Saturday, May 28, 2011

Republicans Playing an Old Hand on Medicare

Ending Medicare by turning it into a voucher program for senior citizens that wouldn't begin to cover the cost of their health care is turning into a huge political liability for Republicans who followed Paul Ryan off a cliff.

But why is it anyone is surprised that Republicans hate Medicare?

I was reminded of how old Republican attacks on Medicare are when I was sorting through a box of old newspaper clippings, stories written during a long career as a newspaper reporter.

From one dated Oct. 25, 1995 and headlined "Stabenow to Run for Congress," come these two paragraphes:

"And she (Stabenow) said GOP-backed Medicare cuts totaling $270 billion would pay for $245 billion in tax cuts for wealthy Americans while earned income tax credits for the working poor were being eliminated.

"'Those are not my priorities and I don't think they're your priorities,' she said.'"

Stabenow was right then, as she went on to defeat Republican Rep. Dick Chrysler of Brighton for the 8th Congressional District.

Stabenow's defense of Medicare clicked with Michigan voters in 1996. Can it work again in 2012 for Stabenow against whomever the Republicans find to run against her?

Yes it can.

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