”So basically your costs would rise by the thousands, and their profits could rise by the billions. So here’s the bottom line: Their voucher plan for Medicare would bankrupt Medicare. Our plan strengthens Medicare.”
Even when seniors find out what the Ryan plan actually does … they are evenly divided on who they trust (source). And that has been the Republican plan up till now – fight Medicare to a draw so that voters wouldn’t know what to think and would just move on to another issue. A Republican source actually guaranteed that within two weeks – the Democrats wouldn’t be talking about Medicare anymore; that was three weeks ago.
President Obama was out in Melbourne, Florida talking about … MEDICARE.
CBS News has the story HERE:
He pointed to a recent study by Harvard Economics Professor David Cutler (who had also advised the president during the creation of the health care law) that says turning Medicare into a voucher program – where seniors receive a stipend to purchase health insurance through private insurance companies, which is Ryan’s proposal – would immediately increase the cost to seniors by $768 per year.
The study also says that insurance companies would see an increase in profits of between $16 and $26 billion a year.
The study is additional fodder for an issue that has become prominent this election. Although the study was released more than a month ago, Mr. Obama trotted it out in the key battleground state of Florida where seniors, who are a crucial voting bloc, are concerned about losing their health benefits. At least 17 percent of Florida residents receive Medicare benefits.
Mr. Obama told the crowd that seniors “should have some basic security” after working hard and that the new health care law “strengthened” Medicare by extending the program for eight years, by cutting payments to providers and by lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
Hands down – if Republicans can turn Medicare into a voucher program … future seniors are going to die because they will run out of vouchers and the rest they’ll have to pay out of pocket. If they don’t have the money to pay for it – too bad so sad … go figure it out grandpa. That’s the Republican plan. It is great for the government balance sheet but horrible for future seniors.
Mitt Romney knew that if he picked Paul Ryan as his VP candidate … that Medicare would become a major issue. He gambled that he had to do something big to solidify his support among the conservative base and who better to pick than the guy who wrote the Republican House budget. And so leading up to the announcement that Paul Ryan was the VP – they decided they would use the same strategy that worked so splendidly in 2010. In short – they would try to paint the Democrats as the party actually killing Medicare; yes – that is laughable but the fools in 2010 bought it so why wouldn’t they fall for a sequel?
In the first few days of the Ryan announcement – they came out swinging…
The day after they announced Paul Ryan would be Romney’s running mate – they had the head of the RNC – Reince Preibus – go out on Meet the Press and say this HERE:
“This president stole — he didn’t cut Medicare — he stole $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it’s Barack Obama. He’s the one that’s destroying Medicare.”
Same day on 60 Minutes in the evening … Romney with Ryan said this HERE:
“There’s only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.”
Shortly thereafter – a memo from the GOP leaked showcasing their gameplan on how to speak to the press about Medicare and Social Security HERE:
“Do not say: ‘entitlement reform,’ ‘privatization,’ ‘every option is on the table. Do say: ‘strengthen,’ ‘secure,’ ‘save,’ ‘preserve, ‘protect.’”
Then a video came out from the NRCC which showed how they successfully confused voters on the Medicare issue in 2010 in the Nevada 2nd district HERE. Their advice was simple … talk about “protecting” Medicare and use a reliable prop like your mom or sister or someone old that seems trust worthy to prove it while you talk about how you would never kill Granny. And then point the finger at the evil Democrats. That’s what worked in Nevada.
And wouldn’t ya know it – Paul Ryan goes to Florida with his mom in tow and promises that he would never cut Medicare. Promise. More on that HERE:
“When I think of Medicare, it’s not just a program, it’s not just a bunch of numbers, it’s what my mom relies on, it’s what my grandma had.”
Then the fact checkers start coming out of the wood work.
And so many more. And here you have President Obama out on the campaign trail talking about what’s at stake with Medicare in this election. Unlike in 2010 when House Democrats were caught flat footed and didn’t know how to handle such an obvious blatant lie of an attack from the better funded Republican party … Democrats in an election year have more money to work with and President Obama is much better at getting his message out.
As we have written HERE:
Under the Obama plan – Medicare is still solvent until 2024. Obama’s plan thanks to Obamacare increases benefits and eliminates the donut hole for out of pocket expenses for seniors completely by 2020 (source). That means by 2020 – seniors will pay NOTHING in out of pocket expenses by 2020. Obama’s plan does not require increasing the retirement age.
Under the Romney/Ryan plan – Medicare would be insolvent in 2016. Romney would cut benefits by raising the retirement age. Romney’s repeal of Obamacare would mean seniors would continue to pay money out of pocket due to a gap in coverage in the Medicare program. In 2022 – out of pocket expenses for seniors would balloon to $12,500 a year (source). They would turn the Medicare Guarantee into a voucher plan increasing out of pocket expenses every single year by maintaining benefit increases at rates lower than the rate of inflation … thus equaling a tremendous rate cut.
Republicans even made turning Medicare into a voucher program part of the party platform (source).
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