Grrr! Healthcare Evil!
Remember waaay back in August 2009, when members of Congress returned to their districts to meet with constituents and met with a Koch/Armey funded wall of nearly unintelligible anger? According to the screaming hordes, the ACA was a big ball of fascist socialism that would destroy the country as we knew it. All lies and ignorance, of course, but it’s a line that still gets traction.
One of the most repeated charges was that Obama was ‘cutting Medicare’. Predictably, seniors were pissed, even though the ‘cutting’ consisted mainly of reducing fraud and abuse and reining in so-called Medicare Advantage plans which cost much more, don’t offer any better care and primarily fund private shareholders.
Well, flash-forward to today. Republicans are back home in their districts after having voted to literally gut Medicare and change it into a voucher system. It would save money only by passing costs on to seniors, costing them around $6,500 more out of pocket for no longer guaranteed care, would actually increase the cost of care, and it would be a windfall for private insurers.
So, will this Summer turn into a repeat of 2009? Will Grandma be protesting the GOP’s own version of ‘Death Panels’? Will old, white men stand up and tell the Republicans to ‘keep the government out of Medicare’? Don’t bet on it. The over-looked private funding of 2009’s town halls just isn’t there. Of course, we’re seeing some pushback but these are normal citizens who happen to be attuned, not bought and paid for agitators who have no idea what they’re talking about. There are no AFP buses to round up angry white folks. No astro-turfed mobs to bring firearms to democratic meetings.
Instead, the onus is on the Left to inform voters exactly what the GOP intends to do to the social compact. Given the odds and opposition machine stacked against us, it won’t be easy. Just keep one thing in mind: Republicans lied about Obama cutting Medicare; Paul Ryan’s budget actually destroys it.