This would be sad if it wasn't so typical of the modern GOP:
As President Obama and Democrats try to salvage the reputation of the Affordable Care Act, a national Republican group will hit 12 Democrats–all running in Senate elections next year–over changes to Medicare.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee will highlight Wednesday the candidates' support for the federal health care law, better known as Obamacare, and what Republicans call $717 billion in cuts to the popular entitlement program that guarantees health insurance to seniors.
Democrats defending the program, however, say the changes aren't cuts, but savings of projected costs of Medicare over the next 10 years.
The $717 billion figure comes from a Congressional Budget Office report that measured the impact of repealing the health care law. The figure was a big campaign issue during the 2012 presidential election.
The report says that under the repeal measure, "Spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013-2022 period." Those spending increases would be a result of more spending on hospital and medical insurance, offset by a decrease in prescription drug coverage.
The report also notes that the projected increase in Medicare spending if the measure is repealed does not signal a more-than $700 billion decrease if the measure stays in place.
But the NRSC will hammer the Democratic candidates in a news release for "deceiving seniors (by) using their old and discredited MediScare playbook."
What a shock, right? These attacks were so outrageous the first time they used them, but they succeeded in the tea party frenzy of 2010. They are even more egregious now since Republicans have been demanding cuts to entitlement programs louder than ever since Obama was re-elected.
This was entirely predictable. It was the GOPs main selling point in 2010 and I'm sure they'll use it to great advantage this time too. Elderly people always vote and in off-year elections it makes a difference. The question will be if the 12 Democrats can come up with something that brings their people out to balance it out. So far, I haven't seen what that's going to be. The off year election in a president's second term is rarely a good one for the president's party, unfortunately.
Duncan makes a good point too.
One way to battle this stuff is to, you know, announce your plan to increase Social Security benefits. That Democrats fail to set themselves up (even dishonestly) as the champions of the things they're supposed to be champions of is a mystery.
The fact is that Democrats aren't being dishonest at all in their support for Medicare, but if they want to be able to sell the olds on their support for it then they have to be smart. The 12 Democrats should all promote expanding Social Security benefits and let republicans try to scare the olds out of supporting that.
Good luck with that.