With Medicare at the top of lawmakers' fall agenda, Tea Party movement leaders hope to ignite support for Republican plans to transform the popular federal healthcare program for the elderly.And what's that plan again? It's:
Thousands of Tea Party movement activists are expected to descend this month on town hall meetings across key battleground states as part of an intensifying campaign ahead of the 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
Their priority is a plan to slash Medicare costs proposed by House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, which could gain momentum now that a debt-limit deal between President Barack Obama and Congress has made potential Medicare cuts a centerpiece of the deficit debate.
The Ryan plan -- which the House approved in April but which went nowhere in the Democratic-led Senate -- would preserve Medicare for current beneficiaries but transform it for future retirees from a system that provides guaranteed benefits to one that gives the elderly financial assistance to buy private insurance.Enough of a change that we get to say this would "end Medicare as we know it." So instead of medicare funds going to doctors and/or hospitals for elderly care, note that it goes to insurance companies.
This from our friends at Freedomworks, an astroturf organization funded in part by, of course, our good friend Richard Mellon Scaife (more than $3 million over the past few decades).
So I am sure we can expect to see more than a few editorials from Scaife's braintrust at the Tribune-Review touting the benefits of Freedomworks and the Ryan plan to eradicate Medicare.
It's just that simple.