Slowly a group of Republican opinion makers that no one in the real world has ever heard of (they are well known in the wonk world) are half heartedly responding to the Obama Parade of Medicare Lies. They are using venues that are even more obscure. Former Massachusetts Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan picked a fight over Medicare Reform and then walked away to leave these few unknown surrogates to battle against the Disney News Channel and Bill Clinton and other prominent Democratic-party spokespeople and popular Democratic-party media.
And so the election was lost.
The latest example of a complex academic response to Vice-President Biden's one-word "Vouchercare" epithet (the Democrats know seniors will reject a program they are told works like food stamps, with no one telling them that that is another Obama Medicare Lie) can be found here on National Review. The argument covers only a few of the Obama Medicare lies and concludes with the biggest Republican miss of all. James Capretta, a third or fourth level George W. Bush appointee, says"
"The proposal is designed explicitly to ensure that seniors will not have to pay more unless they decide on their own to sign up for more expensive insurance."
Here the Republicans totally blow it. Over 80% of seniors already sign up for more expensive insurance (see illustration above) because the Democrats' "Medicare as we know it" sucks. Less than 10% of seniors depend on what the government calls "Medicare Only" because Medicare is such bad protection against financial ruin. Why don't the Republicans get both of those messages out there?
I assume they miss things like this -- and the effect of words like Vouchercare -- because they are rich and priviledged. Republicans just don't think like us normal people. (Also to some extent the problem is that these particular healthcare wonks are not on Medicare and -- like Romney and Ryan -- will never even have to think about Medicare as their health care insurance.)
-- Dennis Byron