The veep debate was pretty close to perfect. The main complaint I have about it is that Biden danced around whether they're going to raise the retirement age for Social Security and/or Medicare (remember, his chief of staff was the executive director for the Simpson-Bowles committee, so he's bought into the conventional Village wisdom), but generally, he sounded a lot more like a real Democrat.
So yeah, he did a great job. But be prepared to fight for the safety net after the election:
BIDEN: You know, I heard that death panel argument from Sarah Palin. It seems every vice presidential debate I hear this kind of stuff about panels.
But let's talk about Medicare. What we did is, we saved $716 billion and put it back, applied it to Medicare. We cut the cost of Medicare. We stopped overpaying insurance companies, doctors and hospitals. The AMA supported what we did. AARP endorsed what we did. And it extends the life of Medicare to 2024. They want to wipe this all out.
It also gave more benefits. Any senior out there, ask yourself: Do you have more benefits today? You do. If you're near the donut hole, you have $800 -- $600 more to help your prescription drug costs. You get wellness visits without co-pays. They wipe all of this out, and Medicare goes -- becomes insolvent in 2016, number one.
Number two, "guaranteed benefit"? It's a voucher. When they first proposed -- when the congressman had his first voucher program, the CBO said it would cost $6,400 a year, Martha, more for every senior, 55 and below, when they got there. He knew that, yet he got all the guys in Congress and women in the Republican Party to vote for it. Governor Romney, knowing that, said, I would sign it, were I there.
Who you believe, the AMA, me, a guy who's fought his whole life for this, or somebody who would actually put in motion a plan that knowingly cut -- added $6,400 a year more to the cost of Medicare?
Now they got a new plan: "Trust me, it's not going to cost you any more." Folks, follow your instincts on this one.
And with regard to Social Security, we will not -- we will not privatize it. If we had listened to Romney, Governor Romney, and the congressman during the Bush years, imagine where all those seniors would be now if their money had been in the market.
Their ideas are old and their ideas are bad, and they eliminate the guarantee of Medicare.
RYAN: Here's the problem. They got caught with their hands in the cookie jar, turning Medicare into a piggybank for Obamacare. Their own actuary from the administration came to Congress and said one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business as a result of this.
BIDEN: That's not what they said.
RYAN: 7.4 million seniors are projected to lose their current Medicare Advantage coverage they have. That's a $3,200 benefit cut.
BIDEN: That didn't happen.
RYAN: What we're saying...
BIDEN: More people signed up.
RYAN: These are from your own actuaries.
BIDEN: More -- more -- more people signed up for Medicare Advantage after the change.