Monday, August 15, 2011

NV-02: Mediscared

(Also at Daily Kos)

Who knew this would yet again be THE hot button issue in yet another special Congressional election? It all seems to be coming down to Medicare, Medicare, & Medicare.

In [the NY-26 special election], Democrat Kathy Hochul went up early and hard against her Republican opponent, accusing her of seeking to kill Medicare because she supported Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. It took weeks for Republican Jane Corwin to respond.

When Hochul won the heavily GOP district, the Republicans-want-to-kill-Medicare message quickly became a national strategy, and Democrats posited that by using it they could take back the House.

Marshall has followed that playbook, focusing two of her three attack ads on Amodei’s evolving position on Ryan’s plan to revamp Medicare.

But neither national Republicans nor Amodei are letting the attacks go unchallenged. An Amodei TV ad features his mother and accuses Marshall of lying about his record.

This is what has Mark Amodei freaking out.

In addition to pushing the national momentum on Medicare, Marshall’s campaign thinks Amodei is vulnerable on the issue. The district is home to many seniors.

Early in the campaign, Amodei called Ryan’s proposal a good starting point. When he was working to get the Republican central committee’s nomination, he said he would “cozy up” to Ryan to get his plan passed.

A local Reno news station tried to debunk Mark Amodei's misleading ads...

But honestly, even KTVN got some facts wrong! For instance, the "Medicare cuts" that Amodei claims Marshall supports, and that KTVN claims were passed as part of the Affordable Care Act last year, are really provisions ensuring that Medicare funds are redirected to better patient care instead of being wasted on insurance industry profits (aka "Medicare Advantage") and other forms of waste & abuse. In addition, the Affordable Care Act actually improves Medicare coverage by lowering prescription drug costs and providing free preventive care!

This is what President Obama and the Democratic 111th Congress did to strengthen and improve health care for seniors.

Now contrast this with what House Republicans have been pushing for.

And Mark Amodei most definitely supports Paul Ryan's GOP-teabagger plan to kill Medicare. And despite what Amodei claims, the fact of the matter is that "The Paul Ryan Kill Medicare Plan" that he supported will indeed affect seniors currently on Medicare.

Amodei can spin all he wants, but the facts are simply not on his or Paul Ryan's side.

That’s not how Ryan’s plan works. For one thing, it eliminates traditional fee-for-service Medicare. For another, Its savings come from capping the growth of federal spending at inflation — which is much, much, much slower than the rate of health-care cost growth. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that, in 2022, Ryan’s plan would have a typical beneficiary shouldering 61 percent of the cost of a standard plan, and by 2030, because the government would limit its contributions, they’d be paying 68 percent. [... I]t’s absolutely central to how the Ryan budget saves money. It’s the core of his proposal.

And considering this along with Ryan's and Congressional Republicans' increasingly ugly poll numbers, no wonder why Amodei is so scared that he's trying his hardest to run away from his support for "Ryancare". He can run, but can he really hide? Not if we don't let him!

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