May 19, 2013


'We Can Be Great Again' (Jeb Bush, Newsmax Magazine)

We also must address the spending side, particularly entitlements. This is an area of great opportunity. The other party has shown no willingness to bring much needed reforms to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Despite ample evidence that such reforms could be done gradually and effectively, the entitlement programs remain as expensive as ever. The American people know this, and are looking for answers.

We have to be willing to accept that these programs are part of America's social safety net. And for millions, these programs are essential, providing a valued source of stability. But a nation that looks to the future does not treat such programs as beyond reform and improvement.

We devote far more resources to today's seniors than we do today's young; often those resources come at the expense of the young.

If nothing else, we can't address deficits -- projected as far as the eye can see -- without having an honest conversation about the growth rates in entitlement programs. These programs, designed and promised to be self-sustaining, will completely overwhelm the rest of the government's budget responsibilities by the time today's youngest workers retire. Wherever possible, conservatives should propose, through waivers from federal law and through state law, alternatives to the steady march to government control of healthcare.

Elements of a conservative plan would include lower premiums, consumer-directed care, catastrophic coverage, rewards for healthy lifestyle behaviors, and paying for quality.

This is a test of policy maturity. Today, the Republican Party has an opportunity to embrace gradual and productive reforms to these programs. We have the ability to present, by our own policies, a thoughtful approach to something all Americans correctly fear.

The other party has the power to do the work, but is unwilling to take it on. In such a context, we have the ability to prove ourselves worthy to govern. If we fail on that score, we can scarcely hope to be given the political power to do other great things. And think of what we could do: shrink the size of the government and its debt, refocus American energy on the growth of the economy, adopt much needed reforms to our education and immigration systems, and inspire hope and confidence in American households everywhere.

Posted by at May 19, 2013 10:50 AM

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