Mark Steyn in NRO:
Ending Medicare as we know it? Say it ain't so! Medicare, we hardly knew ye! It's an open question whether Americans will fall for one more chorus of the same old song from Baucus, Harkin, Podesta, and the other members of America's wrinkliest boy band. But, if this is the level on which the feckless patronizing spendaholics of the permanent governing class want to conduct the debate, bring it on:
Paul Ryan's plan would "end Medicare as we know it."
The Democrats' "plan" - business as usual - will end America as we know it.
Literally, as Representative Wasserman-Schultz would say. One way or another, Medicare as we know it is going to end. So, if you think an unsustainable 1960s welfare program is as permanent a feature as the earth and sky, you're in for a shock. It's just a question of whether, after the shock, what's left looks like Japan or looks like Haiti.
My comrade Jonah Goldberg compares America's present situation to that of a plane with one engine out belching smoke. But, if anything, he understates the crisis. Air America doesn't need a busted engine, because it's pre-programmed to crash. Our biggest problem is Medicare and other "entitlements": They're the automatic pilot of Big Government. Whoever's in the captain's seat makes no difference: The flight is pre-programmed to hit the iceberg, if you'll forgive me switching mass-transit metaphors in mid-stream.
Unfortunately, if you're a Democrat and Medicare is going to end anyway, it doesn't prevent you from demogoging the issue for electoral advantage. You must pretend that Medicare is perfectly fine, just needing a tweak here and there and everything will be peachy. Then you can wail about Republicans wanting old folks to live off cat food and die in the street because they can't get decent medical care.
Read Styen's entire piece.