Posted on September 19, 2010
Filed Under Economics | Comments Off on Congressman Paul Ryan on MSNBC: “Let’s have an honest debate”
This is a thing of beauty – Republican Congressman Paul Ryan schooling two MSNBC hosts about ObamaCare. It’s not just that they’re ignorant, it’s that they’re proudly ignorant. If you want to skip ahead to minute 03:28, it really gets good when Katrina Vanden Heuvel joins the discussion to demonstrate her complete ignorance.
Katrina Vanden Heuvel: You have good government-plan health care. Why shouldn’t all Americans have what you have?
Congressman Paul Ryan: I have good private-sector healthcare. We do not have a public option. The federal employee plan lists a number of private plans to choose from to select and my employer, the taxpayer, pays for a portion of these private plans. There is no public plan option in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. You are mistaken on that point. My Patients Choice Act that I’ve introduced with Congressman Nunes, Senators Burr and Coburn actually proposes just what youre suggesting: give people the ability, in State-based exchanges, to have a plan just like what we have here in Congress. A private health care plan that’s actuarially equivalent to what we in Congress have. We actually had a vote in the House Ways and Means Committee on an amendment I offered with Congressman Dean Heller which said, “Let’s put members of Congress in this public health care plan so that we can experience the same thing we want to impose on the rest of the country.” You know what? That amendment failed on nearly a party-line vote.
Katrina Vanden Heuvel: Competition is at the heart of America. To deny Americans competition by denying them the option of a public plan seems to me to be un-American.
Congressman Paul Ryan: What’s weird about that line right there, Katrina, is that I know you and others are very much in favor of a single-payer plan, which is obviously to deny competition and have the government run it all. What’s concerning about this debate with me is that you’re using capitalist rhetoric to try and move a plan that is inherently anti-market. The problem is that the facts tell us this: A public plan option quickly becomes a government-run monopoly. The actuaries are telling us is that in a few short years, the public plan option displaces the private sector, employers dump their employees on the public plan and then they have no choices but the public plan. And so, let’s not try to sell a government-run plan using free market rhetoric. Let’s have an honest debate about what this bill is all about.