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Mitt Romney Lies to Floridians by Saying He Will Protect Medicare

more from Sarah Jones
Monday, August, 13th, 2012, 2:05 pm

Today, Romney started off campaigning in Florida by calling the Obama campaign, “It’s smear, it’s dirt, it’s distortion, it’s deception it’s dishonesty. It diminishes the, it diminishes the office of the presidency itself.” So you’d think from these words we’d be headed into higher air, with Romney leading the Sunshine State into Honesty and Integrity Land.

Nope.

After being introduced by nationally despised governor Rick Scott, whose “credentials” for office are very similar to the claims Romney is making about his private sector experience (although Romney’s company was not convicted of the largest Medicare fraud in the history of our country, as was Scott’s), Romney promised Floridians that he and Ryan wanted to protect Medicare.

Romney vowed that the pair “want to make sure that we preserve and protect Medicare.” Romney then went on to accuse President Obama of wanting to cut Medicare by $700 billion. “The president’s idea, for instance, for Medicare was to cut it by $700 billion,” Mr. Romney said. “That’s not the right answer.”

What was that about “smear, dirt, distortion, deception and dishonesty?” Oh, never mind. Romney was for it before he was against it.

A few things. The Ryan budget makes the same cuts to Medicare as ObamaCare. Those cuts are not to benefits. And ObamaCare does not take from Medicare to fund ObamaCare.

Romney’s latest lie, Obamacare’s $700 billion in cuts from Medicare, in actuality makes the case against fiscal responsibility. Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare are not cuts to benefits, they are cuts to future spending via efficiencies that don’t touch benefits. Even the Wall Street Journal seems perplexed by this argument, as they note that the cuts come “from slowing the projected growth of Medicare over the next decade, not making benefits cuts.” This is, of course, a conservative, fiscally responsible idea.

It’s amazing that Republicans are now arguing against fiscal responsibility and cutting waste, but they are. This is the untenable position Romney’s Hail Mary pick of Ryan has put him in.

Medicare for seniors and Medicaid for the poor are protected by Obamacare. In fact, the law actually expands coverage in some cases, according to the independent Kaiser Family Foundation.

Those cuts encourage efficiency and improve quality of care. The cuts help pay for ACA. The cuts are a way of not increasing the deficit.

Are you laughing yet?

See, Democrats didn’t just do a give away like Republicans’ Medicare Part D that was never paid for. Oh, no. The fiscally responsible Democrats paid for their healthcare changes. They didn’t add it to the deficit like a spend and borrow from daddy Republican.

Naturally, this offends Republicans to no end. Maybe Mitt Romney isn’t familiar with paying off bills in advance, since one of his tactics at Bain is to shove those bills off via filing bankruptcy after paying himself and his investors, but here in the real world, we have to know how we’re going to pay for things in advance. After all, the President can’t bankrupt America and get excused from paying the bills, even though Republicans seem to believe it works that way, why else would they refuse to pay the bills they stacked up when they refused to raise the debt ceiling?

The spending in ACA is the tax credits (also known in Republican circles as tax cuts). Did you get that? Republicans have been arguing against tax cuts for the last three years. Oh, sorry — let me be precise. Republicans have been arguing against tax credits/cuts for middle income Americans for the last three years as they rage against ObamaCare.

Romney argues that the Affordable Care Act takes money that was going to Medicare and funds the new health care law with it. This is a lie.

It’s improbable that Mitt Romney doesn’t understand how the cuts work. After all, hello RomneyCare. While he will avoid RomneyCare at all costs lest his base have another epic melt down, in the past Romney has claimed that he didn’t touch Medicare, as if he had that option. Medicare is a federal program, not a state program. As governor, he had no option to streamline Medicare in any way.

Romney is deliberately lying in order to take cover from Ryan’s wildly unpopular plan to kill Medicare. Or, as PolitFact likes to say, it won’t be killed; it will still be called Medicare. It just won’t work like Medicare. Perhaps the folks at PolitiFact haven’t studied privatization in depth. I challenge them to do so and then take another look at their claim that privatization doesn’t kill the entire POINT of Medicare.

The point is under Romney endorsed Ryan plan, Medicare won’t be a program the government guarantees to us. We’ll be running around with vouchers that lose value, sort of like our houses are right now.

Conservatives claim ObamaCare cuts Medicare “more than Romney would,” which should have everyone with two cells to rub together rolling on the ground laughing. These are the same people who are against Medicare, after all. These are the Ryan enthusiasts. Ryan’s plan kills Medicare, and Republicans have been all for it, until suddenly their masters told them to pretend to like Medicare.

It’s an election year, so now we get the Romney/Ryan dog chasing its tail wildly in circles of Medicare accusations.

If you’re arguing with a Republican about this, there’s no sense in getting into the policy, on which they are absolutely wrong. Speaking of policy, these are the folks that thought the ACA was “too long to read”, so they embraced Ryan’s budget in all of its 902 word glory. If you want to see an example of how that sort of cocktail napkin policy works in real life, you need only look to Ryan’s home state, where Walker’s attempt to kill union benefits is costing the state more money than it was supposed to save. These are the unintended consequences of poorly written bills…

Or just take a look at how privatization (aka; for profit healthcare) worked under Rick Scott’s management.

But conservatives don’t care about the truth anymore, and let’s face it, arguments on Twitter and Facebook don’t leave room for policy details. All you need to say is that Ryan’s budget that Romney endorsed turns Medicare into a voucher program, and then ask them what their house is worth today and if they want to play stock market little guy with their Social Security. If they answer yes, that only proves they missed the entire point of “social security“.

Instead of defending against Republicans’ lies, which is where they want to take this argument, the real question is why are they now against fiscal responsibility and cutting future spending? And how do they defend the Ryan plan’s death blow to Medicare?

Don’t fall for the shell game being played here. Ryan’s budget takes Medicare and turns it into a privatized voucher program — taking the power away from the people and handing it to corporations whose first and only priority is profit. It’s not as if this is a hypothetical. For proof, you need only look at the Medicare Advantage program, which was based on the alleged Republican belief that privatization creates “competition” that will lower costs and improve care. In reality, as Ezra Klein pointed out today in the Washington Post, they ended up costing around 20% more. This is the case with privatization. We see it over and over again – less accountability, less quality of service, and it costs more money.

Romney/Ryan, the Randian social Darwinists, are now trying to claim that the Ryan’s budget which was attacked for its immorality doesn’t cut Medicare? Oh, no. It only fundamentally changes the way Medicare works. Romney/Ryan would turn Medicare into a voucher program in order to pay for tax cuts for the rich.

Not only does the Romney endorsed Ryan plan fundamentally change how Medicare would work, but it also keeps the exact same cuts Romney is accusing ObamaCare of taking from Medicare. What was Mitt Romney saying about dishonesty?

Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan has only solidified him as a man running for tax cuts for the 2%, on the backs of the 98%. His hyperbolic Medicare claims are only proof of the Hail Mary death spiral. Romney wouldn’t have to be in Florida at all today, if he hadn’t picked Paul Ryan as his V.P. candidate. Instead, Romney is defending himself from Ryan budget attacks in the Sunshine state, and squirming his way around the truth in order to do it.


Additional Source: Excellent video of Tricia Neuman, VP of Medicare Policy Project at the independent Kaiser Family Foundation discussing Medicare and ACA, PolitiFact and PolitiFactII




Mitt Romney Lies to Floridians by Saying He Will Protect Medicare was written by Sarah Jones for PoliticusUSA.
© PoliticusUSA, Mon, Aug 13th, 2012 — All Rights Reserved

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