Team Obama has attacked Mitt Romney over Medicare cuts even before Romney added Paul Ryan to the ticket, and certainly that’s been a major campaign theme for Democrats ever since. Romney has responded by pointing out that Obama cut more than $700 billion from Medicare not to strengthen the program, but to expand Medicaid at the expense of senior choice through the Medicare Advantage program. However, Team Romney might have some additional ammunition after Bob Woodward’s appearance on Morning Joe today. The long-time political reporter and author claims that Obama has plans to cut more than $250 billion from Medicare in his next term, and has seen the memos detailing those proposals:
Mika Brzezinski says, “Wow,” at the end of audio clip, but it’s Joe Scarborough who goes after Obama for hypocrisy and demagoguery. Woodward says that “this is beyond politics — it’s mathematics … you have to do something” about Medicare’s unsustainable path. However, Scarborough wonders how Obama plans to make that happen after attacking Republicans for doing exactly what Woodward says — the math.
For the record, a $250 billion cut over 10 years is a step in the right direction, but it’s still a drop in the bucket when looking at the $100-trillion-plus in unfunded liabilities over the next few decades. We need more than just a few cuts here and there to restore fiscal stability to Medicare — we need a serious, long-term plan to protect taxpayers from cost expansion in health-services delivery to an aging population. The only one in this election who has such a plan on the table is Paul Ryan. He’s been the only mover in DC willing to do the math and to propose an actual solution. The question becomes whether voters are willing to reward him for doing so, or will choose the demagogues over the solvers.
Update: The White House responded to my post on Twitter:
— Jesse Lee (NARA) (@jesseclee44) October 3, 2012
Be sure to follow the link. However, Obama and his campaign have attacked Romney and Ryan for proposing any kind of cuts to Medicare, and for offering a “voucher” program for Medicare which in fact uses the very same mechanism as Medicare Advantage, and the same as ObamaCare does on the state level: government-managed exchanges of approved insurance plans.