The Spectacle Blog

On Medicare Part D

By on 2.20.12 | 11:11AM

At CFIF, I opine about David Catron's excellent piece defending Medicare Part D. I see that Jim Antle just now did the same, just below at this blog site. I come down more on Antle's side than on Catron's, but it is really important to understand the power of Catron's arguments. Every single one of his arguments is valid, EVEN IF one reaches different conclusions than he did. From a cost standpoint, Part D has been one of the only federal programs in history to substantially outperform (i.e., to come in so under cost) its original projections -- and not just by a tiny bit, but by a whole lot.

The key thing to remember is that for longtime entitlement reformers like Santorum and Paul Ryan, the vote for Part D was a really, really hard decision; it was hardly as black and white as some people in retrospect might want to pretend. I myself had a virtual conniption fit when it passed, because it made me so angry. Folks who led the effort against it, such as Mike Pence of Indiana, are heroes. But that doesn't mean that everybody who voted for it is thereby a villain -- especially in the Senate.

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