Romney Campaign Lying Left and Right to Beat Obama

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These guys are out of control.

As is becoming increasingly clear to anyone paying attention to the 2012 presidential election, the Ryan/Romney campaign has given up all hope of winning on the issues and on their record and have resorted to unprecedented lyingliterally making things up about President Obama and then putting it out as truth in stump speeches, online videos, television ads, appearances by surrogates on news programs and in fundraising emails.

There is a new one this week and it takes the LYING and HYPOCRISY to a new and rather incredible level.

The Ryan/Romney campaign is claiming that President Obama stripped $716 billion out of Medicare benefits “to pay for Obamacare”.

This is a lie.

Also, those same cuts, which I’ll describe in a moment, are in the Ryan budget plan that Mitt Romney has endorsed.

The fact that this a lie is widely known. Here’s how Ezra Klein from the Washington Post describes it in his article “Paul Ryan’s budget keeps Obama’s Medicare cuts. Full stop.”:

Here’s what everyone agrees on: Ryan and Obama include the same cuts to the Medicare program itself. So if you’re an insurance company participating in the Medicare Advantage program, you’re getting the same cut no matter who wins the election. {…}

Romney/Ryan want to do more of their deficit reduction by cutting social services while Obama wants to do more of his deficit reduction through raising taxes. Deciding whose plan makes more sense requires making judgments about whether Romney/Ryan will ultimately pay for their tax cuts. But deciding who is cutting Medicare by $700 billion just requires looking at who is cutting Medicare by $700 billion. And at the moment, that’s both Obama and the Republican budget.

The Romney/Ryan campaign is aware of the difficulties in their argument, and so they’ve introduced a new wrinkle. They told Avik Roy, who also serves as a health adviser to the campaign, that “A Romney-Ryan Administration will restore the funding to Medicare.” If that’s true, then their budget math just got completely impossible

Here’s where the cuts are coming from, from an excellent piece by Sarah Kliff of the Washington Post:

That big green spot labeled “Everything else” looks a little scary but, as Kliff points out, it’s not benefits going to Medicare recipients as Ryan/Romney would have you believe:

The rest of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicare cuts are a lot smaller. Reductions to Medicare’s Disproportionate Share Payments — extra funds doled out the hospitals that see more uninsured patients — account for 5 percent in savings. Lower payments to home health providers make up another 8.8 percent. About a dozen cuts of this magnitude make up the green section above.

It’s worth noting that there’s one area these cuts don’t touch: Medicare benefits. The Affordable Care Act rolls back payment rates for hospitals and insurers. It does not, however, change the basket of benefits that patients have access to. And, as Ezra pointed out earlier today, the Ryan budget would keep these cuts in place.

It’s also worth noting how negatively the Ryan/Romney plan impacts senior citizens:

  • It raises the age of eligibility from 65 to 67
    At a time in their life when most people are needing more and more health care, the Ryan/Romney plant makes them wait an additional two years.
  • Shifts costs to seniors

    Estimates are that seniors will pay, on average, $6,350 MORE per year under the Ryan budget plan.

  • Reopens the “doughnut hole” in prescription coverage, increasing costs on seniors even further

    The ACA will eventually close the doughnut hole entirely. In the meantime, in 2011 alone, it saved roughly 3.6 million seniors money, $604 a year on average, for a total savings of $2.1 billion.

By making Medicare a voucher or “coupon” system, it will take away one of the most efficient and widely enjoyed government programs and send seniors out to find their own health insurance. I’m trying to imagine a senior citizen the day after this goes into effect, trying to figure out how on earth to navigate the health insurance maze without getting ripped off. Go online? Which sites are legitimate? Where do I look for health insurance? What if I, like so many other senior citizens, have one or more preexisting conditions?

Here’s a nifty graphic put together by the fine folks at Think Progress that shows the differences between President Obama’s Medicare reform and that of Ryan/Romney:

It’s a heartless and ruthless plan, all geared to helping to pay for massive tax cuts for the super-wealthy.

Ryan/Romney like to point out that they have the support of Democratic Senator Ron Wyden because they claim he was part of drafting legislation to reform Medicare. Senator Wyden begs to differ:

Gov. Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not ‘co-lead a piece of legislation.’ I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out, I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget. {…}

Gov. Romney needs to learn you don’t protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments today sure won’t help promote real bipartisanship.

Ryan’s plan, not surprisingly, goes after health care for poor people, as well. It repeals the Medicaid expansion included in the Affordable Care Act which Kaiser Family Health says, “would affect 11 million people” who would be eligible under the ACA. It also strips $800 billion out of the Medicaid system over the next 10 years.

So the Ryan/Romney campaign continues to make things up — provably false and widely debunked things — and trots them out to supporters looking for something, ANYTHING, to latch onto that will make them comfortable voting for a president that they know to be out of touch with the average American and for a vice-president that it out to end Medicare as we know it, who has extreme views on women’s reproductive rights and their legal right to a safe abortion, and who has no experience in the private sector, despite Romney’s insistence on how important that is.

In today’s mediasphere, people pick and choose the news they want to hear. This is what allows the Ryan/Romney campaign to get away with telling blatantly egregious lies: the people the lies are aimed often never hear the truth.

It’s up to us to educate them. Get in touch with your local Obama campaign office and get started. They need people to host house meetings, to canvass and to staff phonebanks. We have just under three months left to make our case.

Are you in?

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