Last Wednesday’s Citizen headlined this blog that criticized House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis) plan for Medicare reform. The story was based on a report that—according to the story, at least—was from the “U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.” The report gave a scathing review of Rep. Ryan’s plan to fix Medicare.
Damning stuff! A joint Congressional committee took Rep. Ryan’s plan to task! Congressmen AND Senators, from BOTH parties! At a time when Rep. Ryan’s plan is drawing national attention, to include tons of criticism. Wow! BAD news for the GOP…
…IF that’s what really happened.
By reading the story, it sure sounds that way:
According to the report by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee…
Analysis of the Ryan plan compared to traditional Medicare was carried out by the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee
Excerpts from the committee report
Just one problem: it WASN’T a committee report. The report was prepared by the staff of the committee chairman, Senator Robert Casey of PA. DEMOCRATIC Senator Robert Casey.
This wasn’t a bipartisan product. It was a partisan, one-sided product.
In Senator Casey’s defense, every page of his report is clearly labled as a product of HIS staff—not the committee as a whole. I don’t see how you can’t miss it.
It’s obvious that Senator Casey isn’t trying to mislead anybody…
I asked the Republican vice-chair of the committee, Representative Kevin Brady of Texas, to respond. His press secretary confirmed that this report was a partisan product. She enclosed Rep. Brady’s response to the report.:
“This partisan report is wishful thinking. It ignores the next decade of cuts under current law to doctors, hospitals and other providers who treat Medicare patients and the growing insolvency of Medicare itself. Seniors face a future shortage of doctors and services under today’s Medicare. Republican reforms offer better choices and services tailored to what the patient needs rather than leave them to the whim of rationed, managed care.”
Now, there’s nothing wrong with partisan reports. Democrats and Republicans have vastly different ideas on how to fix Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and a host of other problems. Ultimately the voters will decide.
I suspect that, if the voters see one side of an argument misrepresenting its evidence, the voters will decide that THAT side of the argument must have some serious weaknesses.