Plans to use health care reform as an excuse to eliminate Medicare entirely
Voters over 55 now trust Repukes over Obama and Democrats on Medicare and Social Security, despite the firm commitment of the former to abolish both. I picked up a 56% button at Senior Lobby Day last month. It stands for the percentage of likely voters over 55 this November.
But if Obama is re-elected and his health care law is upheld by the Supreme Court, Wyden sees Medicare exchanges and a premium support system as the basis for a deal to reduce health care costs. He said Democrats would be hard pressed to argue against the idea if it is working for people under 65 as a result of the health care overhaul.
OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS PUT MEDICARE CUTS IN DEBT CEILING DEAL
USA Today: Cuts in Medicare and other entitlement programs are on the table. (Susan Page and Fredreka Schouten, Political Damage Even If A Debt Deal Is Done, USA Today, 7/31/11)
Obama Agreed To Medicare Cuts In Debt Ceiling Deal. The deal announced on Sunday by Congressional leaders and the White House would make across-the-board cuts in military spending, education, transportation and Medicare payments to health care providers if Congress does not enact further deficit-cutting legislation by the end of the year. (Robert Pear, Congress Must Trim Deficit To Avoid Broader Cuts, The New York Times, 7/31/11)
Obama Said Adjustments Must Be Made To Medicare. OBAMA: Yes, that means making some adjustments to protect health care programs like Medicare so theyre there for future generations. (President Barack Obama, Remarks On Budget Control Act, Washington, D.C., 8/2/11)
DURING DEBT CEILING DEBATE, OBAMA OFFERED $650 BILLION IN CUTS TO MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY, AND MEDICAID
Obama Put Major Changes To Medicare On The Table During Debt Ceiling Negotiations. To hit the $1.5 trillion in spending cuts, the congressional committee is likely to reconsider major changes to Medicare that the White House and congressional leaders put on the table during this summer's debt-ceiling negotiations. (Janet Adamy, Debt Deal May Hit Medicare, The Wall Street Journal, 8/2/11)
Analysis by Democratic pollster
Her bottom line: It is an even more important political issue now than in the past. Its not just a seniors issue by any matter or means, she said. The Medicare changes in the budget plan advanced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., really elevated it, because it was such a clear distinction between the Democratic and Republican positions. You saw it play out in the N.Y. special . And it is the top testing message in congressional races right now, Lake added.
Shell be watching how aggressively Democrats rally around protecting Medicare but believes it will be harder for the party to draw the distinction that many of us believe in because President Barack Obama talked about Medicare cuts in the context of the budget deal. So I think its going to depend on how strong a stance Democrats take or whether they muddle it. Regardless, she adds, it has the potential to be THE voting issue in 2012.