“It is still a proposal that creates a voucher system for Medicare and thereby ends Medicare as we know it,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said at his daily briefing on Tuesday. “Contrary to some assessments that somehow by calling it Medicare it still remains Medicare, we're going to stand by the fact that Medicare as we know it would be ended by this program.”
The problem for Republicans is that, as was the case last year, they've done little to prepare American voters for the plan.
In 2011, “there was never any effort on the part of Republicans to sort of sell [the budget] first,” says Jennifer Duffy, senior editor at The Cook Political Report. Noting a similar lack of political preparation work this year, Ms. Duffy adds: “If it's the same sort of approach, then they hand Democrats a cudgel.”
The Democrats are eager for a cudgel.
Republicans once bashed President Obama’s health-care reforms, saying they included “death panels” designed to ration care for the elderly. Democrats are trying to use the Ryan plan to create their own policy bogeyman: the death spiral.