I never cease to be amazed at the hypocrisy that is in the Obama campaign. I wrote yesterday about a new pilot program for Medicare that was crafted under the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services. For all intents and purposes, it is similar to the plan proposed by Paul Ryan, with one major difference. Ryan’s plan is voluntary, whereas the pilot programs being approved by the HHS has an opt-out feature. In other words, senior citizens would be automatically enrolled in the program, but could stay in the standard Medicare program, should they choose to do so. With Ryan’s plan, they have to opt-in to get in the new program. In the HHS plan, senior citizens would have to opt-out, in order to stay in the original Medicare plan.
With that out of the way, let’s look at the new plan of attack the Obama campaign is using on Mitt Romney. They seem to believe they will be better off discussing Medicare than the economy, as they have doubled down on their attacks on Romney’s plans for Medicare. Citing a new study, they are claiming Romney’s plan will raise the cost senior citizens have to pay for Medicare coverage.
(The Hill) President Obama on Sunday turned his attention to Medicare, telling voters in Florida that Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan’s plans to reform the program would mean higher costs on seniors and more profits for insurance companies.
Obama cited a new study from the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a liberal advocacy group with ties to the administration, claiming that the GOP ticket’s plans for Medicare mean “would mean as much as $16 billion to $26 billion in new profits for insurance companies.”
“Your costs would rise by the thousands and the insurance companies’ profits would rise by the billions,” said the president at a rally at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne.
“No American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the dignity and the respect and the care that they have earned,” he added.
Obama said that the Republican proposal which he characterized as a “voucher plan” would “bankrupt” the program, while he touted his own reforms.
“We will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul — but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of healthcare, not by dumping those costs on to seniors,” he said.
Did I mention the hypocrisy that is so prevalent in the Obama campaign? I know they are desperate to remove the focus of the campaign from the economy. Mitt Romney has been more than a little successful at keeping the campaign centered on the economy and the poor job President Obama has done to strengthen the economy, but do they really want to focus on Medicare? They must believe they have a winning strategy, otherwise they would try something else. But do they really want to go to Medicare?
Do they believe Americans are so blind and ignorant that we will not see the comparison between the two plans? Do they really believe we can not see the lies they are telling about the Romney/Ryan plan for Medicare, without mentioning their own plan that is in the process of being implemented? Do they really believe removing the focus from the economy and putting the blinders on Medicare will produce a win for Obama in November? Especially considering the way they are going about it? I say let them try.
This is one reason I believe Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan need to be hammering on Medicare in their speeches. It’s doubtful they would ever read Political Realities, but if I could tell them one thing to do, it would be to keep talking about the economy, but to also begin highlighting the Medicare pilot program being implemented by the HHS. Americans, I believe, are smart enough to see what is going on, if they are given the facts. The mainstream media will not be talking about this, but Romney and Ryan can. When they do, it is up to those of us who do care about these things to report on what they say.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan should break out their charts and show the similarities and the differences between their plan and the HHS plan. They should explain how the HHS plan has an opt-out provision, not an opt-in. They should explain how hypocritical it is of President Obama to be attacking their plan, while implementing a similar plan. They should show how biased the new study is that Obama is relying on for his facts. It was produced by David Cutler, a Harvard professor who was the top healthcare adviser to Obama during his 2008 campaign.
There is plenty of fodder in this for the political cannons. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan needn’t be shy about using it.