As we've noted before, Cory Gardner has fast become a rising star in one of the largest freshman classes in Congressional history. Getting a coveted seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Gardner has used his perch to fire shots across the bow of the Prebbles Jumping Mouse Protection Society, aka the EPA.
He has also stepped up in a big way on budgets, supporting Rep. Paul Ryan's long-term budget proposal which would cut $6 trillion from the budget. This rising national profile, coupled with Gardner's vote on spending reform, has attracted the attention of liberal ankle biters everywhere.
Last month it was the Democrat Campaign Congressional Committee running ads against him, to which no one paid any attention. And now it's Bob Moore at the Coloradoan subjecting Gardner to some silly spin.
Moore uses the article to push the specious argument that Gardner is supporting the "privatization" of Medicare, despite campaign trail claims to the contrary.
"I do not favor privatization of Social Security or Medicare. We need to make sure that we're living up to the promises that we have made to seniors and workers in this country," [Gardner] said in a 2010 interview with the Coloradoan.
But much of the savings in the Ryan plan comes from ending the current Medicare system, in which the government is a single payer of health-care expenses for people older than 65. Instead, the government would provide "premium support payments – payments that would be used to help pay the premiums for a private health insurance policy," according to an analysis of the GOP budget plan by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
What Gardner is really supporting is the continued solvency, and therefore existence, of Medicare. People will continue to pay into Medicare, only Medicare will make payments that it can afford through subsidizing health care premiums instead of being a single-payer who goes broke in only a few years.
This vote in no way, shape or form "privatizes" Medicare. That is just a DCCC talking point used to scare the elderly into thinking they'll be left on a gurney in a hospital hallway, devoid of health care coverage.
If seniors were covered by private health insurance, through subsidized insurance premiums, they would actually have an expanded selection of doctors, as many doctors won't accept Medicare.
If you're looking at a lifetime of paying Medicare tax and want to see a cent back when you're old enough to cash in, then thank Cory Gardner. Because Rep. Ryan’s plan ensures there will be money left in the account. No other plan has been presented with specifics showing a budget that does not rely on continued charges on the next generation's credit card.
Make no mistake — we will go broke if we don't make serious and substantive reforms, and cuts, to existing entitlement programs. They're not going to be easy, but they are without a doubt unavoidable if don't want to end up like the PIGS in Europe (Portugal, Ireland, Greece & Spain).
The other options are old Washington standbys — the blue ribbon commission and burying your head in the sand. Looks like Democrats prefer the devil they know to the solution they don't.