...Republican lawmakers are amplifying their message that it was President Barack Obama's health care law, not theirs, that pushed draconian cuts to the entitlement program.
The only problem: The Wisconsin Republican's plan incorporates the very same cuts to Medicare that were part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The latest Republicans in an increasingly expanding circle of GOP lawmakers to ignore this point were presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty and Ryan, himself....
"Obama-care kills Medicare as we know it," Ryan said on Fox News the night before, adding that his plan would stop the cuts to Medicare that the president placed in the ACA. "Obama-care raids $500 billion from Medicare to spend on Obama-care, puts in place a 15-panel board to ration Medicare by unelected bureaucrats."
"Our budget, repeals the raiding, gets rid of the rationing board, preserves this program, makes no changes for a person 55 years of age or older and saves Medicare, by reforming it for our generation, so it's solvent," he said. "The president's plan does not save Medicare, it allows it to go bankrupt, rations the program and raids the program. We get rid of the rationing, we stop the raiding and we save the program from bankruptcy."
...[F]or Ryan to say that his law repeals the raiding is to ignore both the realities of his own budget—he wanted to show the maximum amount of savings so he kept the cuts and got rid of the subsidies—and the previous statements of his own office. The $500 billion in cuts that the ACA makes to Medicare over 10 years are one of the few parts of the president's health care law that the Wisconsin Republican preserved, his spokesman Conor Sweeney acknowledged to the Associated Press upon the budget's unveiling.
Neither Sweeney nor a spokesman for Pawlenty responded to a request for comment.
Co-opting the Democrats' message that the Republican budget "kills Medicare as we know it" and applying it to the ACA is blatantly untrue, but lying about Medicare has worked for Republicans so far. Apparently this is what they've landed on as the new messaging strategy they've been yearning for in their Medicare debacle. They can't defend the plan on its merits so they'll try distraction instead: The Democrats did it first.
Medicare lies have worked for Republicans before. It's how they got the House last year. But here's what they have apparently missed in all this: they've all voted for those "Medicare-killing" cuts they ran against last year. Here's how Eddie Vale, a spokesman for Protect Your Care, put it.
"The bizzarre thing about attacks on the savings the Affordable Care Act achieved from Medicare was that every Republican that voted for the Republican budget that ended Medicare also voted for the ACA ones as well because Ryan kept them."
Of course that's not bizarre if you're a Republican. It's business as usual.