This video below is a presentation from the National Republican Congressional Committee showing how they “fought back” against the Republican support for the Ryan plan i.e. the Republican plan to turn Medicare into a voucher plan. They use this as a case study. In short – they’re going to amplify the talking point that Obama “stole” $700 billion from Medicare when he passed Obamacare. Of course – that’s not true. We’ve debunked that lie HERE.
If you combine the video above with the leaked GOP memo that says in order for conservatives to protect themselves politically regarding Medicare … they must not talk about “entitlement reform” and that they should say they are trying to “save”, “protect”, “strengthen” etc. We talked about that HERE.
Notice these two quotes from today alone:
“It is our duty to save the American dream for our children and theirs.”
“We want to make sure that we preserve and protect Medicare.”
And of course – right out of the gate … Mitt Romney engaged with that line of attack. He said he was going to “protect” and “save” Medicare and that he was going to do it by repealing Obamacare since Obama “robbed $716 billion from Medicare”. He said that HERE.
So that’s the game. Republicans are going to accuse President Obama of cutting billions from Medicare when there wasn’t even one dollar cut in benefits to recipients. Obamacare cuts payments to insurance companies and medical facilities who do not do their job by keeping seniors healthy …. and that is one of the reasons that Obamacare actually extended the life of Medicare by 8 years.
Now – Mitt Romney has a real problem. Romney has already said that he would sign the Ryan plan into law. But the Ryan plan has budgeted for the same amount of cuts to Medicare in his budget except for unlike the Obama plan which cut spending to insurance companies and medical facilities … Ryan’s plan cuts actual benefits for Medicare beneficiaries. In other words – the Ryan plan would rather force seniors to pay for more in Medicare than trying to force insurance companies to do their job better by eliminating fraud and risk in the system. And that’s the difference.
Talking Points memo explains that HERE:
Ryan’s Medicare plan focuses its cuts on the beneficiary side. It converts the insurance program into a fixed subsidy that seniors can use to buy policies from a menu or private options and a government option. If the value of the subsidy doesn’t keep up with medical cost inflation, seniors will have to pay more out of pocket to get the same care.
Obama and Ryan agree that Medicare per-beneficiary spending should be capped at per-capita GDP plus 0.5 percent, but disagree on what to cut in order to get there.
So – Romney says he would sign this plan by Paul Ryan; in fact his own website says that Romney’s views “almost precisely mirrors Mitt’s ideas. But he also attacks President Obama for cutting spending to insurance companies and medical facilities and then inferring that these cuts were going to affect seniors.
And make no mistake about it … the Ryan plan will KILL seniors. They will protect people who are 55 and up now …. but the people that are 54 or younger are SCREWED. Those people will be paying a lot more money for Medicare and all at the same time Republicans passed a 40% tax cut for millionaires. We’ve written extensively about the Ryan plan HERE; an excerpt:
Another observation from Ezra Klein:
On the spending side, Ryan’s biggest cuts come from health-care programs. He eliminates the $1.5 trillion that the Affordable Care Act uses to purchase health insurance for 30 million Americans. Then he cuts Medicaid and related health programs by $770 billion — which is to say, by about a third. Medicare takes $200 billion in cuts on top of that. The graph above from the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of Ryan’s budget tells the story.
Jonathan Bernstein says:
The cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and other health care programs — including repealing health care reform — are the bulk of the “savings” in Ryan’s budget. Without some sort of mechanism to control medical costs, all these cuts do is shift the burden from the government to individuals.
But Romney has ANOTHER problem. So – today… he says that Paul Ryan’s plan isn’t his plan and that he’s going to be proposing his own plan. But he won’t say where he disagrees with Paul Ryan’s plan. So – he both supports the Ryan plan and he says that he doesn’t agree with all of it but won’t say what he disagrees with it on. That’s called POLITICS. When reporters pressed to understand the differences between the two … Mitt Romney said today in Miami:
“We haven’t gone through piece by piece and said ‘oh, here’s a place where there’s a difference. I can’t imagine any two people even in the same party who have exactly the same positions on all issues. but my plan for Medicare is very similar to his plan for Medicare.”
And the media is taking notice that Romney is trying to have it both ways:
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