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Obama Campaign Lies About Ryan Medicare Reform

Will the press let them get away with it?

5:15 PM, Aug 11, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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But the job of journalists is to provide context that politicians leave out. And when it comes to Medicare reform, the press does a pretty shoddy job of providing essential context that would allow an adult conversation about how the country can avert a fiscal crisis. See, for example, the New York Times report on Romney's vice presidential announcement. Reporters Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny describe Ryan as "an advocate of reshaping the Medicare program of health insurance for retirees."

No, Ryan is not in favor of reshaping Medicare "for retirees"--he wants to reshape it for Americans who are 55 years old and younger. It shouldn't be too difficult to mention the very basic fact about which Americans would actually be affected by the Romney Ryan plan. But the word "Medicare" appears five times in the New York Times report, and not once does the report explain that Ryan's reform takes effect for new retirees starting in 2023.

Most of the public does not yet know who Paul Ryan is or what his Medicare plan would do. The success of the Romney-Ryan campaign will depend in part on its ability to combat distortions and lies about the Romney-Ryan Medicare reform.

The good news for the campaign is that Ryan is the best advocate of his own plan and the best attack dog to go after the Democrats' plans to cut and ration Medicare.

"What I'm proposing is, make sure that we don't cut benefits to people in and near retirement, 55 and above," Ryan said during a debate on CNN in 2010 with Democratic congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. "They just took $522 billion out of the Medicare fund to spend it on another government program. They are the ones who raided Medicare."

"What I'm saying is," Ryan continued, "let's get these programs solvent. If we don't fix this debt crisis and get ahead of it ... we will shred the social safety net that people have counted on. What I am trying to propose is something responsible, prevent cuts from hitting current seniors, people nearing retirement, and then reform these programs for those of us who are under 54, because we know they are going bankrupt, and put them on the path of solvency and sustainability."

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