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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Monday, May 09, 2011

WaPo fact checker: No, seniors won’t die faster under Ryan plan

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - The problem with the debate over the competing visions for health-care reform, Glenn Kessler writes at the Washington Post, is that Paul Ryan’s plan has not yet been cast in legislative language. That allows critics to assume the worst about it, and certainly Ryan’s critics have tried pushing the envelope on dire predictions for the health of seniors under his so-called “voucher” plan. But Kessler slams HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for an especially unsubstantiated charge that seniors would “die sooner” under Ryan’s plan:

Secretary Sebelius made this eye-popping statement Thursday while testifying on Capitol Hill, after Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J) asked her a question about the Medicare plan advanced by House Republicans: “What might that cost shift and lack of guaranteed benefit mean for an oncology patient, a person with cancer? Give me an example, what it might do there.”

Her answer was strong stuff, suggesting that the GOP plan could cause people to “die sooner” if they had cancer and ran out of money. We have been critical of some of the ways Republicans have described the plan, but is this even remotely possible?

There is one thing to keep in mind in the debate over the Ryan plan: all seniors would be guaranteed coverage. Ryan achieves this by adjusting the amount of credit seniors would get in the Medicare exchange system based on their pre-existing conditions, which would allow insurers to operate their risk pools more rationally. The scenario that Sebelius describes, Kessler notes, doesn’t match up to the reality of Ryan’s stated parameters at all. And while Kessler doesn’t note this, people should also keep in mind that the existing Medicare system nor the ObamaCare system doesn’t guarantee full payment of treatments 'now', let alone in the future, as anyone on Medicare could easily attest.


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