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Daily Kos has become something of a sink for campaign ideas that one or another of us has discovered in a dream or elsewhere that we think will decide the election.

Can I play too?

Please explain to me why an ad or a debate confrontation presenting the argument below would not be the game-changer that wraps this election up by October 4.

Follow me if you dare ...

Mr Romney:

You propose a new system of senior health care financing to apply to people currently aged 54 and below, a system that you have Marco Rubio acknowledging in one of your ads will be inferior to the current Medicare program. Under this new system, which will apparently be activated in 2023, seniors will receive a voucher and will have to assign that voucher to one of a number of insurance companies vying for their custom. By its very nature, as it relies on competition to apportion health care, your program makes it possible for a recipient to make a better or worse choice of providers, and someone who makes a really bad choice may end up losing all his or her retirement savings unnecessarily. Hey, that's how markets work, isn't it?

You also promise - as in that Rubio ad - that people currently 55 and above will continue to enroll in 'Medicare as we know it', because 'we owe it to them'. Those millions of people shouldn't concern themselves with your proposal in deciding how to vote because you promise them they will see no change. (I'll add that, at any time you might be President, there will be no change anyway; you hope to enact your 'reform' to be implemented entirely by Presidents who come after you.)

Let me present you with a couple, Harold and Maude, who are now 64 years old. In the next few months, they will be enrolling in Medicare and they are expecting to enjoy its coverage for the rest of their lives - just as you promise, just as Democrats promise.

My question is:

Can you look Harold and Maude in the eye and solemnly guarantee them from the depths of your heart that in 2033, when they are 85, they won't receive a letter from a President (who may now in 2012 just be getting out of college) that reads something like this

Dear friends and fellow-citizens,

As you know, the U.S. Government is administering two distinct systems for senior health care, one for people under 75 and one for people like you. As of this year, more people are enrolled in Vouchercare than in the obsolete 'Medicare' program. Frankly, my friends, maintaining two systems is proving very expensive. I don't recall clearly what promises the candidates back in 2012 may or may not have made, but I am the President now and those are not my promises.

This is to inform you that we are terminating Medicare. You will still be covered by Vouchercare and herein enclosed you will find a list of insurance corporations that may be interested in doing business with you. You have 30 days to contact these companies and make your choice among the many many policies they offer. If you study them carefully, I'm sure you will be able to identify the one that is most likely best to meet your needs.

Good luck and good health!


Your President

And I'll expand my question a little bit and ask you if you can then look Harold in the eye and tell him

"Harold, as things happen there's some chance that in 2033 you will be gone - because in these times our wives tend to out-live us by several years - so I promise you especially that after you've passed on your widow Maude will not receive the letter described above. Harold, I solemnly pledge to you that I sure hope that never happens, I really do."

That's a yes-or-no question, or two yes-or-no questions, I guess, and I am very curious to hear the response.



22%4 votes
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| 18 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think this presents everybody's nightmare (9+ / 0-)

    and I think every couple over 50 is making plans so that if (when) the wife survives the husband she will not be left bereft.

    By the way, I don't mean to imply that in many situations (with a few of which I am familiar) Maude wouldn't be the one having to deal with the letter even if Harold is still around. Still, it's a visceral thing, and it is the male 47% that especially needs persuasion that voting for Romney is a very bad decision, isn't it?

    Ah well. Have at it!

    Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

    by Clem Yeobright on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 12:13:23 AM PDT

  •  Great post Clem. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I saw a clip of Joe Biden this morning telling seniors that he and President Obama will protect Medicare and Social Security, while Romney and Ryan want to turn Medicare into an inadequate voucher where seniors may have to add in up to $6,500/year  to make up the difference.

    It was the clearest explanation I've heard yet, but we still need more focus to boil this perspective down into something we can communicate more broadly.

    I'm glad to see you are on the case.

    I'd stick around to chat more, but I have to go to bed, finally.  I had my PETSCAN this morning and didn't get much sleep last night.  Plus they gave me the DVD of the results to give to my doctor, so I opened it up and I found out how to view all these combined Fusion PET-CT scan images.  There is not a diagnostic report just the raw data.  But, they have four completely different kinds of 3-D images of every millimeter of my body, and fusion diagrams where they've combined all of them into multicolor top-side and front views, all interconnected.  

    So, I can roll this cursor and explore my digestive track, and brain, heart, and lungs, in 3-D and see both 3-D Xrays, and as well as radioactive glucose abortion showing metabolic rates of all the different millimeter wide regions of my body.

    Yikes, so far I've found thousands of suspicious specs, blotches, bursts of orange color.  But, I'm going to have to wait until Monday, at least to get the professional radiologists report. But, I've been able to narrow down my possible terminal conditions down to about 2 to 3 dozen.  

    But, speaking on behalf of the amateur - google trained non-radiologist I'm greatly concerned.  I think I should get home study credits in hypochondria, at least.

    But, at least I have Medicare, and I strongly object to these Romney-Ryan weasels even talking about taking it away from younger folks just so they can give tax breaks to millionaires and expand military expenditures.

    Keep up the good work.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 12:59:07 AM PDT

  •  This is a great idea for an ad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, luckylizard

    In debate there are few chances to ask any questions directly to the other candidate, especially with the detail and nuance expressed here.  The critical idea that you hit on that Obama and all Democrats should be hammering the Republican party into its grave with is this:  Romney/ Ryan and the Republicans aren't just talking about changing the age for benefits or the scaling of benefits, but the system itself--and that will effect everyone eventually no matter what they say now.  Once this new systemic change is made there are two metrics, less government cost and more corporate profit, that will be used as battering rams against the existing system.

    The example that no one can use of course is welfare reform.  You can't touch it now, can't adjust it, can't improve it, because it has passed the only tests that get any play:  fewer people are on welfare (because they're kicked off) and it costs less money (because they're kicked off).  Problem solved.  Romney/ Ryan would do that to Medicare.

  •  It's a great idea and very true. Only 2 problems. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ItsSimpleSimon, TX Dem 50

    1) There are no direct questions between candidates in American Presidential Debates. In an actual debate you could have this sort of thing. But the Presidential debates aren't debates at all they're simultaneously competing press conferences happening in the same room.

    2) If there were questions allowed this would have to be rephrased to be much shorter and to the point.

    Other than those teeny tiny itty bitty issues this is a great line of attack.

    Current seniors deserve Medicare because they have paid into all their lives. But what about those of us in our 20s, 30s, 40s, etc who by the time we reach 65+ will have ALSO paid into it our entire lives.

    The Romney Ryan plan is to take our money and give us the shaft.

    We lose if we choose to forget; the lives of men, and money spent.

    by DeanDemocrat on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 04:28:20 AM PDT

  •  So, your plan is to confiscate every dime of FICA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    taxes from every American who is currently under 55 and deposit it directly in your Swiss bank account. Please explain to the average 25 year-old why it is necessary for them to support both their children and their parents in perpetuity so you can reduce your own personal tax burden.

    •  Hey it's been the long term plan to destroy (0+ / 0-)

      Medicare & SS by the Rs.

      Why? Because they're evil.

      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 Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:46:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Of course, he would answer "no, that would never (0+ / 0-)

    happen", whereas the truth is "it would certainly happen". Furthermore, Republicans would continuously ask for further cuts to the program, because they want to end it.  They've descended into a Randian, libertarian fantasy world.

    The real crux of the issue revealed in Rubio's ad (which Democrats should play, by the way, with a couple of comments artfully inserted ) is that Republicans have relentlessly and purposefully bled white the Federal budget with their manifestly irresponsible tax cuts, so that the day would come when Rubio could plead with those 55 and younger: "C'mon, you have to take one for the team, help the elderly now, and suck it up". This is a reveal that I don't think they intended to make - indeed up till now they have tried to minimize the sacrifice aspect of their plan, by parading shiny objects entitled "choice", and "market competition", and "plans just like those in Congress have (as if)" and so on.

    This path is a dead end as an answer to our long term economic problems, will cause great hardships, and is based on a false ideology, period.

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 04:44:20 AM PDT

  •  they would have another option (0+ / 0-)

    they could always pick up a few bucks by selling out to Soylent Corp.

  •  You seem to believe that (0+ / 0-)

    this question would stump Mitt, and he'd have to admit on national television that he's full of shit. Here's another possibility - he'll simply say "absolutely, all elderly people will be fine, in 2020 or 2030 or whatever date you pick. My plan is terrific."  Whenever they are asked any tough question, the GOP nominees just lie. That's what would happen, and then they would move on to the next question of the debate. No game changer.

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