OLD NEWS: Paul Ryan's tired comments on health care reform make for yet another banner headline in Milwaukee | WisCommunity

OLD NEWS: Paul Ryan's tired comments on health care reform make for yet another banner headline in Milwaukee

[img_assist|nid=22099|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=254|height=138]When Rep. Paul Ryan says the same thing over and over, it's always brand new and hot news, at least in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which today features on the top of its front page Ryan's by now familiar litanies about health care reform.

The Janesville Republican spoke Friday at a Milwaukee Press Club forum and said, in essence, that health care reform is vital to the country's overall economic health. Gee, guys, that's why Democrats and President Obama worked so very hard for a year bending over backwards to get enough votes to enact ... health care reform! Old news!

Of course, Ryan and his GOP colleagues insist that "Obamacare" is unworkable and wrong-headed and should be repealed. Not that they offer any specific alternatives except to claim over and over that solution lies in the private, for-profit health care markets that already have given this nation far and away the most expensive health care on the planet. Laissez faire, in other words.

It takes the Journal Sentinel story 22 paragraphs to get around to mentioning that of the other panelists at the press club forum, one criticized Ryan's proposed changes in Medicare -- changes that would, in the opinion of many critics, not only destroy the program but lead to even larger federal deficits. Now, the newspaper's editors might say that's old news. But Ryan's old news makes the lead paragraph and headline on the top of the fold on page one, while old news from his critics is buried on the jump page. But in lamestream medialand thinking, that's is as it should be, because Ryan's a political superstar, dontcha know.

Ryan did make a little bit of news: He allowed that there might be a compromise in which slowing the rise in health care costs and health insurance costs might involve both government regulation and reliance on the marketplace.

Clue train for the House Budget Committee chair and the Journal Sentinel: That's what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act already does. Indeed, the compromise law, for all its pluses and minuses, depends heavily on the private market side of the equation. But we're to ignore that and pretend otherwise, apparently.

To his credit, the Journal Sentinel reporter did label as seemingly quixotic Ryan's statement that "bipartisan" agreement on reforms are possible. This from the party that almost unanimously refused to engage in such a deal two years ago -- Ryan included. What's changed? This is an election year! Republicans -- well, at least some of them including Ryan -- feel they have to look moderate even when they're trying to ban obvious and long-standing health care featues like female contraception. 

The press club's forum theme was about "how to get health care right," but all Ryan is selling is how to make any further attempt at health care reforms less progressive and more right-wing. And that's old news.


March 3, 2012 - 9:18am