Okay, so, here we go, the veepstakes are over. Paul Ryan has been chosen. I may have more to say about Ryan in the future, but right now I just want to limit it to two things. First, I think Rubio would have been a far superior pick, and I think Rubio still has a presidential run — and probable presidential victory — in his future.
Second, I’m going to give you the first piece of clarification you’re going to need as the cable news outlets go insane. Ryan’s budget does indeed include a change to Medicare, namely, it gives you the OPTION (this is key here, it’s an OPTION) to receive a voucher from Medicare to use to buy traditional private insurance. This does not mean he’s “ending Medicare as we know it”. You will still have the option to receive the standard Medicare plan. However, if the price of your Medicare policy exceeds the price of private insurance, you will have to pay to make up the difference.
This happened with George W. Bush and the attempted Social Security reform that would have given you the choice — the choice — to invest your Social Security savings in the stock market. You could have let the government continue to handle it — it just gave you more choice. And Bush got absolutely crucified for trying it, with the Dems using the standard, “Republicans hate old people and want to push them over a cliff once they take away all their entitlements” line.
So, next time someone comes up to you and tells you Paul Ryan wants to “end” Medicare, the response is: “No, he doesn’t. He merely wants to add more choice to your Medicare options.” Also, the Ryan plan does not affect anyone under 55 years old; everyone that age or above will not have any choice whatsoever but traditional Medicare (in other words, the current system). And choice is a good thing.