Skip to main content

Tommy Thompson says he has a secret plan for Medicare, better than the one from his fellow Wisconsite at the top of the ticket, Paul Ryan. He attempted to explain it to the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board last week.

Thompson's half-baked plan definitely distances him from Ryan, but gives him some problems beyond being associated with trying to end Medicare. Those problem in a nutshell: He doesn't know if it will save any money for the federal government or the beneficiary. Like the Ryan plan, it would give seniors the option of getting private insurance, presumably with some kind of voucher or premium support, but it would put them in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHB). When pressed to explain how this would save any money, Thompson got a little cranky.
Q: So either CBO has scored it out and you haven’t, or you…

THOMPSON: I haven’t scored it out, I have no capabilities…

Q: You’re saying that CBO has looked at your plan….

THOMPSON: They have not looked at my plan. They have looked at a plan similar to this that was put in by…Dee, I’m telling you, I have not scored it. I’m laying the plan out to save Medicare….This is a plan by Paul Ryan, I’ve modified it. I think my plan is better…. When I’m elected to the United States Senate, I have a chance to use the computers and have the access to CBO and I’ll be able to make the necessary things. I’m talking conceptually, about an idea out there that has been advanced by somebody else and I think it makes a lot of sense.

Q: So if you haven’t scored it and you don’t know how much it’s going to save, how do you know it’s going to be a big advance?

THOMPSON: Because Medicare is going broke and we have to do something about it. It’s a plan, Dee. It’s a plan that I believe more than likely will work.

See, he doesn't have access to the computers that Congress has that figures stuff out like how much stuff costs. How in the world is some guy like him, who was only the Health and Human Services secretary under George W. Bush, supposed to figure out something so complex as the federal health benefits plan? Yeesh.

Goal Thermometer
Thompson's struggle tells us a few things. First, he knows the Ryan plan is poison politically, and he's grasping for straws to come up with something seniors will like better. Two, he's not spending a lot of time thinking seriously about policy. And finally, that he didn't take much away from his experience setting health policy for Bush. Because Medicare is more effective at holding down costs than the FEHB. It seems like Thompson is continuing to basically just phone it in in this campaign.

Click here to donate $3 to Tammy Baldwin on Act Blue.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 08:17 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site