Thursday, August 16, 2012

Make it Plain (Medicare)

So now...the real campaign begins! And right about time too... In Dubuque, Iowa...(Damn, that's a real mouthful isn't it?) Speaking to a crowd of more than 3,000 on the banks of the Mississippi River here, President Obama first countered charges from  Mitt Romney and his surrogates that his administration is cutting more than $700 billion in Medicare spending to transfer it to the new health care law.

 “They are just throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks,” he said. “Here’s what you need to know: I have strengthened Medicare. I have made reforms that have saved millions of seniors with Medicare hundreds of dollars on their prescriptions,” he continued, as the crowd cheered.

President Obama's plan, if I'm understanding it right  would slow the growth of Medicare spending, while the cuts would mostly affect insurance and health-care providers, not senior citizens. Plus,ironically, Paul Ryan’s budget plan contains the same cuts.

After defending his own plan, the president shifted to offense, tying Mitt Romney to Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan, which would give future seniors a voucher or premium support -- to purchase private insurance or purchase it through Medicare.

“Mr. Romney and his running mate have a very different plan. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program.,” he said. “That means seniors would no longer have the guarantee of Medicare; they’d get a voucher to buy private insurance.”
He wrapped up his riff on Medicare with a sharply worded contrast between his plan and that of his Republican opponents.

“Their plan ends Medicare as we know it. My plan reduces the cost of Medicare by cracking down on fraud and waste and subsidies to insurance companies. Their plan makes seniors pay more so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires.”

 In response to President Obama's volleys, the Romney campaign doubled down on its claims, releasing a statement from spokesman Ryan Williams that the president (get this) "has a long history of launching shameful political attacks on Medicare -- but he's the only person in the race who has actually cut Medicare. President Obama cut $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare and our nation's seniors will pay the price with higher costs and fewer benefits." 

Ryan Williams added that  Mitt Romney "will always protect this vital program for seniors and strengthen it for future generations."Don't bet on it.

The president was introduced here by his wife Michelle, who joins him for a full day of campaigning in Iowa. She took a softer tone, reminiscing about their 2008 days in the nation’s first caucus state that jump-started Obama’s campaign.

“Thank you for the kindness and generosity and love that you have shown us throughout the state,” the first lady said to cheers.

She seemed to make a call for a more issues-based discourse in contrast with the name-calling and hot rhetoric that has marked the last few weeks on the trail.

“Because of you,” Michelle said of Iowa voters, “Barack and I will always remember what this process can be about at its very best. Every election, you remind us what democracy is all about. It is about people getting into the issues, discussing them with their neighbors,” she said.

The Obamas have one more campaign stop in Iowa -- further east in Davenport.

One thing I am glad about ...and that is that he is going on the attack...He is explaining the differences of his health proposal and theirs...He is attempting to make something very complex as plain as he can to the average person.

I must admit that this  health care issue is so complex and murky that even I don't understand it...and I've been reading and reading and watching CNN and MSNBC trying to get a handle on it...  If I can't fully understand it and I'm doing all of this reading and research...I can imagine what the average non-reading sound bite listening and buzzword voter is going through.   They can be told anything...and they are being told anything.

I just hope the President can present a clear message..A clear enough message to get him back in the White House come November...I can feel a little bit of the passion of 2008 growing!


Arlene said...

Keith, you are NOT the average American citizen. You look for information and facts before carefully THINKING. Then you make a decision. Too many will make their choice by those 20-second soundbites or worse by looking at the color of the president's skin.

Yesterday MSNBC did a little report on the 3 Joes - Joe the plumber, Joe Arpaiyo the sheriff and Joe Walsh the congressman. We know what dolts the 3 are, but they are celebrated within the Republican Party as heroes. What does that say about thinking!! Can anyone "make it plain" for someone who would vote for these?? Pray, my brother!!

Mizrepresent said...

You have been so on point in your commentary. I read you everyday...even though (forgive me) i don't comment as much as i should. Your commentary is what we need and i thank you, so very much my brother from another mother. Keep, keep, keeping it on!


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