• WisPolitics


Friday, March 2, 2012

 6:14 PM 

Ryan warns of "austerity mode" as result of health care reform

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said today that President Obama’s health care plan would lead the U.S. to a “Greek-like austerity mode” in fewer than five years if it is left untouched.

The Janesville Republican, who also chairs the House Budget Committee, told a Milwaukee Press Club event today that if the nation went into “austerity management mode,” the sick and the poor would get hurt the most.

Ryan said Republicans winning the presidential election “and being magnanimous in reform and fixing problems” is the only solution to a “dire situation.”

Ryan also said price controls would lead to seniors being denied coverage.

Marquette University faculty member Susan Giaimo, another of the four health care experts who participated in the panel discussion, discussed her support for the Affordable Care Act and its regulations.

The ACA “makes it illegal to discriminate” against the sick and has all the necessary tools for improving health care such as better delivery and reimbursement methods, Giaimo said.

In contrast, Giaimo said Ryan’s Medicare reform plan with Democratic U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, “shifts costs to weakest market players -- seniors, states, the poor and the disabled.”

Other than Ryan and Giaimo, the panel consisted of Tim Bartholow, chief medical officer for the Wisconsin Medical Society, and John S. Toussaint, CEO emeritus of ThedaCare.

Bartholow addressed the existence of so-called “death panels” that some critics have said would be involved in medical decisions under the reform law.

”That was never the case,” Bartholow said, adding that instead doctors would discuss with patients how best to handle end-of-life care and issues such as how to tell family members.

The program was part of the Milwaukee Press Club’s Behind the Headlines series, sponsored by Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and Foley & Lardner LLP. See more about the event.

-- By Maggie Schleicher
For WisPolitics.com


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