In the summer of 2009, President Obama and congressional Democrats faced a dilemma. In the midst of a severe economic downturn, and less than a year after the national debt had reached the 14-figure mark for the first time in American history, they wanted to launch a brand-new federal health care entitlement—and they needed a way (at least on paper) to pay for it. They were only willing to fund about half of it with tax hikes, so they needed to come up with a lot of additional money. Their chosen funding source is now coming back to haunt them.
It is doing so as Democrats try to ride to victory by demagoguing Paul Ryan’s (and Mitt Romney’s) proposed Medicare reforms—which would help keep Medicare (and the nation) solvent by giving future seniors more freedom, more choice, and more opportunity to pursue value. But raising the Medicare issue also brings to light this inconvenient fact: Medicare is where the Democrats decided to get the rest of the money to fund Obamacare.