The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Dan Balz's Take

Health Care

RNC Puts 'Seniors' Bill of Rights' on the Air

By Ben Pershing
The Republican National Committee is looking to win increased attention for its "Seniors' Bill of Rights," launching a new ad starring RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele outlining the party's health-care manifesto.

Republicans unveiled their bill of rights last week, as they sought to capitalize on polls suggesting that seniors are particularly fearful of changes to their health care and wary of President Obama's reform proposals.

The GOP is now hawking the document in a TV spot that will run on "select national cable networks" and in Florida. An RNC spokeswoman said the size of the ad buy is "significant," particularly in Florida, but she would not specify the campaign's exact price tag or how long it would run.

"Let's agree in both parties that Congress should only consider health reform proposals that protect senior citizens," Steele says in the ad, before ticking off the line items in the GOP's proposal, including vows not to cut Medicare, "ration health care based on age" or inject the government into end-of-life decisions.

Taken together, Republicans' proposals do not add up to a reform plan, but rather represent an effort to contrast the GOP's positions with what the ad implies Democrats' reform plans would do. calls the ad "a mix of false, true and misleading claims." Democrats have said it is "riddled with lies," and some liberals have suggested conservatives like Steele are being hypocritical in their vows to protect Medicare -- a government-run health-care program -- while at the same time warning that Obama's plans will lead to government-run health care.

Posted at 2:50 PM ET on Sep 1, 2009  | Category:  Health Care
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Steele finally gets a real job...
on an infomercial.

The problem is, nobody said anything about cutting senior care...but 'cept Mr. Steele.

How 'bout a ginsu knife...and some oxymoron?

Posted by: JohnQuimby | September 2, 2009 8:41 PM

"dambam64 Your wife left you at 62? What the F? You had to take early S.S. and then you made too much money two years later? Huh?
Then they took away your S.S.? Sounds screwy. Posted by: seemstome"

He gets his hypotheticals from the same fantasy land as Joe the (hypothetical) plumber. You make them up as you go along and hope nobody points out the glaring problems, like that it all supposedly happened under GWB but is somehow BHO's fault.

Or that it flatly makes no sense, period.

Consider the source.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 1, 2009 11:39 PM

The GOP has left a bit of gap here. Most people are opposed to the current forms of HCR being offered at this time. But the Republican's offer of leaving Medicare and Medicaid alone until they crash and burn is obviously political posturing.

We need a more sensible voice, and neither party seems ready to get serious.

Posted by: ProfElwood | September 1, 2009 9:50 PM

dambam64 Your wife left you at 62? What the F? You had to take early S.S. and then you made too much money two years later? Huh?
Then they took away your S.S.? Sounds screwy.

Posted by: seemstome | September 1, 2009 9:20 PM

Wait! The GOP is pro-Medi-care? Since when? They fought it tooth and nail when it first passed in the 1960's and every GOP President has cut it ever chance they had. Bush2 cut it 4 or 5 times. Steel must think seniors are dumb as rocks.

Absolutely nothing in any of the Demo's health care reform bills will hurt Medicare, in fact, most provide for cloing the prescription doughnut hole. More GOP fear mongering. That party is no longer able to tell the truth.

Posted by: dcwsano | September 1, 2009 8:42 PM

The Republicans don't want government between you and your doctor?

Doesn't anyone remember Terri Schiavo?

They actually passed a law with the specific intent of preventing her doctors from treating her and W. flew back from Crawford to sign it. They sat on Capitol Hill and diagnosed her condition. They maligned her physicians and the courts that had ruled on her case. They promised their base repeatedly that they would do whatever it took to prevent her doctors from doing what she wished. But now they want you to believe that they oppose such interference.
Are you stupid enough to believe them? I'm not.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | September 1, 2009 6:26 PM

dambam, maybe you didn't notice? Obama has only been in office for 7 months.
It was BUSH admin that did this to you, so why are you whining about Obama?
Short memory much.

Posted by: mykmlr | September 1, 2009 6:24 PM

I think senior are going to be seeing all kinds of 'forced cut-backs'. I had to take early SS because my wife left me right after becoming unemployed in my 62nd year. Two years later, I made too much money and the SS is withholding my SS checks, in total, even though I have petitioned them that I have just had heart surgery, lost my job, and will be on the streets when my unemployment runs out, if they won't allow me to make payments. The women who work the intake windows say it is normal for the SS to take out about 25% in cases like mine, but the SS is withholding everything, including my Part B payment. They say there is no more appeal and they won't give me a name of who made this decision. This is what the future holds for seniors under Obama and his administration. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEADS, SENIORS-- TO OBAMA, YOU ARE JUST A NUMBER, AND HIS 'CHANGE' IS A CHANGE IN NUMBERS, WITH YOUR POSITION BEING LOWER, PURE AND SIMPLE.

Posted by: dambam64 | September 1, 2009 6:02 PM

What in the hell duz the GOP know about any bill of rights they never did anything for seniors If the American people believes this bulls### they deserved to get screwed Did the GOP vote on SS or Medicare? Open up your eyes you dumb Americans put the GOP in thier place unless you enjoy LIES,RACISM,AND FEAR haven't you had enough In the last eight years

Posted by: mernatti123 | September 1, 2009 6:00 PM

The current system is an unsustainable disaster. Millions have no insurance and are bankrupted in the case of serious injury or job loss. Help fix the problem or get out the way.

Fear, Hatred, Distortion and Division. It's all Republicans have to offer.

Posted by: thebobbob | September 1, 2009 5:34 PM

To believe that the GOP wants the government to do anything but fund wars, terrorism, torture and making sure the wealthy become even more wealthy, one would have to be blind, deaf, dumb, and really, really stupid.
I propose that the GOP, in order to gain street cred, formally agree that they, once elected, will reject all government funding, whether personal or for other than that which aids totally national and equally available efforts. That means that every elected Republican official, at the local, state and national level will reject all salaries, benefits or any funds or services resulting from their work while in office. Walk the talk boys and girls!

Posted by: DaBrugg | September 1, 2009 5:31 PM

So which is it conservatives? You're either for a government plan (medicare) or you're not?

You're either for allowing the waste in the medicare system to continue or you're not. Which is it?

Posted by: mikem1 | September 1, 2009 5:09 PM

I can believe about anything bad about the Republicans, but this is just BAAAADDD!!

How are Cnservative REPUBLICANS going to run on protecting Medicare and Social Security in 2010? After all, the Conservatives who elect them don't like Medicare and Social security and really want to do away with them if possible.

Will Republicans get up and proclaim loudly how we are going to HAVE to fund those programs to the fullest extent called for to keep them solvent? By, say, raising taxes?

Don't look now, Mr. Steele, but about the time you've spent a couple million or so Republican dollars on your "Seniors Bill of Rights" Rush and Anne Coulter and the other leash holders will jerk you up short, cut you off at the knees, and stuff you in a can and let you R2D2 your way to the door.

And in a month or so there will be the usual announcements that while you weren't really insincere in your advertisement, you really didn't QUITE mean what it looked like you said.

About the only difference between you and Pinnochio is that he has no strings to hold him down, and when HE lies his nose grows to tell everyone he is lying. Of course since we assume that you are lying WHENEVER you speak, we don't need the hollywood special effects to remind us.

Posted by: ceflynline | September 1, 2009 5:04 PM

Why do Republicans want to fund universal health care for the citizens of Iraq but not for the citizens of the United States?

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 5:03 PM

I have read on the Omsblog that the WaPo is worried about readers opinions that they are not getting the facts about health care, only the hype. So, where are the facts?

Fact: Last year the Republicans tried to cut $500 billion from Medicare.

Fact: Republicans put in the "donut hole" for drug prices for Seniors.

Fact: Republicans keep borrowing from Medicare to support their wars.

Let's be honest here.....Republicans did not want Medicare formed and have been destroying the program every chance they get. For the RNC to announce that they will fight for Seniors and Medicare is one of those things that the media has refused to acknowledge for what it is. It is a LIE!

Posted by: alysheba_3 | September 1, 2009 4:41 PM

The GOP will never be able to put its mask back on. They have no candidates. They have no leaders. Can you imagine what would have happened to Social Security had it been privatized, sliced, diced and repackaged as credit default swaps, or how about senior health risk option packages? Lehman Brothers would have been a leader I am sure.

Now the right wing goon squad poses as if they care about the little guy and grandma.
What a steaming pile.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 1, 2009 4:14 PM

whoops, meant HCR, not HRC (still stuck on the dem primaries)

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 3:57 PM

I am happy to see that they are finally agreeing with the current HRC legislation being formed in our congress.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 1, 2009 3:56 PM

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