Democrats have either decided that lying to the American public is perfectly OK, or they haven’t done their homework. I’m not sure which is worse. Since the announcement that Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan was Mitt Romney’s VP choice, Democrats from campaign manager Jim Messina to former Governor Howard Dean have flooded the airwaves decrying Ryan’s proposals to reform Medicare. That’s perfectly acceptable--Ryan’s plan is fair game--except when the Dems lie about it, or, at best, ignorantly get the story wrong. Is that what we have come to?
Right out of the starting gate, Messina sent out an email blasting Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate, saying that his “plan also would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors." According to FactCheck.org, “Democrats are still hammering an old, and since replaced, GOP proposal, claiming it would ‘end Medicare,’ and cost seniors $6,000 more a year for their health care.”
The newest Republican budget, proposed by Ryan, keeps traditional Medicare — unlike his plan from 2011 — and the increased cost claim is no longer applicable. Ryan’s current plan offers a “premium support” alternative, where seniors would be granted a certain amount of money to use for Medicare, which would continue in its present form, or for alternative programs.
Also, as has been made abundantly clear by those interested in a fair discussion, none of Ryan’s suggestions would impact today’s retirees – or indeed anyone who is 55 or older. His plan does not kick in for ten years; a decade during which Medicare’s trustees, by the way, say the plan will not be “adequately financed.” A decade that will bring us to 2024, when the trust fund will go bankrupt. Yes, this is a program, as even President Obama has said, that begs for reform.