Santorum’s Instant Flip-Flop On ‘Mediscare’

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"Santorum’s Instant Flip-Flop On ‘Mediscare’"

ThinkProgress filed this report from Nashua, New Hampshire.

On Tuesday, 42 freshmen Republican members of Congress — who were largely elected by misrepresenting the Affordable Care Act and its effects on the Medicare program — sent a letter urging President Obama to abandon so-called “Mediscare” tactics against Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget. “We ask that you stand above partisanship, condemn these disingenuous attacks and work with Congress to reform spending on entitlement programs,” reads the letter. Democrats have argued that Ryan’s budget would essentially end the program for future retirees, who would be forced to purchase coverage from private insurers.

Last night, speaking to the Nashua Republican City Committee in Nashua, New Hampshire, potential presidential candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA) took the ‘Mediscare’ argument a step further, sarcastically mocking Democrats for claiming that Ryan’s plan would kill Medicare before mischaracterizing the Affordable Care Act as a “government takeover”:

– SANTORUM SAYS DEMOCRATS SCARE SENIORS: “Listen to their response to Paul Ryan’s budget. ‘Oh! Seniors! Seniors! Vouchers! Oh my goodness! Seniors are going to be thrown out on the streets, they’re not going to be able to get health care! All we’re talking about is instead of a government-run health care system, giving seniors the right to go out and buy insurance by themselves.”

– SANTORUM SCARES SENIORS: “Oh no, we can’t trust seniors. No, no we can’t do that. We have to have Obamacare. Why? Because we can’t trust people to go out and provide for their own health care. We have to have the government tell you what health care you have, what insurance, what markets, everything. Very prescriptive.”

Watch it:

In reality, while the Ryan plan would end the traditional Medicare program for future seniors beginning in 2022 and provide them with “premium support” that would not keep up with health care costs, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that far from the government “telling” Americans what they must do, most families will continue receiving their coverage from their employers while the uninsured will have a choice of regulated insurers from the state-based exchanges.

As Paul Krugman notes in today’s column, unlike the GOP, “the Democrats aren’t engaging in scare tactics, they’re simply telling the truth. Policy details aside, the G.O.P.’s rigid anti-tax position also makes it, necessarily, the enemy of the senior-oriented programs that account for much of federal spending.”

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