A recent Gallup poll found that more American seniors support Paul Ryan's reform plan for Medicare than they do the president's.
48 percent of those over the age of 65 favor the Wisconsin congressman's approach that would privatize the program and entitle people to "premium support" or vouchers with which to buy health insurance on the private market. 42 percent support Barack Obama who has promised that he will not leave seniors "at the mercy of the insurance industry."
You wouldn't know it listening to Democrats though. They say the Ryan plan "ends Medicare as we know it" and claim that more seniors would "suffer and die" as a result of it.
In al local newspaper, New Jersey Congressman Steve Rothman forecast "suffering, pain and terror" for tens of millions of seniors this week. "Where would they turn?" he wondered. "Charity? Family members? Early death? And why?"
Rothman acknowledged that the country faces an unprecedented fiscal crisis and believes that "all options should be on the table"---except reforming Medicare.
He notes that under the Republican plan, "the average senior would see their out of pocket health care costs double to $12,150 per year, $6,400 more than today," which is real money but far from condemning them to early death.
"Medicare is an essential and successful American program that has worked extremely well for the past forty-six years," according to Rothman but it won't anymore. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that before the end of this decade, Medicare will have bankrupted itself unless significant reforms are enacted.
In the demonization of Paul Ryan, Democrats won't let facts stand in the way of scoring political points. They are trying to convince retirees that Republicans intend to take their health care away even though the Ryan plan wouldn't change a thing for people over the age of 55. They are pretending that America won't need to rein in entitlement spending even as the explosive growth of Medicare and Social Security is utterly unsustainable, if only because Americans live longer than they did half a century ago when these programs were created.
Paul Ryan's plan has its shortcomings and doesn't even attempt pension reform yet. For all the Democrats' demagoguery, nearly half of all seniors fortunately realize that it may be the only way to preserve health support for the elderly well into the future.