing its cost."

So who does think it's a voucher plan? Aha:

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics