BY JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
In the single most important test of his leadership prior to November 6, Mitt Romney chose the ideal running mate in Paul Ryan, who will now help Romney in a myriad of ways. Some on the left, however, appear giddy at the thought of running against Ryan’s proposed Medicare reforms, which would keep Medicare — and the nation — solvent by giving future (not current) seniors more freedom, more choice, and more opportunity to pursue value. Such liberals seem unaware that, in demagoguing Ryan’s exceptionally well-conceived plan, Obama will open himself up to two powerful counterpunches — both involving Obamacare.
The first is this: While Obama has shown appallingly little seriousness in dealing with our runaway deficit spending or the runaway entitlement spending that drives it, he does have his own plan to reduce Medicare costs. It relies upon the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a creation of Obamacare.
The IPAB is a board of 15 unelected and largely unaccountable bureaucrats who would be empowered to cut payments to Medicare providers. In Ryan’s own words, “Obamacare … puts a new rationing board in charge of Medicare next year to start price-controlling Medicare to deny access to current seniors.” (Amazingly, Obamacare says that Congress wouldn’t even be allowed to overrule the IPAB’s decisions with a majority vote, thereby also making the IPAB quite constitutionally dubious.)