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In April, 2011....just three months after Republicans captured the House, the Paul Ryan Budget was passed with only 4 Republican representatives voting against and no Democrats voting in favor. At the time many called the blue-eyed-boy's plan a bold and gutsy move that took courage.
At the time I, and many others, were astonished that Republicans in the House had actually voted to change Medicare as we've known it. Medicare is a very, very popular government program. My calculation at the time was that Republicans had just shot themselves in the foot, politically.
Instead of maintaining the defined-benefit Medicare program, Ryan's Budget would change Medicare into a defined-contribution program. The government would credit new retirees with a fixed amount of money....a voucher....and then those new retirees could apply that voucher to traditional Medicare, or to any of the other private insurance plans to be made available for future seniors.
For Americans under 55, what that meant was, beginning in 10 years, they would start experiencing more out of pocket expenses for Medicare-equal medical coverage than today's seniors experience with traditional Medicare.
A new Kaiser Family Foundation report released just this week explains....
A voucher-like Medicare plan similar to one proposed by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would boost premiums for most Florida patients by more than $100 a month if it were imposed today, the Kaiser Family Foundation reported on Monday.
In June, 2011, CNN released a poll showing that only 35% of self-identified conservatives favored Ryan's new voucher plan. Even Republicans opposed Ryan's voucher plan by 50-48%. There was no question about it, Ryan's defined-contribution, voucher plan was wildly unpopular.
In spite of the plan's unpopularity, House Republicans again voted for the Ryan Budget (which included voucherized Medicare) in May of 2012, this time with 10 Republicans voting against.
In August, 2012, CNN reported that 74% of all current seniors opposed the voucher plan and 58% of all Americans were in opposition. Changing traditional defined-benefit Medicare into a more-costly-to- seniors, defined contribution voucher plan was obviously and consistently unpopular with American voters.
And yet, Ryan's voucher plan has become part of the Romney-Ryan campaign plan. Which begs the question....who are Romney and Ryan representing in this campaign?
Without answering that larger question, let's, instead, look at how R&R have responded to the unpopularity of their voucherized, defined-contribution Medicare reform plan.
Realizing that the Ryan voucher plan was unpopular with voters, the R&R presidential campaign, and the conservative media which serves it, began countering the unpopularity of Ryan's plan by accusing President Obama of "cutting" Medicare in the Affordable Care Act. A claim that PolitfactOhio responded to thusly...
Neither Obama nor his health care law literally "cut" a dollar from the budget of Medicare, which operates as a government-run health insurance plan for Americans over age 65. Rather, the health care law instituted a number of changes to reduce the growth of Medicare costs.
In spite of that truth.....that Obamacare did not "cut" any benefits to seniors on Medicare, but instead reduced provider reimbursements, many, if not most, Republican candidates this election cycle are running ads asserting that Obama cut grandma's Medicare.
Perspective is needed here. The phony, yet often repeated, claim that Obama cut grandma's Medicare......is a GOP-manufactured tactic to counter the unpopularity of the R&R plan to increase senior costs in a new-fangled voucher/privatization plan.
I bring this up today because I'm sick.....and tired.....of hearing ads like those being put out by Republicans Bill Johnson and Jim Renacci in Ohio. I'm sick...and tired....of receiving misleading pieces of.....literature......in the mail from the Ohio GOP and the Koch Brothers, telling me that Obama has, or is about to, cut granny's Medicare. That is a lie. No matter how often it is repeated......it still is not true.
But that is how today's GOP rolls. Very, very unpopular R&R policies...or unexplainable ones (for example: tax reform that doesn't add up)......are responded to by Republicans with...well....making shite up.
We've seen this in the Benghazi-you-didn't-say-act-of-terror......made up shite. We've seen this in the outrageous claim that Obamacare sets up granny death-panels. We've seen this in the nonsensical assertion that "we were better off" four years ago when we were losing 750,000 jobs per month than we are today after 30 consecutive months of positive job growth.
What conclusion can be drawn from this GOP campaign of continually making shite up?
Republican policies are unpopular with American voters. To hide and diminish that unpopularity, R&R have responded with outright-lies about President Obama's record. Make no mistake, all the lies by the R&R team this campaign are defensive maneuvers.
They lie, outrageously and shamelessly, about Obama's record, particularly on Medicare, because, just like with the Ryan plan to voucherize Medicare, their own policies are very unpopular with American voters.