Breaking Down The Medicare Lie

Are you familiar with ‘The Medicare Lie’? Republicans and their shadowy supporters (read: Karl Rove, the Koch Brothers and Tea Party extremist groups) have been using it to attack Democrats for a while. It’s a big one. It’s also important, so let’s break it down.

The claim is that the Affordable Care Act—or “Obamacare”—was funded in part by gutting Medicare to the tune of $716 billion. As a result, Republicans argue that any Congressperson or Senator who voted for Obamacare, or anyone who even supports it, is, essentially, trying to strip Medicare of A LOT of money. There are tens of millions of seniors across America who rely on Medicare to stay healthy, and the GOP is arguing that Obamacare is taking money directly out of their pocket.

Now I’m the first to admit that this claim sounds bad. But it takes about two seconds to head over to Politifact and see that this ridiculous idea has been debunked literally dozens of times. From the occasional “Half True” to lots of “Mostly False,” “False” and plenty of “Pants on Fire,” Politifact can’t fact check this lie fast enough.

Republicans lying, in and of itself, is nothing new. But The Medicare Lie is particularly egregious. Here’s why: WHILE DEMOCRATS AIM TO STRENGTHEN MEDICARE, THE REPUBLICANS WANT TO GUT IT COMPLETELY!

You know Paul Ryan:  Congressman from Wisconsin, former Vice Presidential nominee, gym rat. Well along with being a conservative politician from the Midwest and Ayn Rand’s biggest fan, Ryan is also the Chairman of the House Budget Committee. In that role, he crafts budget proposals for Congress.

Now we all know how much of a disaster the Ryan budget would be for the American people, cutting taxes for the rich and social services for the poor. But what we need to know for the sake of this post is that one of the social services it would gut is Medicare. Paul Ryan and his Republican buddies in Congress wants to voucherize Medicare. Rather than guaranteeing coverage for all seniors, he would like to give them a gift card to visit the doctor of their choice. Once their gift card is empty... we’ll that is apparently no longer the problem of the Republican States of America.

Republicans and their billionaire friends have been running ads against Democrats throughout the midterms invoking The Medicare Lie. But the truly astounding part is that they are accusing Democrats of trying to destroy Medicare, while at same time trying to destroy Medicare all on their own.

The Republicans are trying to have their cake, and eat it too. And while they are at it, they would also like your cake, your vote and your goddamn health insurance.


Brad Woodhouse is the President of Americans United for Change

10.23.14 | permalink

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