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Better Message Discipline, Please

I can't turn on my TV these days without seeing Michael Steele flash me that car salesman smile and explain that only Republicans are willing to pledge to protect Medicare for our seniors. "After all," he grins, "they've earned it." Then I flip over to the Wall Street Journal and read Sarah Palin offhandedly advocating "providing Medicare recipients with vouchers that allow them to purchase their own coverage," which is to say, ending Medicare as we know it and tossing the elderly back into the private insurance market. That's pretty much the same policy that most House Republicans voted for earlier this year when they tried to enact Rep. Paul Ryan's budget alternative.

So which is it, folks? Are you the only ones seniors can trust to preserve Medicare or the people who want to dismantle it brick-by-brick and replace it with private health insurance?

By Ezra Klein  |  September 10, 2009; 3:03 PM ET
Categories:  Republicans  
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The message is consistent. "I'm a hypocrite. I make stuff up."

Posted by: cmpnwtr | September 10, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

The message is consistent. Neither of them knows the first thing about health care, and Palin is channeling her right-wing mentors.

Posted by: Mimikatz | September 10, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Ezra's point is valid, but it's still amusing to hear the pro-reform side lecturing others about message discipline.

Posted by: tomtildrum | September 10, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

A the biologists keep telling us: the tiger's stripes are on the skin as well as on the fur. Republicans are anti-medicare, in the genes. They are only for socialist bailouts for the banks, insurance companies and drug companies.

Attention Ezra:
I've been thinking about the Obama's lines in the sand items from last night. He says guaranteed issue, no cancellations or denials for preexisting conditions, etc.

BUT, where's community rating (in ANY of the Dem. plans)? If the insurer can raise individual rates at will, then the other guarantees are useless. They will just raise rates on the individual to force out the unwanted by totally unaffordable rates.

I haven't heard a word about community rating in any of this seasons discussions of 'reform'. Did the Dems sell out on community rating to get the insurance companies not to do Harry and Louise ads again?

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | September 10, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Like every republican, it depends on who their talking to.

Posted by: obrier2 | September 10, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Now now. What did we learn from Vietnam? We have to destroy Medicare to protect it!

Posted by: rick_desper | September 10, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I hate individualism. Why can't people just pick a collective herd and follow their marching orders. You should either join the blue team or the red team and do whatever they tell you to do for the sake of the cause.

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | September 10, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

And I'm going to create a Government run insurance company that won't require any taxpayer subsidies, won't pay its executives market rates and will operate more efficiently than the private sector with a unionized workforce. Who wants to invest in my effort?

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | September 10, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse


Whatever, dude.

Posted by: PeterH1 | September 10, 2009 4:31 PM | Report abuse

In order to provide healthcare to everyone we should provide everyone with the exact same healthcare. Anyone that seeks to acquire additional healthcare through their own means should be punished harshly. If we can't afford to give everyone good healthcare then so be it. Equality of health services should be our top priority.

Posted by: fallsmeadjc | September 10, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Whatever, dude.

Posted by: pseudonymousinnc | September 10, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

The Literal Video version of that ad is much, much better:

(Can we please have simple html, like hyperlinks or even just italics, in these comments?)

Posted by: WarrenTerra | September 10, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

WarrenTerra that's great, thanks for the link (or at least the ascii components of it)

The Full Ginsburg, wasn't familiar, will add to feed.

Posted by: wapomadness | September 10, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

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