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The Campaign Dog that Didn’t Bark

Farewell, Mediscare.

Nov 5, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 08 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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By contrast, Troy points out that Ryan was building bridges on the issue. “You’ve had prominent Democrats saying of Ryan’s plan, ‘Hey, this seems to be an appropriate response,’ ” he says. Ryan worked on his proposals with former Democratic Office of Management and Budget director Alice Rivlin, and a version of his premium support plan was endorsed by Democratic senator Ron Wyden. Ryan’s Medicare proposals have also been praised by Erskine Bowles​—​the co-chair of President Obama’s own National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Voters appear receptive to the GOP’s message that Medicare reform is urgently needed, even as Democrats fail to offer a serious solution. “If you get up there and say, ‘We’re going to keep Medicare as it is’​—​that’s the fastest way to destroy Medicare. That is the path to bankruptcy,” says Troy. “What Ryan has been talking about for a long time, and what the Romney-Ryan approach is, is let’s fix Medicare so that we have it for our children and grandchildren.” 

Of course, even if the polls show the Republican ticket erasing the Democratic advantage on Medicare, they also show voters aren’t entirely sold on adopting Romney and Ryan’s Medicare reform plans. But the voters aren’t running from Medicare. Cannon thinks that should Romney and Ryan win, “it’s been enough of an issue that they can claim a mandate to put a Paul Ryan-like [plan] in place.” Still, whatever happens on November 6, it’s likely this election will herald the end of an era​—​the days of Medi-scare attacks might finally be over. 

Mark Hemingway is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard.

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