The Big, Racist Lie at the Center of the Romney-Ryan Campaign
Continued from previous page
EK: I don’t know. It depends on which specific thing you’re talking about. I almost despair of any clarity on Medicare; however, it is worth remembering that voters have certain perceptions on what issues parties can be most trusted on. Republicans simply do not have a good track record of earning trust on Medicare and Social Security. So that’s probably the big tie-breaker.
On the welfare stuff I don’t know how long they can get away with just blatantly lying. At some point it really does go over the edge of being absolutely shameful, and perhaps the mainstream media will rouse itself to point it out if they keep running these ads. I personally hope a little bit more attention is paid to other aspects of the Ryan budget other than Medicare, particularly what they do to Medicaid. Ryan and Romney are totally in sync on this, turning it into a block grant. By all estimates this would reduce funding by about a third within ten years, and essentially turn over all eligibility decisions to the states. This will not only be devastating to the working poor -- it also includes the elimination of the Medicaid expansion that was included in the Affordable Care Act -- but also seniors. 6 million Americans living in nursing homes receive their primary support from the Medicaid program. It’s not just poor folks, it’s middle class old folks who rely on Medicaid. I think there’s sort of a political belief out there that it’s all about Medicare because Medicare goes to old people and old people vote. Let’s not worry about the poor people. Well we have a moral obligation to worry about the poor people, and by the way 6 million old folks depend on Medicaid. There’s no dispute whatsoever that the Romney and Ryan budget plans just hammer Medicaid.
JH: The cuts in the Ryan roadmap are so deep across the board that he really would defund almost all of government with the exceptions of defense, Social Security, and public healthcare.
Ryan and Romney are trying to insulate themselves by stressing that current retirees won’t be impacted by Ryan’s plan. This is not true. Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic flagged the fact that the Ryan plan repeals Obamacare in its entirety, and the Affordable Care Act is already giving seniors, current retirees, benefits like filling the so-called donut hole in Medicare Part D -- that’s the prescription drug coverage passed by George Bush. It’s eliminating out of pocket costs for annual wellness visits, some cancer screenings, and a variety of other preventative services.
EK: I would add in the fact that Medicaid pays Medicare premiums for lower income retirees.
JH: So we’re talking about a plan that would do an enormous amount of damage to current retirees. If the media would pick up on this we would be very appreciative.