Paul Ryan Isn’t Running For President, But His Medicare Privatization Plan Still Is

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has reiterated that he is not running for president in 2012, but I suspect that his plan to privatize Medicare still is. Most of the Republican candidates have endorsed the proposal and the party will likely resurrect the plan in the Super Committee and future legislative battles. And even if his specific proposal isn’t adopted, the GOP has successfully transformed the public conversation about cost control into one about shifting costs to the beneficiaries rather than modernizing the payment system to encourage more efficient care. The government’s implementation of some of the payment reforms in the Affordable Care Act will hopefully jump start that conversation (particularly if politicians continue to dodge the issue), but in the meantime, it’s worth reiterating that Ryan’s proposal doesn’t actually do anything to lower the rate of growth of health care, if anything it only increases it by forcing seniors into more expensive private insurance plans.