Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) believes Medicare is unconstitutional. Indeed, he told a Tea Party group last year that “I don’t find in the Constitution that it is the job of the government to provide health care,” a statement which suggests that he also believes that Medicaid and the veterans health system are also unconstitutional.
So it is a bit surprising to see that Akin is now running an ad attacking Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the woman he wants to replace in the United States Senate, for being insufficiently loyal to Medicare:
Akin fights to protect and strengthen Medicare and Social Security, defending our Missouri values. Claire McCaskill voted with Obama 98 percent of the time. was the deciding vote to pass Obamacare, voted to cut and gut Medicare by $700 billion.
Again, Todd Akin believes Medicare is unconstitutional. So the truth is that he wants to “protect and strengthen” Medicare in the same way that Luke Skywalker fought to protect and strengthen the Death Star.
Yet while Akin’s ad is impossible to square with his actual beliefs, it is unlikely to be the first such ad from a staunchly anti-Medicare candidate attacking their opponent for somehow undermining Medicare. GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is the author of a GOP plan to privatize Medicare, slash Medicare benefits and then phase out the Medicare program over time — a fact which the Romney campaign quickly identified as a serious liability to their chances of winning in November. In an effort to neutralize this liability, Team Romney started attacking President Obama for allegedly cutting $700 billion from Medicare almost immediate after the Ryan pick was announced.
The truth, of course, is that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act redirects wasteful Medicare spending, such as billions in unnecessary giveaways to insurance companies, to better uses such as providing prescription drugs for seniors. Paul Ryan’s most recent budget, by contrast, would also eliminate this wasteful spending — but would use the savings to pay for tax cuts for the rich.