New York Has Clarity on the Ryan Budget

A quick thank you to Dan Amira of New York magazine’s Daily Intel blog, who has published just the dummies guide to Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that we asked for early in the week—okay, Amira called it “the Absolute Moron’s Guide.” The piece is written as a Q&A with a savvy but clueless questioner and a befuddled but informative responder. Here’s how Amira lays out Ryan’s proposed changes to Medicare for us absolute Morons:

I heard that Ryan’s plan wants to do away with medicine. Is he a Scientologist?

What? No, first of all, you mean Christian Scientist, and anyway, it’s Medicare, not medicine. Medicare is a government-run health-insurance program mostly for the elderly (65 and older), and also the disabled.

So how does Ryan want to change this “Medicare”?

Under Ryan’s proposal, starting in 2022, the government would no longer insure your medical care, but instead provide you with a subsidy to help you pay for insurance from a private carrier. In essence, instead of saying, “Here is some health-care insurance, elderly people,” Medicare would be saying, “Here is some money, elderly people, use it to buy health insurance.”

And so it goes on. The questioner soon asks if the switch to block grants in Medicaid means the money is stacked “in a more efficient rectangular shape…”

Looking forward to seeing what Amira does with the debt ceiling.

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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor. Tags: , , , ,