Saying 'It's Not A Voucher Program' Doesn't Make It True


As Steve Benen wrote today, Republicans are resisting admitting what Paul Ryan's budget does to Medicare, which is to privatize it and turn it into a voucher program because those descriptions aren't polling very well. So how are Republicans going to handle it? If Rep. Renee Ellmers' interview on ABC is any indication, they just plan on going on the air and lying and saying it's not true. And this week, Christiane Amanpour let Rep. Ellmers get away with just that.

ELLMERS: Well, let me just say, Christiane, that, first of all, as a nurse, you know, Medicare is an issue that we absolutely have to deal with. And, as you know, you mentioned in the Ryan budget that this issue is going to be addressed.

It is not a voucher system. Basically what we will be doing is allowing seniors to be able to make the choices for their health care, the same that we in Congress are doing. It's the very same basic plan. And it actually saves money. It saves money in Medicare over time and it actually increases the coverage, but at the same time, it also increases coverage for those in the low income areas as well.

Here's more from Benen on Rep. Ellmers' response:

First, being a nurse isn't an excuse for voting to eliminate Medicare. Indeed, it suggests the freshman congresswoman actually ought to know better.

Second, saying, "It's not a voucher system" is bizarre since the whole point of the plan is to create a voucher system. If Ellmers wants to say that's a good thing, this was her chance. But simply pretending the plan she voted for -- just 48 hours earlier -- doesn't do what it plainly does make it seem as if the lawmaker has no idea what she's talking about.

And third, saying that Medicare privatization "saves money" is willfully dishonest. No one, even on the right, believes Paul Ryan's voucher scheme actually lowers costs -- all it does is shift those costs onto the elderly, and then use the difference to finance tax cuts for the wealthy.

And as Steve reminded us, this is the same woman who ran her fearmongering campaign demonizing Muslims that Dave wrote about here -- What, Republicans Islamophobic? GOP candidate's ad in North Carolina answers that question.

He followed up by saying that he hopes the press does not start avoiding calling it a voucher system even though the term is accurate. I agree and given their track record, I don't expect any adequate push back from them either.

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