Republicans need to go on offense on Medicare 

Phil Klein has already posted House Budget Committee Paul Ryan, R-Wis., new video on his Path to Prosperity. It is the best video explaining our Medicare crisis and how to fix it I can remember seeing. Ryan is a great messenger for his plan. But even if Ryan personally campaigned for every Republican candidate in a swing district, Republicans would still lose.

Ryan is a great, positive, above the fray messenger. But Democrats have no intention of staying above the fray. They have always said, and will continue to say, that Republicans literally want to throw granny off a cliff. Republicans cannot keep playing defense on Medicare and hope voters will see the light. They need to aggressively go negative on the Democrats failure to produce a viable Medicare plan. They need to explain how this well hurt seniors and that the pain is coming a lot sooner than they think.

Ryan touches on this a little in his video. He has a graph showing the Medicare trust fund will be bankrupt before 2021. But that is more than eight years away? And what is the Medicare trust fund and why should I care about it? He also talks about how IPAB will institute price controls that will lead to “waiting lists and denied care.” But IPAB isn’t fully empowered until 2014. That’s conveniently after 2012.

But there is a much more immediate threat to Medicare recipients that Democrats have allowed to fester: the doc fix. In order to preserve the fantasy that Obamacare was deficit neutral Democrats preserved Clinton-era doctor payment formulas that are scheduled to cut doctor Medicare payments by 29.4% in 2012. If the Democrat plan is to keep Medicare as it is, then Republicans must make them own that 29.4% doctor payment cut. Independents need to be told that Democrats want to pay their doctors 30% less to provide them health care. At that point, they’ll be able to figure out the waiting list/denied care argument on their own.

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Conn Carroll

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