Image via Billionaires for Wealthcare
Although Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Congressional Republicans as a whole are trying to take the offense on Medicare by painting Obamacare as siphoning off funds from Medicare that will materially harm seniors—it worked like a charm in the 2010 midterm elections—an article that appeared this morning on Talking Points Memo about Romney and Ryan’s actual intentions re: Medicare is getting a lot of attention.
As has been noted repeatedly, that strategy requires Romney and Ryan to disavow Medicare reforms the GOP recently endorsed overwhelmingly as a part of the party’s budget, which Ryan authored.
[Good luck with that one, boys]
From “Mitt’s Medicare Strategy: Don’t Tell Seniors Truth”:
All along Romney has been claiming that he and Paul Ryan won’t change Medicare for existing beneficiaries — only for the people who will get old in the “future.”
[Like nearly all of us, yeah?]
Now Romney’s own advisers and campaign surrogates are saying that this ain’t so.
As outlined in a memo the campaign released Saturday, Romney plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, and thus to spend over $700 billion more on the program in the coming decade than the government would spend if the health care law stands.
That commitment would leave Medicare poised for insolvency in 2016, years before he proposes to phase in the voucher system. Which means Romney would have two options: find new Medicare cuts or taxes to extend the life of the program, or preside over its demise.
On Fox News Sunday, Romney adviser Ed Gillespie tried to address the conundrum. “There are other reforms as well. As you know Governor Romney supports increasing over time bringing the Medicare eligibility age in line with the Social Security retirement age.”
But raising the Medicare eligibility age is a benefit cut, and implementing the increase before 2016 would violate Romney’s pledge to leave the program unchanged for people between ages 55 and 65.
Avik Roy, an outside health care adviser to the Romney campaign, admits that committing to billions of dollars in higher Medicare spending in the near-term will make it difficult for Romney to achieve its separate goal of reducing overall federal spending to modern lows. But he notes that Romney could make up the difference elsewhere in the budget or, by “mak[ing] other changes to the Medicare program, such as increased means-testing, that don’t alter the program’s basic structure.”
Further means-testing of Medicare would amount to a benefit cut to current seniors.
These admissions rest on top of the fact that by repealing the Affordable Care Act, Romney would wipe out new Medicare benefits included in the law. Repeal would result in higher payments to doctors and hospitals, and the restoration of overpayments to insurers participating in Medicare advantage. But for beneficiaries, it would re-open the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and eliminate coverage for preventive services and annual checkups that the ACA created.
Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan would cost senior citizens an additional $6400 or more a year out of pocket! Did you hear that Republican retirees? Considering that Paul Ryan’s “voucher” amounts to “Here’s a coupon for your old age, go fuck yourself oldster and please hurry up and die” HOW IN THE WORLD—at a time in history where far fewer than half of the American population has anywhere NEAR the amount of savings they’ll need to retire on—-can the Republicans think running on a platform that essentially says to senior citizens: “Let them eat Advil!” is anything but a very, very bad idea?!?
A “wheelchair army” would come to Washington, DC and kill them all if Paul Ryan’s plan were put into place. Every damned one of them. You have to shake your head in amazement at people who are anywhere near retirement age who would vote Republican. It’s beyond idiocy.
I had a friend who died when he was 94 years old. How in the hell would, say, even a spry 84-year-old, just come up with another $6k a year? How the fuck would you do it at that age? Get a job as a greeter at Home Depot? Flip some burgers at McDonald’s? Slot machines? The fucking lottery? Pulling it out of your ass? INVESTING IN WALL STREET???
It’s preposterous… and it’s pretty much what the Republicans have in store for you. For YOUR old age! Nope, it’s not an abstraction, dumbshit Fox News viewers and “low information voters,” (LIV) it’s your “golden years” that Mitt is talkin’ ‘bout!
The Democrats, if they play their cards right politically (which they never, ever do, but might it happen by accident?) could inflict some major damage to the Republicans this election if they’d run a few commercials with a wheezing 90-year-old dealing with bill collectors, having to choose between food and his prescriptions and being told “We’re sorry sir, your coverage won’t pay for dialysis anymore” by a kindly-faced nurse who smiles as she shuts the door in his face.
The same actor in all of them. Maybe it’s a couple. Yes! It’s a couple, even better.
Remember those famous Taster’s Choice coffee commercials with the serialized narrative of the flirting good looking yuppie neighbors back in the 90s? Now imagine the flipside of that: That same couple is old, retired and the 83-year-old husband husband is eating Ramen noodles so they can keep the lights on in their apartment.
INT - NIGHT
An elderly man staring straight ahead has tears running down his face. CAMERA PULLS OUT, REVEALING his wife, asleep in a medical bed in their living room with IV drips and heart monitors beeping softly in the background. He is holding his sleeping wife’s hand.
Honey, can you hear me? I don’t
know how much longer we can
keep going on like this.
The camera sees collection notices in his hands. The top one, which the camera lingers on long enough to read indicates that their gas and electricity is about to be shut off
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s plans to end
Medicare and replace it with their
“coupon” will cost you an extra $6400
a year out of pocket. $12,800 for a
married couple. Where will YOU come up
with an extra $12,000 a year in
your old age?
The man, sobbing, lays his head on sleeping wife’s body.
Honey, I don’t know what to do,
I don’t know what to do, baby.
The lights in their apartment sputter and go off.
The heart monitor stops beeping.
This could be your old age. Mitt
Romney is not the solution.
Mitt Romney is the problem.