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The 716 billion dollar lie is the central line of defense.  It's like the Republicans' Maginot Line. If the lie can be breached with the blitz of truth, the GOP's argument will fall faster than France before Guderian's tanks.  Oh, wait.  I'm casting us as the Nazis in this instance.  That won't do.  

But you get my point, right?  

In 2010, the Republicans ran political advertising against Democrats who voted for the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act, claiming that they had cut $500 billion from Medicare.  That was pretty rich considering that the Democrats had actually tried and failed to expand Medicare eligibility.  The charge was (and still is) a lie.  But that doesn't mean that the ads were not effective.  They were very effective, which is why the Republicans think they can deceive the people again this time around.  

The $500 billion number changed to $716 billion on July 24th, 2012, when Speaker Boehner received a letter from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in response to his request on the cost of repealing the Affordable Care Act.  Specifically, the CBO wrote this:

Spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013–2022 period. Federal spending for Medicaid and CHIP would increase by about $25 billion from repealing the noncoverage provisions of the ACA, and direct spending for other programs would decrease by about $30 billion, CBO estimates.

Let's go over this slowly.  The Republicans have been telling the American people that ObamaCare is expensive and will bankrupt the country.  But when they asked the CBO what would happen if they repealed ObamaCare, they discovered that it would result in an additional $716 billion in Medicare costs.  Overall, the CBO estimated that the cost of repeal would be $109 billion over the next ten years.  So, the truth is that ObamaCare saves us money.  

The Medicare savings are huge, but they come entirely at the expense of hospitals and insurers, who negotiated and approved the deal with the White House because they knew that having millions of newly-insured people would more than make up for their loss of money under the old Medicare arrangements.  

Needless to say, Speaker Boehner was hoping for different numbers.  He didn't want to learn that ObamaCare saves money and repealing it would be very expensive.  But he decided to take that $716 billion of lemons and turn it into lemonade by arguing that "forget that $500 billion that Obama stripped from Medicare recipients, he actually stole $716 billion from them."

It's somewhat breathtaking in its brazenness, no?  

It's even more brazen when you realize that Paul Ryan's budget protected this $716 billion in savings and that all but five Republican members of the House voted for Ryan's plan.

Here is how this lie looks in action:

“Historically … for Republicans if you can fight Medicare and Social Security to a draw, that’s good,” said longtime GOP strategist Charlie Black. “But what’s changed is the president taking money out of Medicare for current recipients to fund his boondoggle [health care] program.”

That argument — that the Affordable Care Act took $716 billion from the Medicare program — is one the Romney-Ryan ticket has been making in the week since Ryan became Romney’s running mate.

“We’re the ones who are offering a plan to save Medicare, to protect Medicare, to strengthen Medicare,” Ryan told Fox News earlier this week. “We’re the ones who are not raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare.”

Medicare “is not the ace up the sleeve [for Democrats] that it has been in previous elections,” argued Luke Frans, the executive director of the GOP polling firm Resurgent Republic. “We can get it to the point where it’s a competitive policy debate.”

The reason the Republicans are so intent on telling this lie is because almost all of them voted for Paul Ryan's budget plan which voucherized Medicare and eliminated its guaranteed benefit to anyone younger than fifty-five.  In other words, after winning election on the argument that they would protect Medicare against Obama's imaginary cuts, they voted as a bloc to destroy Medicare as we know it.  And they can't survive that charge if the people come to understand its validity.  So, they will obfuscate.  

Watch how this played out in Florida, yesterday:

"Here's what the president won't tell you about his Medicare plan, about Obamacare," [Paul] Ryan said. "The president raids $716 billion from the Medicare program to pay for the Obamacare program."

The non-partisan fact-checker has rated a nearly identical charge by Romney, that Obama has "robbed" Medicare of the amount as "mostly false." It also found [Obama spokeswoman, Stephanie] Cutter's assessment of the similarities - but not the description of reductions as "cuts" - between the Romney and Obama's plans to be "true."

Asked in the Saturday interview to respond to that general point, Ryan said, "Well there's a lot to sort through. Look, we're offering leadership, we're offering solutions. The president is not. The president has a failed economic agenda - 23 million people are still looking for work."

Asked why he was lying, Ryan says, "Well, there's a lot to sort through. Why would a Wookiee, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks? That does not make sense!"

But this $716 billion lie is the key to "fighting Medicare and Social Security to a draw," as Charlie Black suggested.  Our job has to be to destroy this lie and render the Republicans defenseless.  Destroy this lie and the Republicans will be exposed as surrender monkeys.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (151+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, Supavash, paulitics, Farkletoo, pamelabrown, ctsteve, fishboots, Habitat Vic, TheCrank, Dood Abides, deha, Alice Olson, kestrel9000, Mary Mike, gloriana, fou, Only Needs a Beat, Egalitare, Haningchadus14, davidkc, MartyM, bnasley, kerflooey, Nowhere Man, nannyboz, arizonablue, theKgirls, Old Woman, Melquiades, Fighting Bill, concernedamerican, NoMoreLies, SaintC, Jim R, jim283, semiot, Naniboujou, drofx, Libby Shaw, millwood, bgblcklab1, David PA, ms badger, Cronesense, JoanMar, majcmb1, FWIW, leonard145b, nomandates, Ed in Montana, Smoh, the OTHER rasmussen, a2nite, KroneckerD, Shockwave, Nulwee, maybeeso in michigan, DavidW, bfbenn, Oye Sancho, Old Jay, mkor7, Gowrie Gal, science nerd, deep, GreenPA, LookingUp, SherwoodB, ask, Mike in Wa, Aquarius40, ayoosilver, zerelda, Radiowalla, TexDem, vigilant meerkat, frsbdg, Gary Norton, Cecile, hyperstation, Onomastic, eeff, GeorgeXVIII, wayoutinthestix, bunsk, rogerdaddy, Heimyankel, where4art, spunhard, cleduc2, mikejay611, Kdoug, maggiejean, KayCeSF, martini, RubDMC, deepeco, alrdouglas, Leo Flinnwood, occams hatchet, Blu Gal in DE, aarrgghh, jeannew, RagingGurrl, kevinpdx, cotterperson, tofumagoo, rapala, Rainefenix, middleagedhousewife, Jennifer Clare, Akonitum, notrouble, shortgirl, zukesgirl64, badlands, Boston Boomer, anodnhajo, kefauver, Nebraskablue, JDWolverton, CathiefromCanada, Xapulin, monkeybox, rasbobbo, Its a New Day, life is making tacos, Leftcandid, Ticonderoga, PeterHug, TexH, kbman, Emerson, Quicklund, Ender, jolux, monkeybrainpolitics, carpunder, Snarky McAngus, chrississippi, highacidity, gramofsam1, the1sage, mconvente, Jeff Y, outragedinSF, missLotus, JVolvo, BasharH, NoisyGong, Larsstephens
  •  Kudos For Recognizing the Dems are 2 Years Not 1 (27+ / 0-)

    week late to challenging this now-established lie.

    They got us a historic defeat 2 years ago. Here we go into our 2nd election still not fighting the issue.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 06:05:02 AM PDT

  •  How do we go about destroying this lie? (17+ / 0-)

    We need short effective messages, not a long explanation, which is the problem. Just calling it a lie isn't sufficient.

    •  you can start (9+ / 0-)

      by amplifying anyone who is sending the message.

      •  "You lie" is sufficient (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        monkeybox, drmah

        But it has to be a very simple statement -- the words "Congressional Budget Office" immediately sends everyone to sleep.
        So every time a republican refers to the $716 billion in a speech, a bunch of Obama supporters stand up and scream "you lie".  And they take off their hoodies to reveal t-shirts with You Lie! in large letters on the front.
        They stand across the street from Republican rallies with "You Lie" shirts prominent, and signs saying "Republicans are lying to you about medicare" and "Republicans will take Medicare away".
        They send Howard Dean or someone as straighttalking as he is, onto every network show to talk about how the Republicans want to destroy medicare.
        After six weeks of focus on this, I think they might make a dent in public perceptions.

        Do not go gentle into that good night. Blog, blog against the dying of the light. CathiefromCanada

        by CathiefromCanada on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 12:11:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  why not (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MartyM, nannyboz, SaintC, ozsea1

      It seems to me that Romney can only get away with this stuff if people are unaware that it is a lie.

      Maybe someone active in Florida can do a diary on how effective it is to challenge this stuff

      Blake: I am an enemy of the Federation but it is corrupt and oppressive. I will destroy it if I can

      by GideonAB on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 07:04:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Spotlight the pluses for seniors in Obamacare (21+ / 0-)

      The killer line in the rep ad is" he cut medicare for obamacare."

      Talk about closing the donut hole and how the republicans want to repeal that.

      Talk about no cost preventative care. Have some little granny looking in the camera saying " and I didn't even have to pay a co-pay. Thanks Obamacare."

      Santorum was on CNN this morning talking about the wonders of the free market and medicare advantage, and that was what the voucher program would lead to, medicare advantage for all.

      Run ads about how medicare ran a trial program to see if the insurance companies could provide medicare services better and cheaper than than traditional medicare. They called it medicare advantage, and it turns out it cost MORE than traditional medicare, and that's why the president decided to end that program and put the savings into closing the donut hole for ALL seniors.He would rather seniors see the benefits of their dollars than insurance companies.

      I think the key is in selling Obamacare and what it will mean to repeal it. Increasing the deficit by repealing the savings to medicare, is another way to attck the republicans.

      Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

      by Sherri in TX on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 07:29:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Medicare for all (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dfarrah, bfbenn, SherwoodB, ozsea1, TimmyB

      There is a reason you do not have a short effective message and you can't blame that failure on Republicans.

    •  I Heard The Dems Argue The Same Cuts Are In The (5+ / 0-)

      Ryan Budget.  I've heard the President point out their cuts are used to fund more tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires while his maintained the Medicare guarantee and added benefits (closed doughnut hole & free preventive services).

      Dems are also pointing out how Ryan's voucher shifts the cost of the program to seniors while the Democrats plan lowers payments to providers and hospitals while changing fee-service payments into a fee for results system.

      Long story short, IMO the key is to pound on the fact that the Ryan budget cuts the same $716B.  That line was effective enough, Romney issued a statement saying his yet-t0-be-revealed plan would restore all that money - presumably to put-upon insurance companies and hospitals.

      •  Obama and other Democrats (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        have made this argument, but over the past couple of days Romney and Ryan seem to be getting more coverage, and there hasn't been much pushback from the media.  The NYT had a great editorial, but overall I get the feeling more people are listening to Ryan.  I hope I'm wrong.

    •  Repealing Obamacare Harms Medicare (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sybil Liberty

      We are the 99% - OWS

      by TriangleNC on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:09:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it absolutely would (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marina, gramofsam1, kefauver

        and as a recipient, I can attest.

        (actually I "attest" all the time that my benefits have improved significantly under the provisions for Medicare under Obamacare, and it's costing me less than before. Any senior who doesn't see this was never going to vote for Obama anyway. For whatever reason we can probably surmise.)

        I'm getting weary of saying this, I'm sure others are getting tired of me saying it too....

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 12:03:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  If I were OFA I would start by (0+ / 0-)

      educating the masses about Frank Luntz and his focus group words.

      Strengthen, save, freedom, choice.  Those words need to be shown to be false and done so FAST.

      Americans are being marketed to,a and Frans Luntz needs to be a household word.

    •  Well, we could turn it on its ear and say (0+ / 0-)

      When republicans take tax cuts for the rich, they are charging you money.

      But, in that case it is true, and I think it would also be lost on the masses.

      "At stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." ~Sen. Ted Kennedy

      by Wendy in FL on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:33:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  see the explanation above about grocery shopping (0+ / 0-)

      i think that one will work

      "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
      CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

      by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:16:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "If we don't love Mitt, we mustn't quit" (6+ / 0-)


    "Generosity, Ethics, Patience, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom"

    by Dood Abides on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 06:46:15 AM PDT

  •  Palm Beach Post (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BooMan23, kerflooey, majcmb1, ozsea1

    has its own perspective, here

    see what you think.

    Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.
    * Join: OBAMA'S TRUTH TEAM *

    by greenbird on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 07:00:55 AM PDT

  •  They would not be in this fix (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, mkor7

    If they hadn't played games with Medicare in the ACA.  Americans did not know that it touched Medicare in any way.  Thank the hapless centrist tricksters for the law no one understands.

    You want simple spin?  Write some simple legislation.  You know like Medicare for All.

  •  Soundbite time: how to destroy the lie in 15 (9+ / 0-)


    That is the challenge.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 07:38:38 AM PDT

  •  If Romney "restores" the 716 billion... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave is he going to pay for it?

    Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end.

    by NCJim on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 07:57:56 AM PDT

  •  Overpay (10+ / 0-)

    Dems shd use that word and revert it aback to them.  Romney WANs to continue to overpay the insurance companies, drugs, hospitals draining medicare

    wall Street Casino is the root of the problem. Don't call them banks.

    by timber on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:25:00 AM PDT

  •  Keeping sayin' it: $716 Billion LIE (11+ / 0-)

    Good ole Paul Voucher will not let go of the $716 Billion LIE as he tells seniors that HE is the one who wants to save Medicare.  And he has the gaul to show up with his mother -- who is on both Medicare and Social Security.  

    Keep sayin' it:  The Vulture & Voucher Team are telling you a $716 Billion LIE.

  •  $716 Billion is already baked in the cake (13+ / 0-)

    So now it's up to each side to define whether it's $716 billion in savings or cuts.

    Hummingbird4015 distilled it into a bumper sticker-sized message:

    Obama cuts waste, Ryan cuts benefits.

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:55:10 AM PDT

  •  They are good at talking about money and lying (0+ / 0-)

    in general. We have to talk about people, like my parents who were saved by Medicare and Social Security. I want the same and I want the same for my nieces and nephews. I'm tired of moldy crumbs.  

    We deserve better, but our neighbors don't believe that.

    We are a terrible people.

    tipped and rec'ed

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:56:28 AM PDT

  •  You are a brilliant strategist. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, BooMan23

    I hope well-heeled strategists will heed your call before it's too late.

    The Romney nexus has been sitting on its millions to spend inverting the truth of the GOP's ruthless assault on seniors.  As happened two years ago, seniors will be the base for the GOP, against all reason.  Every hole we can punch into that picture is a weaker and weaker GOP.

    Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

    by Nulwee on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 08:59:39 AM PDT

  •  Agreed this IS the decisive battle for November (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, Rainefenix, cheerio2

    We must hammer them on Medicare and destroy this lie.

    There is something that worries me;

    The Medicare savings are huge, but they come entirely at the expense of hospitals and insurers, who negotiated and approved the deal with the White House because they knew that having millions of newly-insured people would more than make up for their loss of money under the old Medicare arrangements.

    I hope their premiums and co-pays are affordable.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:00:56 AM PDT

  •  Here's my idea for an ad (10+ / 0-)

    Don't get into the weeds of cuts versus savings.  It's too wonky and too hard to explain.

    Instead keep it simple, positive and relevant to seniors.

    Here goes:

    "Under President Obama's Affordable Care Act, seniors have already saved hundreds of dollars a year in prescription drug costs and free preventative care.

    (Cue menacing voice and music):

    Now Governor Romney, if elected, has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, costing seniors hundreds of dollars a year in higher drug costs and higher co-pays.

    Governor Romney: wrong for seniors, wrong for America."

  •  Well, if we had any real journalists left (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they would either refuse to repeat the lie, or follow it up by pointing out that it is a lie.

    Read a comment in a similar diary that used a grocery store analogy. Something like "if you used to spend $100 on groceries, now you can get those same things for about $70." Put the issue into terms everyone can understand.

    Progressives are defined by who they want to help; Conservatives are defined by who they hate.

    by frsbdg on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 09:31:21 AM PDT

  •  There's been no real organized defense (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ozsea1, martini, dfarrah

    against the Medicare lies on part of the Democrats. Where are the TV ads? The flyers? The radio ads pushing back?

    •  I was just commenting (0+ / 0-)

      on that situation above--and I'm getting downrated and called names for pointing out the obvious.

      As usual, we have to ask, where are the dems?

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:27:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  According to the NPR Piece I Heard Thursday . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Democrats are already running medicare-centric ads in certain congressional districts. My guess is more are to follow.

      Obamacare is upheld by the SCOTUS. Time for some Kossacks to eat a plate of crow.

      by kefauver on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 12:41:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Seems to be a whispering campaign saying that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, kefauver

      Amazing how so many people use the same exact claim to dig at the Obama campaign. Yet at the same time we are linked to a new OFA ad refuting Romney virtually every day. How to reconcile this disconnect?

    •  resources (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gramofsam1, outragedinSF
      This is classic George Orwell by way of Karl Rove. Up is down, black is white, Republicans will save Medicare while Democrats, who invented it and who have fought to sustain it at all costs, want to suddenly destroy it. "Think about a party whose last stand is to frighten 75-year-olds,and you'll understand how totally morally bankrupt the modern Republican Party is."
      Romney - Ryan- Republican Healthcare Coupons: 10's of millions of retired seniors who paid into Medicare system during their working lives, would not be able to afford health care with the Republican Medicare Voucher System
      Hi, I'm Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Campaign Manager at Obama for America

      When Mitt Romney stood in front of his white board, he didn't tell you the truth about his plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program.
      He also distorted the truth about the President's record of strengthening Medicare.

      We're not gonna let Romney get away with this, and we need your help, to get the facts out there. Here's our own digital whiteboard to set the record straight.

      First, Mitt Romney wants you to believe that the President cuts Medicare benefits. That's not true. The President's plan doesn't cut them one dime. He ends taxpayer subsidies to insurance companies,  and weeds out waste, fraud and abuse, which saves the Medicare system $716 billion.

      WE use those savings to expand benefits and strengthen Medicare. We close the donut hole, which is already saving seniors $600 per year on their prescription drugs.

      Second, Mitt Romney claims current seniors won't notice anything different under his plan. Of course they will! Romney wants to repeal Obamacare, making seniors once again pay out-of-pocket for critical preventive care, like mammograms and wellness visits.

      He also adds all that waste and fraud right back into the system, and gives insurance companies $150 billion of your hard-earned dollars.

      Let's go to the third part of Romney's chart. He says President Obama threatens Medicare for the next generation. Now, that's a flat-out LIE. He's zero for three on his white board.

      The truth is, Obamacare extends Medicare's life by 8 years. That's according to Medicare's own experts.

      The fourth thing Romney wrote on his white board is that he, himself, will keep Medicare afloat. Come on, that's just ridiculous. If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are elected, Medicare will be bankrupt by the end of their first term. That's just 4 years. And again, that's according to Medicare's own experts.

      And that's because they want to reverse what President Obama has done to strengthen Medicare. So, not one of the claims on Romney's white board is actually true.

      Here's what is true about the Romney/Ryan plan to turn Medicare into vouchers:

      --They want to take away the guaranteed benefits that seniors have earned over a lifetime of hard work. In their place, they want to give people a voucher, that caps what Medicare will cover, and then tell them they're on their own for whatever costs are left over.

      Non-partisan experts have said that a plan like this would cost seniors as much as $6,400 more...each year.

      These are the facts. The President is already strengthening Medicare and helping seniors save money.

      Romney and Ryan would replace Medicare with a voucher that would end up costing seniors thousands of dollars.

      And remember...they're doing all of this to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

      This is an incredibly important issue. Please share this video with your friends and family. You can even show your grandparents how to post it on Tumblr

      Democrats Henry Waxman and Frank Pallone wanted to be sure that every member of Congress, and every voter, understand the impact that the Romney - Ryan - Republican plan would have back home.

      To that end, they've done the analysis, district by district, of what Romney-Ryan-Republican cuts would mean to health care access. They released this information with a letter [pdf] to their colleagues reinforcing those policy changes:

          The Republican plan to end Medicare as we know it, raises costs for seniors and individuals with disabilities, reduces their benefits, and puts private insurance companies in charge of seniors' health care.

          For current beneficiaries, important benefits—such as closing the hole in Medicare's drug coverage—would  be immediately eliminated. For individuals age 54 and under, Medicare's longstanding guarantee of comprehensive coverage would be replaced with an inadequate federal subsidy to  buy private health insurance. By design, this federal contribution will not keep pace with medical costs, shifting thousands of dollars in costs onto individuals.

          Similarly, the Republican Medicaid plan eliminates Medicaid 's guarantee of coverage. Medicaid would  be turned into a block grant, and the federal contribution to Medicaid would  be slashed by nearly $800 billion over the next decade.  Other changes proposed by House Republicans would  allow states to eliminate coverage for seniors, nursing home care, individuals with disabilities, children, pregnant women, and others currently enrolled in Medicaid.

          These changes would have a profound impact on Medicaid's ability to provide health coverage to millions of Americans, and will shift tens of billions of dollars in costs to state taxpayers.
      Paul Ryan’s mom seems nice enough but she needs a little history lesson. In 1965 when the Democratic Party passed the Medicare program they did so with hardly any Republicans votes. The Republicans hated Medicare then and they hate it now and have been trying to destroy it ever since.

      So, to hear the Republicans say that they want to save Medicare now is, well, ridiculous.

      Obama’s reforms initiated Zero co-pay annual Wellness visits (basically a comprehensive physical with blood work) and he is saving seniors thousands by closing the donut hole for prescriptions. The, so called, “cut” comes entirely from the administrative end and does not impact the car

      Romney to Eliminate Subsidies for PBS, Amtrak, National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities

      by anyname on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:37:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There was a TV AD this week (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There is also the stats Waxman put together for EVERY congressional district.  That seems like a pretty organized defense to me.  

      •  The TV ad is kind of mild (0+ / 0-)

        and really doesn't delve into the details as a rebuttal ad. I'm talking about what you do in swing states:

        Flyers (Direct Mail)
        TV ads (usually more than one on this issue)
        Appearances at nursing centers
        Surrogates on TV pushing back against the Romney Mediscare claim

        Right now, it's kind of quiet on the Democratic response.

  •  Here's what I've posted under media stories (4+ / 0-)

    to help refute this:

    "Clause 3601 & 3602 of the Affordable Care Act clearly state that it's against that law to use that law to reduce Medicare or Medicare Advantage benefits from benefits that existed prior to that law. It also designates the cost savings acquired by the Affordable Care Act from Medicare to extend the Medicare Trust fund (8 years by estimates). That's not political rhetoric or an empty political promise. That's the law Paul Ryan voted against. Ryan and Romney are lying about this"

    Here's the legislation:

    Subtitle G—Protecting and Improving Guaranteed Medicare Benefits


    (a) PROTECTING GUARANTEED MEDICARE BENEFITS.—Nothing in the provisions of, or amendments made by, this Act shall result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits under title XVIII of the Social Security Act.

    (b) ENSURING THAT MEDICARE SAVINGS BENEFIT THE MEDICARE PROGRAM AND MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES.—Savings generated for the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act under the provisions of, and amendments made by, this Act shall extend the solvency of the Medicare trust funds, reduce Medicare premiums and other cost-sharing for beneficiaries, and improve or expand guaranteed Medicare benefits and protect access to Medicare providers.

    Nothing in this Act shall result in the reduction or elimination of any benefits guaranteed by law to participants in Medicare Advantage plans.

    (TITLE XVIII of the Social Security Act is "HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THE AGED AND DISABLED" which among other things defines Medicare prior to the Affordable Care Act.)

    I think it's helpful to refer to the law because it's clear and cannot be easily refuted by the GOP. The law is the law. Although not grade six reading level, you don't need an accountant to grasp the gist of the law.

    I also like the second part about what they do with the "savings .... shall extend the solvency of the Medicare trust funds, reduce Medicare premiums and other cost-sharing for beneficiaries, and improve or expand guaranteed Medicare benefits and protect access to Medicare providers. "
    which refutes Romney-Ryan's claims that Obama "stole" this money from Medicare to pay for Obamacare.

    Not all seniors will relate to that text. But it would simplify the issue for media reporting it to them: don't listen to the rhetoric - just look at what the law says! Romney-Ryan are either lying or can't read basic law.

    Although not always reliable, Politicfact came down on the side of Obama on two of the concerns with this debate:
    since Romney's made reference to them, it's tougher for Romney's people to dismiss their findings

    Hope that helps.

  •  I also thought these were GOP head exploding (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Icicle68, Quicklund

    questions (similar line of attack):

    Stephanie Cutter: "Why have two plans (one for  55+ and one for under 55 yrs old) if you've got a good one?"

    EJ Dionne: "If the Ryan/Romney medicare plan is so great for seniors, why not implement it right away; why wait 10 years ?"

  •  Restoring the 'cuts' kills Medicare (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, outragedinSF


    1. The $716 billion in savings in ACA keeps the Medicare trust fund solvent for 8 additional years - until at least 2024.

    2.  Romney/Ryan have pledged to NOT save that money - which means spending it - which pulls back the insolvency date to 2016.

    3. Romney/Ryan have a voucher plan - oh, excuse me, 'premium support' - which doesn't even kick in until 2023.

    4  Romney/Ryan haven't offered a single idea or plan for what to do to keep Medicare solvent between now and 2023.

    So, to recap, Romney/Ryan's plan to 'save and strengthen' Medicare is to get rid of the savings that will keep Medicare solvent until 2024, and do nothing about it until 2023.

    And even in 2023 - 7 years after Medicare will have become insolvent - their entire 'plan' is to offer elderly people the option to get a voucher for private insurance..... which won't do a SINGLE THING to actually lower the COST of health care, just shift it onto the patient.

    I wish I was seeing these points made better by the Democrats.


    Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

    by databob on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 10:32:42 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this, BooMan. I like this graphical (6+ / 0-)


    "On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps...of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again."

    by middleagedhousewife on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:21:06 AM PDT

  •  I wouldn't even explain the $716B (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msdrown, Snarky McAngus, Wendy in FL

    It gets too much into the weeds. Keep it short and simple
    - Under Obamacare we are closing the donut hole.  This year alone saved seniors and average of $600
    - Under Obamacare preventative care visits are now free
    - Under Obamacare the Medicare trust fund has been extended 8 years

    If people come back with but but $716B just say that is subsidies to insurance companies, waste & fraud savings, and savings from more people having access to preventative care.

    Trying to explain that well $716B is not really $716B in cuts plays their game.  Show what Obamacare has done for Medicare recipients now.

    (also posted on Booman tribune)

    •  very important point here (0+ / 0-)
      If people come back with but but $716B just say that is subsidies to insurance companies, waste & fraud savings, and savings from more people having access to preventative care.
      If Romney "restores" it, it goes to Big Insurance.  It still gets spent, it just does't help any real people.

      "It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change." John Steinbeck

      by Snarky McAngus on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:44:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Their lies work because we ignore talk radio (0+ / 0-)

    They can repeat it there over and over and it doesn't get challenged in real time. That is their huge advantage in messaging and they will win many elections all over the country this year because the Dem party has no organized opposition to it. The strategy that that is their medium and we have ours is incredibly stupid and has caused us to lose 20 years of progress.

    Americans are not going to make any real progress on any major issue until they fix the radio, the big lie machine. GOP politicians and hacks  an repeat the lies with certitude because they know it's already been or will soon be pounded into the ear holes of 50 mil a week. The talk radio base of 10 or 20 mil idiots will repeat those lies to millions of other less engaged listeners who will use that info when judging ads and candidates and issues. And MSM talking heads are afraid to call them liars because they know what happens when the team limbaugh is told to mention their name a few times.

    We can't fix that lie without protesting the radio mega stations that spread them. That will finally challenge the certitude and credibility of the liars. Otherwise they're going to shout over the truth whenever they want.

    Communities need to stop giving those radio stations a free speech free ride and they need to get their universities out of RW talk radio.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 11:44:20 AM PDT

  •  I think part of the problem is Repugs have not (0+ / 0-)

    defined exactly what a voucher is and how it would work.  We need to define voucher for them with real stories about raising cost by the medical/pharmacy complex.  

    Here's my story.  It doesn't involve human cost but a comparison came about through a Vet. Presciption. The Vet's cost was going to be $45. We were ready to write the check when Vet discovered his supply was insufficient to fill presciption. He told us any pharmacy should carry the same med (for upset tummy) so we were off to our regular human pharmacy. This is the place that usually fiill our Medicare prescriptions and carries the information re: our pre-paid srcipts through hubby medical savining account through his job. The cost they asked for Puff the Magic Dragon Jr's prescription was to be $165. They assumed Medicare or Pre-Paid savings was footing the bill. You would think they might have figured by the name of the patient (Puff TMD jr.) that this wasn't a human child, and that we expected to pay the bill ourselves. Final story is we were able to fill the prescription at the Grocery Store Pharmacy for $35.  

    Ok, if this were a voucher senario (for a human) which allowed say $25 toward payment with a $10 co-pay, it's obvious to see which pharmacy is ripping off the customer.  Republicans gripe and complain about REGULATIONS, but without some kind of price control the $165 cost would soon become the norm for every preseciption of this med.

  •  To put it in personal terms, I have a Medicare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Advantage plan that I just used in the last couple of weeks for a non-serious infection.  My doctor visit cost me $5.00.  My prescription for an antibiotic cost me nothing.  That's right.  $0.00.  My druggist waved the usual $6.00 co-pay.

    •  That's like an alternate universe... (0+ / 0-)

      I have Medicare.  And pay a significant premium for it out of my Social Security check.  My former employer pays an additional premium of $334 to $405 a month for either an Advantage Plan (choice of two) or a supplemental plan. That covers the retiree only, not spouse or dependent.  
      And the doctor visit co-pay is $20, $25, or 85% after the deductible. Depending on the plan.

  •  Here Is An Article From The New Yorker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that talks about one of Paul Ryan's first supporter on vouchers saying that this program will fail drastically.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:07:46 PM PDT

  •  Yay Chewbacca Defense! "LOOK AT THE MONKEY!" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I say, "I'm happy that the $500B of Medicare Fraud known as Medicare Advantage is being dealt with.  The GOP created that mess for profit, & if ObamaCare is doing something about it, we'll all be in better shape, healthwise and moneywise."

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 01:34:11 PM PDT

  •  Republican dog-whistle (0+ / 0-)

    Obama doesn't just take $700 billion from Medicare. He steals that money. He robs from Medicare to fund Obamacare. Cenk has run some pretty good mashups illustrating how GOP surrogates are driving home that meme.

    It's a two-fer: scare grandma AND contribute to the niggerization of the President.

    Democracy - Not Plutocracy!

    by vulcangrrl on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 02:36:56 PM PDT

  •  omg the Chewbacca defense! (0+ / 0-)

    I have thought that more than once while listening to Republicon word salad

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW in OH, PA, FL, NC and TX. Make sure they have the ID they need to vote, and make sure YOU are registered and ready to vote!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 03:13:41 PM PDT

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