How far will conservatives go to tell Republicans they must support the Ryan budget in its entirety? A new Weekly Standard piece on Senate candidate Mike Haridopolos gives a hint.
The editorial line taken with this piece suggests that every Republican has to support the Ryan budget in its entirety, and that any qualm or qualification is unacceptable..
Haridopolos is currently the president of the Florida state senate and is seeking the GOP nomination to be the 2012 United States Senate candidate. What sets Haridopolos apart from other GOP candidates is that he is not supporting the GOP budget as it is currently written.
In a recent op-ed Haridopolos explained that while the current GOP budget stops providing the current version of Medicare for those who are under 55 years old, he would extend that age range further downwards.
His op-ed does not give a number, but when FrumForum asked him about his position at an event in Washington DC, he suggested the changes in Medicare should apply to those who are currently 40 or 45. He told the Weekly Standard this as well:
“Medicare is not a welfare program,” Haridopolos said today in an interview with The Weekly Standard. “It is a program that each one of us at this table will have paid 47 years of taxes for, and I’m a little reluctant to make that full jump.”
The 41-year-old said he thinks Medicare ought to be reformed for those closer to his own age, people who “have 25 years to prepare.”
“That’s roughly what we’re looking at,” Haridopolis said. “If we’re going to make that transition, let’s give someone the true time to prepare.”
Haridopolos: No Major Medicare Reforms for 25 Years
The piece said that Haridopolos “doubled down today on his opposition to Medicare reforms in the 2012 House Republican budget proposal”. Both Haridopoloscare and Ryancare work on the same principle: a vote is held now and Medicare is reformed for people who would qualify for the program at a later date.
If one wanted to be snarky, you could write a headline: “Ryan: No Major Medicare Reforms Until 2021” since that is the date when those who are currently 55 would start getting “Ryancare” as opposed the current version of Medicare. The fact is, both plans involve delayed change to Medicare.
Ironically, Haridopoloscare might be a better policy to run on as a candidate in Florida since its senior population might be scared by the Ryan budget. Haridopolos will be running in 2012 and Democrats can be expected to make a huge effort to run on the GOP budget — so it helps a GOP candidate to set himself apart from Ryan’s Medicare cuts.
In other words, he is with 80 percent of the rest of the Republican plan, yet this position is taken as “doubling down on his opposition to medicare reform”. It will be interesting to see how the Weekly Standard will report the different Medicare plans that the Republican presidential candidates will eventually produce.