Paul Ryan Hates Obamacare, But Loves Obamacare’s Taxes

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Paul Ryan is, inevitably, in the news again. Every year around this time he releases his new budget roadmap, and every year it’s roughly the same as ever but with just a few changes for everyone to chew over endlessly. This year, the chattering classes are chattering over the startling news that his budget only gets to balance by repealing Obamacare, but Ezra Klein says that’s not news. In fact, it’s not even true. It’s worse than that:

Every Ryan budget since the passage of Obamacare has assumed the repeal of Obamacare. Kinda. Ryan’s version of repeal means getting rid of all the parts that spend money to give people health insurance but keeping the tax increases and the Medicare cuts that pays for that health insurance, as without those policies, it is very, very difficult for Ryan to hit his deficit-reduction targets.

Last year’s budget also kept Obamacare’s tax increases and Medicare cuts. Then Ryan became a VP candidate, and this was a big problem. So he switched to opposing Obamacare with no exceptions. Now he’s once again just a plain old congressman who needs to balance the budget, so we’re back to Ryan 1.0.

Will it last? Who knows. Ryan’s voucher premium support plan has morphed a bit from year to year, so it will be interesting to see which way it morphs this year. Unlike some people, though, I don’t think Ryan will abandon his usual pledge not to change Medicare for anyone over age 55. That risks pissing off actual Republican voters who only want Medicare to get stingier for the young folks. Deficit apocalypse or not, they certainly don’t want it to change for them.

This pretty much explains all of politics, by the way.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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