Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush told an audience at a Koch brothers’ sponsored Americans for Prosperity event in New Hampshire, that we need to phase out Medicare. Bush, the so-called “moderate” candidate in the GOP field, is ready to scrap Medicare, stripping away a vital program that helps cover medical costs for elderly and disabled Americans.
Bush made his intentions clear when he stated:
The left needs to join the conversation, but they haven’t. I mean, when [Rep. Paul Ryan] came up with, one of his proposals as it relates to Medicare, the first thing I saw was a TV ad of a guy that looked just like Paul Ryan … that was pushing an elderly person off the cliff in a wheelchair. That’s their response.
And I think we need to be vigilant about this and persuade people that our, when your volunteers go door to door, and they talk to people, people understand this. They know, and I think a lot of people recognize that we need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits.
But then we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something – because they’re not going to have anything. And that argument I think is going to be a winning argument if we take it directly to the people.
What Jeb Bush does not seem to understand is that what passes as a winning argument in a room full of Koch brothers’ GOP lackeys and what passes as a winning argument with the American people are two very different things.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey
released on July 17, 2015, 89 percent of Americans want to leave Medicare as it is, or they want to increase funding for Medicare. 77 percent of Americans say Medicare is “very important” to them, including 69 percent of Republicans. Only 4 percent of Republicans, 3 percent of Independents and 1 percent of Democrats say Medicare is “not very important” or “not at all important” to them.
Mitt Romney was widely regarded as out of touch in 2012, for wanting to completely ignore 47 percent of the electorate. However, his formula for victory at least was mathematically possible if he could have somehow implausibly ran the table with the other 53 percent of voters. Jeb Bush, however, thinks its a winning argument to send people door to door to push a policy that will have the support of just 4 percent of Republicans and less than 3 percent of Americans in general.
Apparently when a candidate spends all his time sucking up to the Koch brothers, he loses sight of what constitutes sensible or popular public policy. Jeb Bush, by all means, go ahead and send your paid staffers and your volunteers to knock on every door in America with the message that you want to phase out Medicare. Oh, and good luck with that.