GOP memo: ‘Don’t say entitlement reform’

Politico has the article GOP memo: ‘Don’t say entitlement reform’.

 It only took two hours after the Paul Ryan vice presidential announcement for Republican congressional candidates to get their talking points on how to spin the Ryan budget and Medicare attacks.

“Do not say: ‘entitlement reform,’ ‘privatization,’ ‘every option is on the table,’” the National Republican Congressional Committee said in an email memo. “Do say: ‘strengthen,’ ‘secure,’ ‘save,’ ‘preserve, ‘protect.’”

If you are a Democrat, do not take any comfort in the beginning of the story.  It may look to you that the Republicans are panicking, and have just about told the Democrats what words to use to fight back.  However,  in discussing the memo, Politico went on to say:

The memo included a link to a 10-minute, 27-second YouTube video Shields had created in which he discusses a 2011 Nevada special House election Republicans had won. The race, Shields argues in the video, demonstrated how Republicans can successfully fight back against Medicare-centered attacks and “chase” Democrats “off the field on something they want to talk about.”

The Democrats made the huge mistake of  failing to respond to the issues raised by the Republican in the Republican’s counter claims.   The Democrat originally called the Republican a liar.  The Republican returned the favor by telling a lie against the Democrat that was bigger than the truth told by the Democrat.  As proof of his claims, the Republican used the Republican’s mother to vouch for his original lies. (And people fell for that, because the Democrat didn’t respond to the Republican lie that was bigger than the Republican’s original lie about wanting to protect Medicare.)

If people knew that the $500 billion dollar cut to Medicare claimed in the Republican video, is actually a cut in the subsidy to private insurers that encourages the private insurers take on some some of Medicare’s clients, then they would see what a big sham the Republican claim is.  The government has to give the private insurers something like a 15% subsidy to get them to do what Medicare does without that subsidy.

This program is called Medicare advantage, and I am on a Medicare Advantage plan, myself.  I figure that if the Government is going to be foolish enough to give insurance companies a 15% incentive to give me slightly better benefits to entice me to leave the Medicare system, then I am going to take them up on that offer.  If the government wants to go back to a level playing field and terminate this waste of money, I will be perfectly happy to go back to government run Medicare, and find my own way to get the miniscule extra benefits at far less cost than what the private insurers are getting now.

So the Republicans tell us that the we need to get a handle on Medicare’s impact on the budget.  They want to do this by cutting the benefits to the recipients of Medicare services.  The Democrats also say we need to get a handle on Medicare’s impact on the budget.  The Democrats want to do it by cutting out the waste of private insurers.

I am not going to be bamboozled by the Republicans’ attempt to use a big lie to combat the truth.

Are you going to be bamboozled?  Are you going to let your friends and relatives who are seniors be bamboozled by the big lie?


In Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare sets stage for campaign debate, I found a backup for the points I was making above.

Concerned about potential blowback from his pick, the Romney campaign aired a new ad Tuesday that says Romney’s plan would protect Medicare and accuses President Barack Obama of slashing Medicare spending through his health care law. That’s a misleading reference to 165 provisions of the Affordable Care Act that would spend $500 million to $700 million less over the next decade through reduced payments to providers and other provisions.

I think they meant billion not million, but at least some in the press are not going to let the Republicans get away with this misleading claim.

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