Could we please stop entertaining this myth that Paul Ryan is some kind of “genius” policy wonk. Ryan has spent years cultivating a smokescreen that he is an All-American boy who has dedicated his life in service to the American people. Bullshit. Nothing could be further from the truth. He has spent his Ayn Randian driven career attempting to undo “the welfare state,” as he sees it, and trying to carry out that age-old Republican agenda of bigger and bigger tax cuts for the rich. As noted in vice.com, Ryan has a slavish “adherence to free market dogma” and believes Federal programs like Medicare should be privatized, if kept at all. The high school prom king/class president has used his hangdog, sad eyed “sincerity” to “convince people there’s intellectual gravitas behind his words.” (vice.com) Nothing could be further from the truth! An unexceptional student throughout high school and college (Miami of Ohio, no honors) he latched on to his local Senator (Bob Kasten) and New York representative Jack Kemp early on to build a career as a dogmatic “conservative”. As Paul Krugman notes, “Paul Ryan is not, in fact, a policy entrepreneur. He’s just a self-promoter. (He is) someone who has successfully convinced a credulous media of a character he plays: ‘Paul Ryan, Serious, Honest Conservative Policy Wonk . . . he’s a con artist who started to believe his own con . . . (with) malevolence tempered by incompetence.”
What significant legislation has Paul Ryan ever passed? Certainly not this AHCA debacle (more on that in a minute) --- where he had to wheedle the minimum number of votes! He did, of course, year after year, parade out one after another ludicrous budget proposal, replete with PowerPoint presentations and pointer to show just how many economic angels could dance on the head of his supply side, tax cuts for the wealthy pin. His latest “brilliant” presentation, of course, was his pie chart that showed, shockingly:
“The conceit of Obamacare,” he said at his press conference on Trumpcare, is that “young and healthy people are going to go into the market and pay for the older, sicker people.” That’s why Obamacare is in a “death spiral,” he noted. (Huff Post, April 24)
This illustrates one simple, basic fact: Paul Ryan hasn’t got a clue as to how INSURANCE works! Again, as noted in the April 24th Huffington Post:
Ryan “thinks” there aren’t currently enough healthy individuals buying insurance to make ACA work, though no figures on that were provided — or evidence that the Affordable Care Act isn’t working. Also, the Republicans’ bill would not make insurance mandatory, which would likely decrease the numbers of healthy people paying into the system, which would almost certainly drive up premiums.
So, pushing through a bill before even getting a CBO score is a “victory?”
May 4th’s Time Magazine online ran a short article about “Five Quotes” that will haunt Paul Ryan --- all things he said about the passage of Obamacare back in 2010. I’ll let you be the judge as to whether the man is a hypocrite, has no consistent values, or, giving him the most slack is simply a “politician” and party hack to the nth degree.
1. "Will Speaker Pelosi Wait for the 'Final Number' from the CBO?" — House GOP Twitter Handle, March 18, 2010
2. "I don't think we should pass bills that we haven't read that we don't know what they cost." — Paul Ryan, July 29, 2009
3. "Congress is moving fast to rush through a health care overhaul that lacks a key ingredient: the full participation of you, the American people." — Paul Ryan, July 18, 2009
4. "We shouldn't rush this thing through just to rush it through for some artificial deadline. Lets get this thing done right." — Paul Ryan, July 2009
5. "Congress and the White House have focused their public efforts on platitudes and press conferences, while the substance and the details have remained behind closed doors." — Paul Ryan, July 2009
Getting the “repeal and replace” Obamacare “bill” cranked out during Trump’s first hundred days became far more a priority for the good Catholic boy from Janesville, Wisconsin than actually considering the effects this bill will have on those Americans who are most in need of health insurance. Paul Ryan does NOT care.
From what we do know of this bill it is going to hurt those most vulnerable. As Andrew Rafferty in NBC News online (May 4th) summed it up:
1. It slashes coverage and cuts Medicare
At least 24 million Americans could lose health care coverage by 2026 under the new plan, according to a Congressional Budget Office score of the doomed GOP bill introduced in March. The version passed Thursday was not scored.
Fourteen million people will also drop off Medicaid due to major cuts, according to the CBO analysis.
2. Pre-Existing/High Risk Pools
The new bill allows states to seek a waiver that would allow them to skirt an Obamacare requirement that mandates insurers charge those with pre-existing conditions the same as healthy people for coverage. That could lead to high-risk pools to provide coverage to those who otherwise won't be able to afford it.
3. Increased Premiums
Premiums may decrease for healthy individuals while skyrocketing for those with pre-existing conditions and senior citizens. The AARP, a senior citizen advocacy group, says a typical 55-year-old earning $25,000 could see payment increases north of $2,300 per year. That number gets even higher for older Americans. The previous CBO score found that a 64-year-old making $26,500 per year would see premiums spike up by $12,900 on average.
So that’s what the “Boy Wonder” of the Republican Party has cobbled together and passed on to the United States Senate, tossing aside any notion that he is a “Serious, Honest Conservative Policy Wonk.” He is a con man, like his boss, and he’s willing to stoop to any level to try to erase the legacy of that first black President who so frightened him and the Republican Party simply by having the “audacity of hope.” The face of America is changing and it is not morphing into Paul Ryan’s visage. The future face is more feminine, darker hued, and tolerant of others than the right hand man of his fellow snake oil salesman in the White House.