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DNC Flings Medicare Charge Back at GOP

Updated 2:45 p.m.
By Ben Pershing
After weeks of fending off allegations that their health-care reform proposals might cut or weaken Medicare, Democrats have launched a new ad campaign aimed at volleying that charge back at the GOP.

Having announced a national ad on the topic last week, the Democratic National Committee will begin airing targeted spots today in the districts of 10 House Republicans saying the lawmakers "want to end Medicare." The ads will run against GOP Reps. Michelle Bachmann (Minn.), John Boehner (Ohio), Eric Cantor (Va.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Erik Paulsen (Minn.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Jean Schmidt (Ohio), Lee Terry (Neb.), Patrick Tiberi (Ohio) and Don Young (Alaska). A DNC aide said the cost of the ad campaign would be "six figures."

"Republicans want to end Medicare," says the narrator of one such ad. "You heard right, John Boehner actually voted to abolish Medicare for future generations -- one of the most important programs for seniors.

"America's seniors have relied on Medicare for over forty years -- and Democrats are working to strengthen Medicare. But the plain truth is, Republicans have opposed Medicare from the start. Their leaders have called for cutting Medicare -- and now for killing it. Congressman John Boehner -- No Friend of Seniors."

The ad campaign bases its central charge on the House GOP's alternative budget proposal, which failed, 137-293, when it came up for a vote in the chamber in April. Ryan, the plan's author, wrote at the time in the Wall Street Journal that the Republican proposal would "preserve the existing Medicare program for all those 55 or older; and then, to make the program sustainable and dependable, those 54 and younger will enter a Medicare program reformed to work like the health plan members of Congress and federal employees now enjoy."

Under the plan, younger workers would keep their private health coverage once they retired but would have their premiums subsidized by the government. Democrats suggested the GOP budget would have meant significant cuts to Medicare spending.

But the nonpartisan called the DNC's central charge "not true." The GOP's Medicare proposal, the group says, "is controversial, to be sure: Most Democrats don't like it, and not all Republicans do either. It's a plan to change Medicare significantly but not to 'abolish' it." And the GOP's alternative budget wouldn't actually have made new law on Medicare even if it had passed, it simply would have recommended future legislation on the subject.

Republicans are dismissive of Democrats' new tactic.

"Dick Gephardt called and he wants his talking points from the 1990s back," said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. "This is a feeble attempt to distract from the fact that Washington Democrats are backing hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts, and American seniors are furious about it."

The DNC's campaign comes after Republicans had intensified their own effort to suggest that Democrats plan to slash Medicare spending. The GOP last month unveiled a "Health Care Bill of Rights for Seniors" that vowed the party would protect Medicare from the $500 billion in cuts Democrats would allegedly make. has called that claim "false."

By Ben Pershing  |  September 8, 2009; 12:17 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Next: Blue Dog Ross Comes Out Against Public Option


Creeping Socialism!!!

The best health care system in the world is controlled by the U.S. military, is completely socialized and overseen by the United States government.

And, to think the people of the United States cannot do as well for our general population is ludicrous.

But, ludicrous we are: Here, we send billions upon billions in war profits to the pockets of the military/industrialists. Billions more go to Israel to buy weapons from the same war profiteers while Israelis build "settlements" on disputed land certain to create more profits for the same merchants.

Oh yes, plenty of loot for war profiteers; however, no dollars for our general population when it comes to universal health care.

We could prohibit war profits and use the savings to end the needless loss of 20,000 Americans each year for lack of health care; but, Republicans won't allow that. Will you?

Hey Bozo, how you gonna pay for it?

If you wish to unbalance the “How do we pay for it?” detractors, as an option when in heavy disagreement, use the following Hosea Williams’ Civil Rights teaching:

Dr. King’s favored Field Lieutenant, our friend, Rev. Hosea Williams taught us: Early on, Dr. Abernathy, Dr. King, he and others, in the Civil Rights inner circle could see the horrific consequences the Vietnam war poured on the Poor. As their thoughts evolved, it became clear: war profits motivated the carnage. Studying the economic beneficiaries (follow the money) of war profits showed an endless flowing of Federal dollars; quietly funneled to an influential wealthy few. Here, poor folks suffer immeasurably while rich military/industrialist along with their ilk, without compunction and with complete impunity, slop up blood soaked dollars by the barrel full.

Rev. Williams would go on to teach: A Civil Rights consensus was developing whereby war profits must be prohibited in order to stop this primary war generator. Without war profit: dollars wasted on war would be utilized for health care, education and other constructive measures.

An assassin’s deadly aim ended this philosophical train of thought for many years. However, just before Rev. Williams left us to again be Dr. King’s Lieutenant, he gave us this answer for ending war for profit.

Amendment XXVIII
Sec. 1. War profit is hereby prohibited.
Sec. 2. Congress will enforce this article
with strong legislation.

Tell the detractors: “Together we can ease health costs with war profit savings.” Here, truth will stymie the doubters to the point of distraction.
Not even a conservative Republican can justify war profit over health care.

Posted by: steveswimmer1 | September 8, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Steveswimmer1, may I suggest that you go look at a military hospital and then go look at at good old St Joes Northland Hospital (or any public hospital). If the military medical facilities are so great and the "socialized" military medical care is so good, why is it that most of us won't use it?

Posted by: dvg816 | September 9, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

It's about time the Dems grew a pair.

Use the same tactics as the R's have been using to screw the country. The only difference is that the Dems want to fix what the R's screwed up.

Posted by: dennissuper | September 9, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

dvg816, this military health care system you seem to take pleasure in dissing, is an excellent system, thank you very much. I was treated by the military system from my birth, through my eventual retirement from said military. I was a military dependent (father a career NCO) and grew up within the military health care system.

As for MOST OF YOU NOT USING IT? That ia about the dumbest statement I have heard. Since only military and their dependents are authorized care in the military system, you don't have access or the right to this care facility.

Thousands upon thousands of military soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen and their families are treated in these facilities every single day. They get exceptional care.

Don't diss this system, there are hundreds of military folks who would love to "convince you otherwise" with some enhanced interrogation methods.

Don't scru with the military medical facilities, it is not conducieve to good feelings.

As for the idea of a government managed health care system, there are hundreds around the globe that are far, far superior to the United States. The Conservative's idiotic mantra about what a great health care system we have is so silly I am amazed that an adult even speaks of it.

So once you have some reasonable commentary and perhaps, although highly doubtful some alternatives worth consideration, your opinions in this matter are about the worth of a cup of warm spit.

Posted by: hhodges1 | September 9, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

One other point dvg,

This wonderful medical systems you are so proud of for the USA>???? This system was responsible for the death of my son in May of this year. Because of our blindness to universal health care, the ER facilities have been turned into a urgent care clinic and when a true emergency case arrives the medicos are so distracted that they mis diagnose a raging case of bacterial meningitis as a sinus infection. As a result, my son's brain expanded from the meningitis infection, crushing his brain stem and killing him. This is your WONDERFUL MEDICAL SYSTEM? Hope you never lose a child to this crappy system but maybe then you would be able to see past your nose and recognize a failed health care access system.

but then I doubt it, one would actually have to have intellect and some compassion for others.

Conservatives have neither,.

Posted by: hhodges1 | September 9, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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