Sunday, August 19, 2012

Obama Blasts Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan - Ryan on Medicare Speech to Seniors in Florida 2012 – Flashback: 1999 Ryan Bill to Protect Seniors

2012 VP Candidate Paul Ryan with Mother, Betty, speaks before huge crowd in FL on Medicare! - Crowd size visible on Real Clear Politics Video in link Paragraph 3 - image

President Obama, on the stump for re-election has charged that the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan would hurt seniors due to the voucher system that is included in the plan. (AP) That may be news to Romney and Ryan as that has not been the intent of either man – rather, they are proposing a plan that would insure those 55 and older continue to receive benefits without any changes, while those under 55 would have a choice of either staying with traditional Medicare, or buying insurance that would be subsided, based on income, in an open market (where one would have the choices that Federal employees have as to health care providers, not limited by states). As the DNC talking points continue to insist that the Romney Ryan Plan is going to cut Senior Benefits, Ryan is talking to seniors about how the Obama Health Care Act includes drastic cuts to Medicare (Billions), and also includes the installation of a panel of bureaucrats which will decide further cuts, as well as care decisions. (Which is true under the Health Care Affordability Act).

In general elections Medicare is generally brought up by Democrats in mailings and advertisements telling seniors that if they vote for a Republican, they will lose their benefits, and in general elections of the past, politicians, including Bill Clinton, have avoided the big issue of Medicare in elections Philadelphia Inquirer Archives Sept.15, 1996., based on polling data – the same was true of Bob Dole, the GOP candidate who ran unsuccessfully against Clinton that year.

However Ryan, in his speech to seniors in Florida, suggested that the plan he and Romney proposed is based on one similar to Bill Clinton’ here at In fact, in 2011 there was a brief meeting between President Clinton and Paul Ryan in which the dire situation of Medicare was discussed as Clinton hoped the Democrats would not “do anything” Watch on here

Ryan is not new to the Medicare Debate, and has been trying to protect seniors since entering Congress – from the Milwakuee Journal Sentinel Headline February 7 1999 “Janesville Republican’s Bill Would Shield Current Benefits from Cuts” - Ryan stated: “No matter what other reforms need to be made to make the program solvent in the future, there will be no change to current or soon to be retirees” he said..

Although in most general elections this would be political suicide, regardless of party, to bring up any changes to entitlement programs, even if they are designed to save a program – it is so much easier for those running for office, or those in office, to use it as a political football, and then kick it down the road. In this election there is more at stake, as the Medicare Program is gutted under the current Health Plan and melded with Medicaid, furthermore, that panel of bureaucrats who would cut services to seniors, does so without consent of Congress. For those seniors on Medicare or those 55 and older, this cannot be comforting. Individuals who have paid into Medicare all of their lives, should have some benefits at the least when they retire and are booted off traditional insurance. In this election, Romney and Ryan are at least proposing ideas to salvage the system and replace what is surely unfair to seniors with a program that protects them.

What is normally not ground for discussion on a GOP ticket, or even a DNC ticket, has come to the forefront – with Ryan’s understanding of policy and budget structure, his warnings, if unheeded may have dire consequences ten years from now. It remains to be seen if the millions of seniors that vote each year, as well the millions of baby-boomers nearing retirement, will take the chance that the Democrats will “protect” their benefit, while Republican’s will take the benefits away. If Seniors are paying attention, then the unthinkable may happen and the Democrats stand to lose yet another “group” that normally is in their back pocket.

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