Thursday, May 05, 2011

Fun Wonkery!

Watch Paul Ryan get tangled in his own shoelaces (metaphorically speaking) in this Racine Townhall meeting:

Ryan has previously opposed the individual mandate, but in fact his Mediscare proposal would have one because you have to pay the taxes for the later vouchers, whether you wish to do so or not! As the wonks at Think Progress tell us:
All this tells us is that the mandate isn’t some horribly coercive policy aimed at usurping individual freedoms. Rather, it is a mechanism by which government attempts to encourage more individuals to purchase coverage and expand the size of the health care risk pool, thus spreading the costs and risks of insurance across a larger population (and bringing down health care costs). It’s simply asking able individuals to take personal responsibility for their health care expenses and it’s something Republicans have supported in the past and (apparently) still favor.
Perhaps consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, but inconsistency isn't necessarily some wonderful thing, either. And Ryan is inconsistent here, mostly because the vouchers in Medicare are intended as a preliminary step in its total eradication. The final dream is for all of us to work hard, win the game, and then go out there to study the details of all complicated health insurance policies offered in asymmetric markets with incomplete information and to easily pick the most suitable of them. Piece of cake.