We suppose we should at least give Jeb Bush brownie points for honesty since he was actually caught saying out loud what the GOP has been trying to do Medicare for years, without actually admitting it.
MSNBC first reported on Jeb Bush’s comments made to a room full of Koch Brothers supporters:
“We need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits,” Bush said. “But we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something, because they’re not going to have anything.”
Promising to protect current beneficiaries (because according to the standard GOP meme “greedy geezers” only care about their own Social Security and Medicare benefits not what’s left for their kids or grandkids) is a tried and true GOP strategy. Attempting to destroy Medicare piece by piece is also a strategy we’ve already seen tried by conservatives in Congress. So it’s likely Bush didn’t even realize he was making news. Vox described it best this way:
“For years now, Republicans in Congress have been unified around a plan to promise continued Medicare benefits to everyone over the age of 55 while phasing out the program for everyone else. This is the famous — or perhaps infamous — Paul Ryan plan for Medicare. But denying that this is what their plan amounts to has been an important part of the political strategy for getting it done. Except Jeb Bush messed up, and in a talk at an Americans for Prosperity event Wednesday night he said that America needs to “phase out” Medicare.
His argument is that once Medicare is phased out, the GOP can offer the 54-and-under set “something,” because the alternative will be to get “nothing.”
Recall that back in 2011, the GOP whined endlessly about allegations that they wanted to end Medicare, and PolitiFact dubbed the idea that the GOP wants to end Medicare their “lie of the year.”
But as Jeb Bush reveals here, it was never a lie of any sort. Conservatives’ preferred answer to the challenge of paying for Medicare in the future is to scrap the program, and that idea has gained wider and wider currency in GOP circles in recent years.”
Bush’s comments were chock-full of other seriously flawed assumptions which MSNBC also breaks down including:
- The “left” hasn’t done anything to help Medicare – Uhh, how about this week’s Trustees Report which confirms (yet again) an additional 13 years of Medicare solvency thanks to healthcare reform (which the GOP would repeal).
- Going door-to-door has shown him the American people support phasing out benefits – We’re not sure what doors Bush is knocking on but there’s not a national poll anywhere (legitimate or otherwise) which shows Americans support ending Medicare.