|Keep smiling, Paul. I know we can keep the bullshit going at least until November.|
Paul Ryan has a plan, voted on and passed twice in the House of Representatives this term, that turns Medicare into a voucher system for seniors to pay for private health insurance instead of the current government-operated program. There is no guarantee that future voucher amounts can keep up with healthcare inflation, and in fact, every reason to believe that costs for seniors will rise dramatically, up to $6400 a year for each senior.
Read the Congressional Budget Office report on the Ryan Budget. If you don't want to read the whole thing, at least check out this chart from the report (click for larger view):
This is well established to be true. So it's no surprise that Mitt Romney, to inoculate the Romney/Ryan campaign from charges that they will end Medicare as we know it, came right out of the chute attacking Barack Obama for "gutting Medicare" with $716 billion in cuts to the program.
Of course, this is not true. NOT TRUE. Here's the truth:
The Medicare cuts, passed in the Affordable Care Act, come in the form of reimbursement reductions to hospitals, Medicaid prescription drugs and private insurance plans under Medicare Advantage. The Congressional Budget Office projects that they’ll extend the solvency of Medicare by eight years.
AARP, the seniors’ lobby and chief gatekeeper of Medicare benefits, endorsed the Affordable Care Act despite its cuts, arguing that they wouldn’t affect seniors’ access to care. The law expanded benefits by closing the prescription drug coverage gap known as the “doughnut hole.” The hospital and drug industries also endorsed the legislation, believing that the additional customers via the coverage expansion would more than make up for the cuts.
Obama and Ryan agree that Medicare per-beneficiary cost growth needs to be capped at per-capita GDP plus 0.5 percent. But they disagree on what to cut in order to get there.It cannot be overstated that Mitt Romney lies whenever he is in a corner. Example:
Ryan’s plan under the Path To Prosperity would end Medicare as an insurance program that directly pays medical bills for the elderly. It would be replaced with a fixed subsidy which seniors may use to buy competing private and public insurance policies on an exchange. If the value of the subsidy does not keep up with the growth of health care costs, seniors would make up the cost and pay higher medical bills.
The truth is two-fold: First, Barack Obama has not stated that his new plan is for those over 55, it's for everybody who has or will qualify for Medicare (Mitt only uses the "55" to make it look like Obama's plan is a change in Medicare benefits, which it is not), and, two, Obama has, with his PPACA healthcare act, created $716 billion in savings to Medicare over ten years by cutting costs without cutting benefits. Here's how CBS news covered the issue (quite well for the MSM, I might add):
Paul Ryan's Medicare plan cuts expenditures by the same amount. However, neither he nor Romney will admit this because it's politically toxic. So what have they done? They're running away from it as fast as they can while repeating the baseless lie about Obama's Medicare savings. Here's Paul Ryan bobbing and weaving on Fox (Fox!):
That's why Romney and Ryan are frauds. Oh, and when one runs away from reality for self-protection using deceit, one should also be called cowards, which they are.
Listen to Cent Uygur putting together the case very well:
That's about the size of it. If you want to sample opinion on the subject of Romney and Ryan's honesty and forthrightness, sample some below:
Recognizing Paul Ryan's 'tell' when he is trying to avoid something (Matt Miller)
The real Medicare question (Eugene Robinson)
The Three Boldest Lies Mitt Romney Has Told about Barack Obama (The Philly Post)
Update. I had expected to end here, but I discovered this video of "angry" Ann Romney responding to questions about her joint tax returns with her husband Mitt. And that's an important point: she has to sign under penalty of perjury that she has "examined this return and the accompanying schedules and statements..." So, when she says "I'll be curious to see what's in there, too," she's either lying or admitting to her lack of living up to what she signed, which, under law, is considered perjury for not actually having examined the return and accompanying documents.
Finally, how courageous is a man who would send his wife out to defend him and make clear statements that they're not going to release any more returns? Watch this performance and then read the breakdown from DailyKos:
The link to the DailyKos diary. It says a lot about how the Romneys view those who would insist they act like the rest of us Americans.