Now you tell us, NYTimes. Shorter version: Ryan’s idea of turning Medicare into a premium support system is actually a pretty mainstream idea. Former Clinton budget chief Alice Rivlin included it in her fiscal reform plan for the Bipartisan Policy Center. (Even some White House economists thought there was merit in Ryan’s plan, my sources say, though they believed it slowed the growth in Medicare spending by an unrealistic amount. But if Obamacare is unable to reduce costs and preserve quality, a premium support system is a possible Plan B.) And as Avik Roy of Forbes notes (in a great piece), “Again, it’s not clear if Democratic supporters of reform are these think-tank types, or whether they include actual members of Congress.” Still, given the need to transform the U.S. social safety net into a rational, market-based system, any support from the left is a hopeful sign.