Trust’Em? Part XXIVby digbyOh my my: Republicans are convinced that burnishing the public’s view of their unpopular proposal to overhaul Medicare depends on assuring today’s seniors that they won’t be affected. “The retirees are going to be taken care of; there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it,” House Speaker John Boehner vowed in an interview with CBS last month. The plan’s architect, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, has said time and again that the changes wouldn’t affect anybody getting close to retirement. “We propose to not change the benefits for people above the age of 55,” Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, insisted last week. There’s only one problem with the strategy: It’s not true. The policies in the House GOP budget, if enacted, would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing their costs for prescription drugs and probably long-term care. Further, Medicare costs could rise over time if healthier seniors choose to abandon the traditional benefit program.I don’t know if Ryan sketched out his “plan” on the back of an envelope during a plane flight from DC or if he’s just a liar. But either way, it doesn’t appear to be either “serious” or honest.This is why seniors are mistrustful of people “reforming” their program. They paid into it their whole working lives, they desperately need it or they’ll die, and they know that they can’t trust politicians not to lie to them. You’d be skeptical too.It’s not that they trust Democrats more than Republicans, but in this case they probably do. The GOP’s repeated assaults on the program over the years doesn’t lend their claims of trying to “save” it much credibility. When they propose to fundamentally change the program these seniors know exactly what that means..digby 6/03/2011 08:1


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