On Sunday, top McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin admitted that in order to pay for his health care plan, McCain would slash $1.3 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid over 10 years. But McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, appears to be unaware of the proposed cuts. At a rally in Florida today, Palin delcared that McCain will “protect the entitlement programs that Americans depend on”:
And John McCain and I will protect the entitlement programs that Americans depend on – and above all, Social Security. No presidential election cycle is complete without the Democratic candidate coming down here to Florida to try to stir up fear and panic on this issue. And if you expected any better from the guy who promised to get rid of “old-style politics,” you’re in for a disappointment – because Barack Obama has exploited this issue the way he exploits so many others.
So, let there be no misunderstanding: John McCain has always kept his promises to America, and as president, he will keep America’s promise to our senior citizens.
According to the Wonk Room, McCain’s radical cuts to Medicaid and Medicare would put “affordable health care out of reach for millions of seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income families.” Hardly keeping “America’s promise to our senior citizens,” McCain’s proposal would cut $882 billion from the Medicare program and would require cuts in benefits, eligibility or both.
Additionally, Palin’s claim that she and McCain will “protect the entitlement programs” contrasts sharply with her claim last month that she would look for “efficiencies” to cut in the entitlement programs. Also, as Marc Ambinder notes, if McCain and Palin are going to follow through on their pledge to balance the budget, entitlement cuts “would have to be deep.” Palin reiterated the balanced budget promise earlier today.