On Medicare, seniors more upset with Obama than Ryan, GOP

There is an assumption that the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s GOP presidential running mate will drive senior voters away from the ticket. The argument is because Ryan supports a Medicare reform plan that includes vouchers an an option, seniors will automatically rush to vote for President Barack Obama and Romney will lose Florida, and presumably the November election. That assumption is incorrect. As seniors already signaled with their votes in 2010, they see President Obama as the chief threat to Medicare.

Whatever one thinks about Ryan’s Medicare reform plan, it needs to be noted that he is the vice presidential candidate. His plan is not on the table. In fact, among the two major candidates, only President Obama has actually cut Medicare. The passage of Obamacare into law mandates $716 billion be sliced from Medicare over time. What Obamacare plans to do is have 15 bureaucrats, the “Independent Payment Advisory Board,” not elected by anyone, to determine how to best reduce payments to hospitals and doctors. In later years, the Board is expected to recommend effective ways to ration health care treatment.

The reason the Democrats were hammered in the 2010 elections was in large part due to seniors’ anger over Obama’s Medicare cuts. Remember the concerns and anger at the town hall meetings of 2009? In fact, voters over the age of 65, who comprised 21 percent of voters, voted for Republicans by a huge margin in 2010, 59 percent to 38 percent. Compare that to 2008, when seniors, representing 15 percent of voters, supported Democrats over Republicans 49 percent to 48 percent. That’s a huge shift in support. With the Obama Medicare cuts still law, seniors have no reason to switch back to the Democrats in 2012.

The $716 billion in cuts might be worth it  if they were designed as savings to try to make the beleaguered Medicare system more healthy over time, but these cuts by the president are an attempt to slightly reduce the heavy costs of enacting Obamacare, another huge entitlement. None of the president’s Medicare cuts will reduce the deficit a penny. In fact, watching prominent Democrats talk about the Obama Medicare cuts here and here, one gets the impression that they themselves don’t really believe the cuts will actually occur.

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10 Responses to On Medicare, seniors more upset with Obama than Ryan, GOP

  1. Desi says:

    I was waiting for you to post a poll to prove your assertions. Your lack of doing this explains a lot: because it’s ONLY an assertion and is not backed up in current facts, or current polls.

    • Dovie says:

      Good point. I’m holding up the magic 8 ball here, but (if there is any truth to Doug’s assertion) I’m guessing seniors prefer Ryan because they grandfather out of his plan. All they want is theirs. They are called “Republican seniors”.

    • Doug says:

      Well, Desi and Dovie, we have actual results, such as the 2010 vote from seniors after they learned who wants to cut their Medicare. We saw the town hall meetings. Now that President Obama has successfully slashed Medicare to try to pay partially for Obamacare, I don’t see why those 2010 numbers would change.

    • Doug Gibson says:

      Here’s one poll: Florida: Romney 45%, Obama 43%
      Survey of 500 Likely Voters in Florida
      In Florida, Romney earns 45% support to the president’s 43%, while 3% like some other candidate, and 8% are undecided.
      Last month, it was Romney 46%, Obama 45%.
      Florida remains a Toss-Up State in the Rasmussen Reports Electoral College Projections.
      48% fear the president’s health care law more than Ryan’s proposal when it comes to the future of Medicare, but 41% fear Ryan’s proposal more.
      Among seniors, 54% are more fearful of the president’s plan.
      Romney now holds a 24-point lead over Obama among Florida voters 65 and older.
      Last month, Romney held a 17-point lead in this age group.
      58% of these older voters express a favorable opinion of Ryan, including 42% with a Very Favorable view of him.
      54% of retirees say Romney made the right choice when he picked Ryan, and 50% say they are more likely to vote for the Republican with Ryan on the ticket.
      29% in this group say they are less likely to vote for Romney because of Ryan.

      • Patrick says:

        Rasmussen Reports is a fox news poll. All of your data is collected from fox news which is why your opinion is so far off base. The numbers you are quoting couldn’t be further from the truth if your name was Mitt on healthcare, women, immigration, and let’s not forget abortion. Repubs, are the party of abortion, ask the millions of us on Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, and God no, don’t pay for two wars with revenues that millionaires and billionaires haven’t paid for. Not only with taxes but their children aren’t being buried in Arlington. Why don’t you read the Health Care Act so that you don’t sound like your head is completely inserted in the orifice of the GOP. Your assertion and lie that $716 billion is coming out of Medicare is why we are voting for Obama. Republicans for Obama, because we know the truth and we are not that stupid to listen to people like you.

  2. Midwinter says:

    “As seniors already signaled with their votes in 2010, they see President Obama as the chief threat to Medicare.”

    You have conflated “seniors” with “Tea Party.” While the Tea Party Kids are certainly older than the average GOP voter, it was pretty clearly established that they were simply a very vocal, very motivated rump of the GOP. For instance, according to the (famous) Gallup poll, the Tea Party supporters are mostly 30-64 years old. When we talk about seniors–and especially when we talk about seniors and medicare, aren’t we talking about those 65 and older?

  3. PolishandProud says:

    As veep Ryan will sit back and not attempt to advance his budget ideas? Get real. Romney doesn’t even have a plan! Y ou can’t just dismiss Ryan as a non-entity in a Romney administration.

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