Americans are not stupid; at least not the 48% of Americans living in New York’s 26th Congressional District. Polls show that the victory by Democratic candidate, Kathy Hochul, in this traditionally conservative district was a reaction against the Republican budget proposal approved by most House Republicans and calling for a radical transformation of Medicare.
Paul Ryan, the Budget Committee Chairman who concocted this most recent Republican idea to kill Medicare, would have you believe that his plan would not hurt seniors, his plan to to end Medicare as we know it would not hurt seniors.
He thinks those older than 54 won’t feel threatened by his voucher plan idea.
He thinks people will somehow fall for this “kick-the-can-down-the-road” ploy.
What goes around …
There is some delicious satisfaction to watching Republicans squirm as Democrats accuse them of “ending Medicare as we know it.”
Dana Millbank, writing in the Washington Post, described Ryan’s own demagoguery on Medicare and health care reform:
Speaking on the House floor in 2009, he said the Democrats’ health-care legislation would “take coverage away from seniors,” “raise premiums for families” and “cost us nearly 5.5 million jobs.” Later, he said the health plan would bring about government “rationing” of health care.
He also labeled the plan “a government takeover of our healthcare system,” claimed America was at a “tipping point” toward a “European social welfare state,” and gave a wink to the “death panel” allegations. His suggestion that the legislation would result in the IRS getting “16,000 agents” to police the health-care law was knocked down as “wildly inaccurate” by Factcheck.org.
But Paul Ryan and the Republicans are not backing away from their lies and their distortions. They must feel confident that with the corporate money faucet turned up, they can convince Americans of anything.
The Huffington Post quotes a spokesperson for Carl Rove’s American Crossroads groups:
The GOP can’t and won’t retreat from the Medicare valley it has occupied. “We know that bell can’t be un-rung, and we wouldn’t want to,” said a well-placed GOP aide. “We’re on the right side of history.”
Just the facts
I can’t speak to history yet, but they are clearly on the wrong side of the facts.
Paul Ryan lies when he says his plan won’t affect seniors. It most definitely will affect the seniors who will be voting just two short presidential elections from now. Americans aren’t fooled by that little trick.
What does it mean to replace Medicare with a voucher system?
Imagine you had access to an almost free new car. Someone comes along and says, “This car is costing us too much money. So we are going to give you cash instead. Oh, and if car prices go up, well our ‘voucher’ won’t increase.”
But it gets better than that. The Ryan plan insists that you not buy direct; you must buy from a third party insurer. Continuing the car analogy, instead of getting that car direct from the factory, you now have to buy it through a middle man. Everyone knows that middle men (and women) are not free.
The Ryan plan may keep a government program called Medicare solvent. It will abandon Medicare’s goal of contributing to the financial security of our senior citizens by providing for their health security. It will sacrifice the solvency of seniors for the solvency of Medicare.
Seniors , current seniors and will-be seniors, are and should be scared by the Ryan budget proposal
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