Monday, September 17, 2012

Placeholder: Rattner suffers Ryan version confusion

I have a letter pending at the Times -- always a low-odds proposition -- that flags an error in Steven Rattner's op-ed calling for tighter Medicare controls. Rattner criticizes both the ACA and Ryan's most recent Medicare reform plan for inadequate cost control, but he does credit both for including some cost control mechanisms.  In crediting the way the annual cap in federal outlays included in the Ryan plan is supposed to work, however, he quotes a clause from the Dec. 2011 Wyden-Ryan white paper, to the effect that should the cap be breached: "Congress would be required to intervene." Nah...that's missing from Ryan's own plan -- the one embodied in his 2013 budget and passed by the House, which relies exclusively on the Competition Fairy to keep spending below the cap. And what Ryan's plan lacks in policy detail it makes up in excoriating "bureaucrat control" of healthcare costs, which includes curbs imposed by Congress on growth in payments to providers and insurers. Moreover, a few weeks ago Romney ditched the Ryan's plan's spending cap altogether.   

I'll either link to the Times letter if it's published or elaborate here...the Times requires haiku compression.

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