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I've heard it numerous times in defense of Paul Ryan's budgetary plan to end Medicare as we've known it and replace it with a coupon program. I heard it again yesterday as Romney-Ryan apologists tried to explain how the Republican VP candidate's plan to end Medicare as we know it.....doesn't really (wink, wink) end Medicare.
How could Paul Ryan's plan to end Medicare as we've known it and replace it with a coupon program where senior "choices" are involved.....not really be ending Medicare?
Well silly.....it's all because only those currently under 55 will be affected by Ryan's.....ending of Medicare as we know it. And shame, shame on you if you suggest that the Romney-Ryan plan to end Medicare as we have known it.....well....ends Medicare as we've known it.
Republicans are parading around claiming that Ryan's plan to remake Medicare in Ayn Rand's image shouldn't worry those who are currently on Medicare, or those currently 55 and older. Ryan's plan exempts current seniors and those over 55 closing in on retirement.
Well, what about those who are currently under 55? What do they have to look forward to when they reach the ripe old age (increased under Ryan's plan) of 67? From the Kaiser Family Foundation....
"First, private plans would cost more than traditional Medicare because of the net effect of differences in payment rates for providers, administrative costs, and utilization of health care services," said CBO’s report on Paul Ryan’s plan. "Second, the government’s contribution would grow more slowly than health care costs, leaving more for beneficiaries to pay."
How much more? $6000 per year more. For comparable coverage equal to Medicare today. That is why Ryan and the Republican choir use the Orwellian phrase "premium support" in an attempt to camouflage the real life consequences to future seniors under the Ryan plan.
But none of the above is the real point I want to make this morning. Romney and Ryan are now campaigning on...yes, campaigning on....pitting one group of U.S. citizens against another. Dividing the nation up into groups.....those over 55, those under 55....and pitting the interests of those two groups against one another....for the purpose of winning the election.
Though the policy is unAmerican...you know, class warfare and all....there is rhyme to the Republicans Ryan Rhythm.....
In the last four national elections, generational differences have mattered more than they have in decades. According to the exit polls, younger people have voted substantially more Democratic than other age groups in each election since 2004, while older voters have cast more ballots for Republican candidates in each election since 2006.
Older voters. Like those 55 and older.
So, what are the Republicans and the Ryans and the Romneys doing when they campaign on ending Medicare as we know it for those younger than 55? It's certainly not because they're oh-so-concerned about deficits and debt.....these guys don't care anything about the national debt or deficit, as I've proven in several other blog posts.
Just like with photo ID voting laws.....Republicans are pitting one group against another....for the purpose of gaining a slight advantage at the ballot box in November. Seniors tend to vote for Republicans....therefore, Ryan's plan to end Medicare only applies to those 55 and younger. Those without a drivers license tend to vote for Democrats....therefore, new Republican laws placing an additional burden on those very people before they can vote.
That's what class warfare looks like. Take a good look. Asking billionaires to pay 3 1/2% more on income tax rates is not class warfare.....the president once calling banksters "fat cats" is not class warfare. Class warfare is pitting one group against another in order to gain political power.
That's exactly what R&R and the Republican brood have been doing. Pitting the religious (contraception!, liberty!) against the not-so-religious, pitting the white skinned against the brown skinned (racial profiling is not really racial profiling!), pitting the poor (welfare!, welfare!, food stamps!) against the non-poor, pitting the currently employed against the currently unemployed (lazy!, probably on drugs!), pitting those who don't have drivers licenses (voter fraud!, voter fraud!) against those who do....and pitting those over 55, who just happen to lean Republican at the ballot box, against those under 55.
The GOP electoral strategy is nothing but class warfare.
With their proven-to-be-bankrupt policy ideas.....I guess it's all they have left.