Are Americans Dumb Enough To Believe Republicans Are Defending Medicare?

Gee, I hope not. But normal people are reluctant to call someone a liar, so liars always get the benefit of the doubt. Here's what Michael Steele cl

Gee, I hope not. But normal people are reluctant to call someone a liar, so liars always get the benefit of the doubt. Here's what Michael Steele claims the Democrats are trying to do to seniors:

President Obama and Congressional Democrats are promoting a government-run health care experiment that will cut over $500 billion from Medicare to be used to pay for their plan. Medicare should not be raided to pay for another entitlement.

Even though, oddly enough, it's not true:

On the contrary, the bill includes several key provisions that improve Medicare benefits for seniors, including the following:

Phases in completely filling in the “donut hole” in the Medicare prescription drug benefit (where drug costs are not reimbursed at certain levels), potentially savings seniors thousands of dollars a year.

Eliminates co-payments and deductibles for preventive services under Medicare.

Limits cost-sharing requirements in Medicare Advantage plans to the amount charged for the same services in traditional Medicare coverage.

Improves the low-income subsidy programs in Medicare, such as by increasing asset limits for programs that help Medicare beneficiaries pay premiums and cost-sharing.

Let me remind them what the Republicans have tried to do to the popular senior citizen healthcare program through the years.

In the 1960s, they said things like this:

Ronald Reagan: “[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.” [1961]

George H.W. Bush: Described Medicare in 1964 as “socialized medicine.” [1964]

Barry Goldwater: “Having given our pensioners their medical care in kind, why not food baskets, why not public housing accommodations, why not vacation resorts, why not a ration of cigarettes for those who smoke and of beer for those who drink.”

Bob Dole: In 1996, while running for the Presidency, Dole openly bragged that he was one of 12 House members who voted against creating Medicare in 1965. “I was there, fighting the fight, voting against Medicare . . . because we knew it wouldn’t work in 1965.” [1965]

From Think Progress:

Over the years, Republicans proposed numerous schemes to slash funding or privatize Medicare. Most notably, in 1995, under the leadership of then House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Republicans proposed cutting 14% from projected Medicare spending over seven years and forcing millions of elderly recipients into managed health care programs or HMOs. The cuts were to ensure that Medicare is “going to wither on the vine,” Gingrich explained. Similarly, during the 2008 Presidential campaign, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) proposed cutting $1.3 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid.

Now, ask yourself this question: Have you seen any sign whatsoever that the Republicans have mellowed in the past six months? Of course not. Watch what they do, not what they say.

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