Gibbs mocks conservative reporter

Posted on July 9, 2010


Mediaite has a video of Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dodging questions yesterday from CNS News reporter Fred Lucas about Donald Berwick, Obama’s controversial recess-appointment to head up HHS’s Medicare and Medicaid agency.

Lucas was actually asking Gibbs a legitimate question, and Gibbs was the one who decided to play a game of “gotcha”–which a few White House reporters apparently found hilarious–with Lucas moments later.

Despite Gibbs’s self-satisfaction at tripping up a reporter (who happens to be a good reporter), the implication that Paul Ryan supports rationing just like Donald Berwick is dead wrong. Berwick is a fan of the rationing done by Britain’s National Health Service. Berwick wants the government to decide how to allocate scarce resources. Ryan wants individuals to have the right to make those decisions for themselves. Ryan discussed the differences between his free market plan and ObamaCare in an interview earlier this year:

Ryan’s plan reduces the growth of federal Medicare spending by moving toward a free-market system in which those 55 and younger would get a voucher (on average $11,000 per household) to purchase their own health insurance when they qualify for Medicare. Obamacare wouldn’t make Medicare solvent, but it attempts to restrain Medicare spending, Ryan says, through a “comparative effectiveness bureaucracy” and its “IMAB [Independent Medicare Advisory Board] on steroids–new Medicare bureaucracy that will put in all these formula changes bypassing Congress.” Ryan calls this a “rationing system.”

“The current path is not going to happen, it’s not sustainable,” Ryan says. “You literally cannot tax your way out of this. … Medicare itself overcomes the entire size of government.”

“So you either put the government more firmly in control the system and make it a government monopoly program–kill Medicare Advantage, kill HSAs,” and “deeply and systematically ration health care,” or you can “break up the government monopoly, and bring in the power of the free markets.”

“I would simply argue that the history of free market systems shows you more goods and services at lower prices, than closed centrally planned systems, which show you scarcity, rationing, and less innovation,” says Ryan.

So, as a 40 year-old, Ryan says, “I am looking at a choice of two futures: Do I have a future of more control of my health care in a market system that’s competing for my business, for my needs, where I can customize my care, and I get support from the government on purchasing that health care, and a safety net so that poor and sick people get total support? Or do I go to a system where the government literally determines what kind of care I get, when I get it, if I get it?”

“Those are the choices we’ve got right now before us, and that’s the dirty little secret behind Obamacare.”

Of course, Obama and Gibbs want to keep this dirty little secret a secret. The argument against Obamacare rationing put forward by Ryan is exactly what Obama was trying to ignore by bypassing the Senate and giving Berwick a recess appointment.

via Hot Air