Here’s an illuminating exchange between House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Chairman Ryan points out that injecting competition and choice into the Medicare prescription drug plan led to cost savings that are more than 40 percent below what the projections were. (James Capretta and I wrote about this a few years ago.) This is precisely the type of reform Republicans want to make to Medicare more broadly.
The success of the Medicare prescription drug plan is not only impressive but also instructive. It’s been said you can prove the possible by the actual, and in this case the actual savings — based on free-market reforms — are significant and undeniable. It eviscerates the argument made by liberal critics that the entitlement reforms conservatives are offering are untested theories, ones that are abstract and dangerous.
In fact, conservatives are simply building on what works. And even Secretary Sebelius cannot deny what we know to be true.