On Joe Nocera's claim that Democrats should not scorn Paul Ryan: "While the Democratic Party might be well served in trying to use the Ryan plan to bury their political opponents, the country itself is not. The debate we need is not about whether Medicare should be reformed, but how.... It would be nice if we could treat the Ryan plan not as an object of derision but as a launching-off point for a serious debate..." It would have been nice if Paul Ryan had proposed a Medicare plan that could be a launching off point for a serious debate--the Medicare reforms in the Affordable Care Act are such a launching-off point. The problem is that Ryan didn't: instead, he proposed something that is rightly an object of derision. That's not a problem with the Democrats. That's a problem with Paul Ryan and the Republicans.