February 3, 2016

Running Joe Biden from 2012 because nothing's changed.

It's clear from the Republican candidates statements and websites that replacing Medicare with a plan that forces senior citizens to buy health insurance continues to be Republican gospel.

Please note that every candidate uses the canard that current retirees are unaffected by their proposals. (Unless they have 55 year old kids, who are screwed.) And none of the candidates address the specific impact on seniors of repealing Obamacare - covered wellness visits, closing the donut hole, etc. So yes, we are dealing with patent dishonesty as usual.

We'll ignore Donald Trump for the moment. His website does not mention Medicare. His plans for replacing Obamacare? He will "work out something." I'm sure it will be "terrific."

Marco Rubio's website is the most upfront about his plans for Seniors. Here's a screenshot:


So Rubio's plan is to increase the retirement age, turn Social Security into a needs-based system, and issue a fixed coupon with which seniors will buy health coverage. No comment on whether he will allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, which was a primary factor in the creation of Medicare in the first place.

And I don't get the "buy coverage from Medicare" part. Is that a public option? If so, why not expand that program to everyone, Senator?

Ted Cruz is too busy with the Second Amendment and Religious Freedom to have a tab for Seniors on his website. And he may have flip-flopped on this by now, but in his 2012 Senate Race his plan was to increase the Medicare eligibility age to save money. But his Flat Tax plan (oh my god you guys, no, really, it's Steve Forbes on steroids) eliminates the payroll tax. So nevermind about Social Security we won't be funding it anymore. Except we promise we will, so relax:


Ted Cruz, doing the thing that makes people with calculators cry.

In the also-ran department, Chris Christie's website takes a remarkably strong 'tax the rich' stand. He uses the negative connotation "entitlements," and he implies that wealthy seniors down the road will pay more for health insurance, and should kiss their Social Security checks goodbye:

[Social Security] will be there if they need it to support them, but if they are fortunate enough not to need it, they will have paid into a system that will continue to help Americans who need it most. ...if you can afford to pay more for your health benefits you will and if you can’t, you won’t.

Jeb! (His last name rhymes with "whoosh" like the toilet flushing because yeah) uses the word "bipartisan" five times on his Social Security / Medicare website page. How's the Republican primary voter responding to that framing, Jeb? Nevermind.

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