Regarding Andis Robeznieks’ interview with Paul Ryan (“Ryan: Plan is bipartisan”), we have applauded Paul Ryan in his efforts to sensibly reform healthcare in the U.S. in the past, and we agree that a market-based formula will be the best way to go forward. In a political climate of flying rhetoric and accusations, it’s noteworthy when calm and reason prevail. When self-interest is rampant, often cloaked in holier-than-thou proclamations, simplicity and compelling logic offer a welcome respite.
The Wyden-Ryan plan, “Guaranteed Choices to Strengthen Medicare and Health Security for All,” was remarkable in a number of ways. Its executive summary was three pages in length. The proposal was nine pages. The document was clear, to the point, compelling, logical and insightful. It was readable and devoid of jargon and policy-speak, accessible to “every man” and challenged partisan attacks and assumptions. It’s a sad commentary on the national debate surrounding the topic of healthcare (no, a debate is far more reasoned, fact-based and thoughtful on the issues) that these positive characterizations are so special, in part, because what’s represented by the document is so rare.
Last year’s proposal represented a serious effort at presenting a framework for reasoned discourse to solve a very old problem. The Wyden-Ryan plan has more potential impact in its 12 pages than Obama care had in its 2,700, precisely because it did not attempt to prescribe, but instead enabled market forces to reshape the current system. By taking a market-based approach to reforming healthcare, we can begin to address the fundamental issues facing the sector today and embed the kind of accountability that’s needed to drive better healthcare at lower costs.
Will Paul Ryan take readers’ comments to heart? One cites the weaknesses in his Medicare reform plan; another applauds it.