My first reaction Thursday when I heard Vice President Joe Biden say something like:
"Ryan to kick 19 million seniors off Medicare"
was that Biden, a guy who has been in the United States Congress forever, doesn't know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. I thought that because I couldn't figure any way that the 19,000,000 statistic had anything to do with Medicare, and I don't know much about Medicaid (except how it relates to Medicare through MSPs and Community-based waivers and spend-downs). I also thought that perhaps he was mixing up an insurance program seniors pay for dearly with a welfare program because Biden's clearly said something like that before.
But what do I know and the comment didn't even make the radar in the list of Biden debate lies. So I asked around and people seemed to think Biden was making up a number in some way that related to the fact that the Ryan budget proposes re-synching up the Medicare eligibility age and Social-Security retirement age, as was the case at the inception of Medicare.
But now, according to Politico, I was right in the first place. Biden doesn't know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Obama campaign officials confirmed that.
-- Dennis Byron