For over a year, the Left and their media minions have dishonestly claimed Congressman Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) proposed budgets would "end Medicare as we know it."
At the end of a discussion about Monday's report from the Medicare trustees predicting the program goes bankrupt in 2024, Special Report host Bret Baier got NPR's Mara Liasson to admit Medicare will end as we know it even if Congress doesn't pass the Ryan plan (video follows with transcript and commentary):
FRED BARNES, WEEKLY STANDARD: What Secretary Geithner said and what Democrats have adopted as their argument on Medicare for instance – they just ignore Social Security – on Medicare is to say, “Well it’ll change Social Security, Medicare as we know it.” Well of course it will. The play is that’s what you have to do. You have to change it.
We have a system now where it incentivizes overuse by doctors with tests and procedures and everything. It guarantees they’re going to spend much more than they need to. And that’s the idea of the premium support plan proposed by Paul Ryan. Alice Rivlin has her version of it. You have the Senator from Oregon who’s joined in, Ron Wyden, and others. It’s out there. And to have Geithner to denounce it, I mean this guy’s the Treasury Secretary, for heaven’s sake, adopt some in his announcement today adopt some political line I think is really shameful.
But you know what’s the one encouraging thing? I agree entirely with Mara. In the next administration, no matter who’s elected, they’re going to have to deal with it. Medicare, a quarter of the national debt that’s been accrued in the last ten years from Medicare.
BRET BAIER, HOST: Last word.
MARA LIASSON, NPR: And you know there’s a great opportunity because all sorts of other horrible things are going to happen if they don’t make this deal. The taxes, the Bush tax cuts are going away.
BAIER: In other words Medicare will end as you know it even if they don’t take up Paul Ryan’s plan?
LIASSON: Yeah, well that’s a good, that’s a good reason to come up with some kind of a plan and pass it.
Yes it is because 2024 is now only twelve years away and if nothing is done to correct this problem Medicare will end as we all know it before most of the baby boomers who have been paying into it all of their lives draw a cent.
If more liberal media members would be honest enough to admit that, maybe Democrats and the president that leads them would be forced to look at this matter more seriously rather than demagoguing every Republican who offers a solution thereby kicking the can further down the road.
Entitlement reform is indeed one subject the press have tremendous power to sway not just public opinion but also the nation's political leaders.
The media's dishonest attacks on former President George W. Bush's Social Security plan in 2005 pressured him and his Party to cave on this issue thereby allowing at least eight years to pass without a solution.
With the clock now ticking on Medicare, more people like Liasson are going to have to be forced to tell the truth about this program's looming insolvency or Democrats will be able to continue to stonewall reform.
Baier is to be commended for smartly wangling this from his left-leaning panelist, but Fox News is only one station and most of its viewers likely don't need to be educated regarding this matter.
America needs more such admissions from liberal press members across the fruited plain to get Democrats to the table on this dire issue facing the nation.