Medicare Attacks ‘Never Really Took Hold’
8:33 PM, Nov 5, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Politico writes that Nancy Pelosi’s “drive to regain the [House] majority for Democrats is on the verge of a complete collapse.” It adds, “Democrats are expected to pick up five seats at best — a fraction of the 25 they need. On the eve of the election, some party officials are privately worried that Democrats might even lose ground and drop one or two seats to the Republican majority.” Why? In large part because Obamacare continues to haunt the Democrats, while the Democrats’ Mediscare campaign has fallen flat.
“After Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his No. 2 in August, Democrats were elated — DCCC Chairman Steve Israel even dubbed the Wisconsin congressman a ‘majority maker.’
“The argument from Democrats: Ryan’s controversial plan to rewrite Medicare would scare seniors, who would rush to the polls to pull the lever against Republicans. It’s a bet that Democrats were willing to stake their hopes on: Sixty-four of the 123 TV ads the DCCC ran between Aug. 16 and Oct. 29 focused on Medicare.
“Nearly three months after the Ryan pick was made, it’s clear that these attacks never really took hold.
“Democrats credit Republicans — some of whom had been initially concerned about Ryan’s impact on down-ballot candidates — with launching a vigorous pushback on the issue, accusing Obama of including cuts to Medicare in his health care bill. By the time October was up, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll found Mitt Romney leading Obama on the question of who’s more likely to protect Medicare.”
In other words, siphoning $716 billion out of Medicare and spending it on Obamacare didn’t turn out to be as politically wise as the Democrats apparently thought it would be. In retrospect, maybe the Democrats should have found a different funding source to pay for a large chunk of their $2 trillion health-care overhaul that Americans didn’t — and don’t — want. Or maybe they shouldn’t have passed it at all (in which case they’d probably still be in the majority).
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