GOP national chairman Michael Steele and the RNC is out with a new advertisement pushing a 'seniors bill of rights' in which he pushes for among other things, 'zero cuts' in medicare. He also brings up the discredited 'death panel' charge and tries to scare seniors that way.
Funny, but I and most Democrats support 'zero cuts' in medicare. Only there are 137 Republicans in the house who earlier this year voted to cut medicare. So which is it? Is the GOP suddenly suggesting that we preserve all funding for medicare and not cut it? If so then hallelujah, we have agreement.
Of course the Democratic plan does not make any cuts in medicare so it is clearly a moot point in the context of the present health care debate. In fact the last party to make wholesale changes in medicare was the GOP, which in 2004 gave us the 'medicare prescription drug benefit' which was mainly a trillion dollar sop to the pharmaceutical industry and really hasn't done much to improve the access of seniors to prescription drugs over what it had been.
What this is, is a cynical attempt by the GOP to scare and stampede seniors against health insurance reform. Again, medicare is already a 'government option' and there are no plans to cut it.
Let's also not forget that the last time the 'scaring seniors' card was played, it was by Democrats-- suggesting during the 2004 campaign that Bush would try to privatize Social Security if he won. Only that time it turned out to be accurate. After the 2004 election, President Bush did try to privatize social security. And he failed (thank God.)
So one party, the GOP, is now trying to scare seniors over something that isn't even in the bill, and pushing a policy of guaranteed spending levels on medicare which they themselves have opposed and did oppose earlier this year. The other party in effect wants to extend the good health care provided by medicare to other people, by way of a public option. And the other party, the Democrats, has only accused the first party, the Republicans of doing something to endanger a program seniors depend on when, in fact, it turned out that they were absolutely right in making that charge.
Which party would you trust, under the circumstances?