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I've been watching Democrats stumble over the GOP talking point about how "Obamacare cuts Medicare by $700 Billion." Well, my Great Orange Satan denizens, it's true and rather than run from it ... embrace it!

I'm starting a series of my own talking points called Slaying the Romney Zombie Lies but after watching poor Rachael Maddow this morning stumbling to get to this $700 Billion point, as have so many others, I decided to start with the final point of my first installment (which is actually Part II).

So, if you'll follow me below the Great Orange Caduceus, I'll present my take on how to defend this.

First of all, I want to say a little something about the construct. You'll notice there's a Prebuttal, the GOP TP (Talking Point -- which is the blah, blah you'll get from the Coordinated Conservative Chorus or more appropriately their Toilet Paper, take your pick) and a Rebuttal.

The Prebuttal is an offensive posture: start the debate from an attack position, going after what you know is coming and neutralize it. This is that part I find we miss quite often. Embracing our own positions sometimes comes hard but we must do it. The Rebuttal is simply an expansion with additional facts for clarification.

The caps aren't necessarily screaming ... they're just key words I've set apart that help make the case. Knowing those key phrases will help people defending the case remember their "script" when under the siege of a well-rehearsed and coordinated script.

On 'Obama cuts $700 billion from Medicare'

· Prebuttal: The claim that OBAMACARE cuts $700 BILLION from Medicare is TRUE and the GOOD NEWS is that in doing so, it INCREASES HEALTHCARE FOR SENIORS and AT THE SAME TIME cuts fraud, WASTE and abuse. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that the Medicare provisions in President Obama's health care law would save $700 BILLION over a decade and EXTENDS THE LIFE OF MEDICARE. Extends it EIGHT YEARS.
GOP TP: Mitt Romney also laid out commonsense reforms that will make good on our promises to today’s seniors and save Social Security and Medicare for future generations.
Rebuttal:  The ROMNEY-RYAN plan takes $700 BILLION AWAY FROM SENIORS but does NOT use it to fund HEALTH SERVICES for ANYBODY. Yet Republicans in the House voted to strip that $700 Billion FROM SENIORS ENTIRELY. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates under the ROMNEY-RYAN plan new Medicare beneficiaries will pay more than $1,200 OUT OF POCKET by 2030 and more than $5,900 more by 2050 and SHIFT ADDITIONAL COSTS to seniors by RAISING  the eligibility age to 67. This NEGATIVELY impacts today's middle-aged, middle class HARD WORKING Americans while giving the wealthiest 1-percent HUGE TAX BREAKS.
FACT CHECK: Questionable claims in veep debut

Romney Slams Obama For Medicare Cuts In Ryan’s Budget

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Comment Preferences

  •  Way to go! I always appreciate having (5+ / 0-)

    Simple talking points to address GOP bullshit.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 08:32:48 AM PDT

    •  Thanks, smoh (4+ / 0-)

      What tripped up Rachael, perhaps one of the most informed Democrats  around, was the simplest question: Do you support cutting $700 billion from Medicare? She wanted very much to get to her point that Ryan's does the same thing but got caught up by the Republican simply repeating the question.

      The answer was "Yes, when it's taken away from one program and put into another to expand services for our seniors unlike Romney-Ryan's which just takes it away." Then she could have made her point without interruption because the question no longer hung in the air.

      •  I think what tripped up Rachel (0+ / 0-)

        was that she didn't bring the focus back to the REAL Medicare argument - the Ryan Plan is about eliminating Medicare.

        That's the issue. The elimination of Medicare.

        Any talk about Obama cutting a wasteful Bush, private sector, add-on is a diversion.

        The answer should have been - "Why do you support eliminating Medicare?"

  •  There were also benefits medicare (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, cotterperson, Lujane, Cordyc

    recipients received, preventative services and closing the donut hole by 2014 for a couple.  What they are worried about is if the cuts mean a loss of benefits.  I'm not saavy enough to know that but I do know there were increased benefits.  I thought the cuts were cuts to waste.  President obama has caught Medicare fraud and brought in the largest amounts ever.

    Sorry for the sloppy info but it should be easy to find.  The point is to define the cuts and emphasize the benefits.

    Your series sounds very good. I've been thinking I want to have my facts and talking points straight.  I'm in red Indiana and there are so many chance for me to multiply my vote by talking to others about what the GOP is truly all about.

    Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.~ Howard Zinn

    by ParkRanger on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 09:09:00 AM PDT

  •  Thanks - keep it coming! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Wrote another diary on the same subject.. (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't notice this diary and have another diary about the same subject. I love the Winning Word Program. Wish Pelosi or the DNC would set aside 100k to get Jill have indepth sessions for all of our Congressmen and particularly for those going on the talk shows.

  •  aren't the Obama cuts from "Medicare Advantage"? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That's the semi-privatized program created by the Bush administration, offering some of what had been available through the supplemental insurance add-ons.  

    The problem with MA is that it's more expensive than standard Medicare (even after Bush subsidized the private insurers to make it appear to be competitive), puts big money into Big Pharma and Big Insurance instead of healthcare services, forces beneficiaries into the morass of networks, limited selection of providers, pre-authorization, coverage denials by the insurers, etc., etc.  Laughably (and Luntz-ibly), the original name for this program that severely decreased the range of provider choices for Medicare beneficiaries was "Medicare+Choice".

    The real lie in "Obama cut Medicare" is that the Affordable Care Act actually cuts this not-really-Medicare program, this scheme to enrich the insurance and drug leeches.  Except perhaps for strengthening enforcement of anti-fraud regulations (thereby taking phony reimbursements away from criminal rackets that prey on the system), statutory Medicare isn't cut in the slightest.

    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. -- K.Marx A.Lincoln

    by N in Seattle on Sun Aug 12, 2012 at 12:04:46 PM PDT

  •  I agree - partially (0+ / 0-)

    I agree that the Prerbuttal is a good way to start. However I don't think it's effective to only say that you support the cut without FIRST saying that is not what the Medicare argument is about.

    It's about the elimination of Medicare.

    Talking about Obama eliminating a Bush program that was Medicare in name only is a dodge. A diversion.

    The focus needs to be kept on the Republican plan to eliminate Medicare. I would really like to see millions of bumper stickers with four words: "Save Medicare - Vote Obama"

    •  Yes, but... (0+ / 0-)

      I think that is a good, simple beginning.  But we should all know the difference between the RR approach and the ObamaCares approach.  We need to be able to answer the 700 billion dollar question.  Some will want to know, and the Repubs are going to be all over the 700 billion cuts.

  •  Romney/Ryan want to get rid of Medicare.... (0+ / 0-)

    as we know it.  

    1.  They want vouchers which will be worth less and less as the years go on, with fewer seniors being able to afford decent care with those vouchers.  
    2.  They want to make sure that corporate executives and shareholders get a chunk of the money that we have all put into Medicare over the years.  
    3.  They want us to have to wait until we are 67 to get the benefits of Medicare.

    Obama/Biden want to ensure that Medicare, which has ensured the health of people 65 and older for almost 50 years now, will work better, will cost less, and will be around for people 65 and older long into the future.

    1.  They want to cut funds from the privatized Medicare Advantage program which is not cost effective and costs the government more dollars per claimant than regular Medicare.
    2.  They want to reduce fraud.  

    That's where the 700 billion in cuts (over ten years) come from.  Not from cutting benefits, privatizing the whole thing, or forcing seniors to pay more and more for vouchers.  

    It's not necessarily the money; it's what you do with it.  


    I just watched Maddow on Meet the Press this evening, as I'm still watching the end of the Olympics on my DVR.  I was screaming at the T.V. "It's fraud!  It's Medicare Advantage!" but she didn't hear me.   We ALL need to know what that 700 billion is about so that none of these Repubs own us.    

    Another thing:  Any problems with future funding could be at least partially overcome by putting a Medicare tax on capital gains and dividends.

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