Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hoist by Their Petard Mediscare Campaign Will Backfire on Democrats

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Hoist by Their Petard Mediscare Campaign Will Backfire on Democrats

Article excerpt

Someone who looks like Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pushes an old woman in a wheelchair over a cliff as the ad claims he would leave seniors "without Medicare." It was, said PolitiFact, the 2011 Lie of the Year.

Expect to see that ad often now that Rep. Ryan is on the GOP ticket. This pleases MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews, who said it's the ad he likes most in this campaign.

The ad and Mr. Matthews' fondness for it epitomize the Democrats' strategy for re-electing President Barack Obama. They assume senior citizens are greedy and stupid, that maintaining their government benefits as they are is more important to them than the welfare of their children and grandchildren.

Democrats also assume that seniors will take their word that Republicans plan to cut their benefits. That they'll make no effort to determine the facts. It would be disastrous for Democrats if they did, because in the Medicare reform plan Rep. Ryan drafted with Rep. Ron Wyden, D-Ore:

* No one over the age of 55 would be affected in any way.

* Traditional Medicare fee-for-service plans would remain available to all.

* Overall funding for Medicare would grow at the same rate as in President Obama's budget proposals.

It's the Democrats who plan to cut benefits for those who receive them now. Starting in October, they'll take $716 billion from Medicare to help fund Obamacare.

Seniors, presumably, would be unhappy if they knew about this. President Obama must think so, because he's spending $8.3 billion on a "demonstration project" of dubious legality to conceal until after the election his plans to gut the popular Medicare Advantage program.

Most seniors don't know this because few in the news media have reported much about the Obamacare cuts to Medicare, or on the administration's efforts to conceal them. The key Democratic assumption is that the "mainstream" media is completely in the tank for them.

When Gallup asked them in April 2011, seniors 65 and older chose the Ryan plan, 48 percent to 42 percent. In a poll by a Democratic firm this month, voters preferred the Ryan approach, 52 percent to 37 percent, once it was explained to them. …

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