It appears the Romney/Ryan plan to privatize Medicare is on the same trajectory as President Bush’s failed Social Security privatization road show in 2005.  The more the American people learn about these privatization schemes the less they like them. New polling released this week show that no matter how ending traditional Medicare is spun…Americans simply don’t support it.   

It also shows that the GOP strategy of telling seniors “don’t worry we won’t touch you” doesn’t work.  Why? Because the “greedy geezer” mythology that underpins this cynical ploy does not represent the average American senior. Retirees have said time and again, they want retirement security for their children and grandchildren just as much as for themselves. 

New polling by Reuters/Ipsos indicates that during the past two weeks – since just after the Democratic National Convention – support for Romney among Americans age 60 and older has crumbled, from a 20-point lead over Democratic President Barack Obama to less than 4 points.

Romney’s double-digit advantages among older voters on the issues of healthcare and Medicare – the nation’s health insurance program for those over 65 and the disabled – also have evaporated, and Obama has begun to build an advantage in both areas. Reuters, September 24

These results aren’t an anomaly and mirror what Pew Research also found this month:

A Pew poll, conducted September 12-16 and released last week, showed Romney with only a 47 to 46 percent lead among registered voters aged 65-plus. He also trailed Obama by 7 points among people aged 45 to 64 – a huge potential voting bloc that analysts say is increasingly concerned about retirement security.

To illustrate the challenge that Romney could face in November, analysts note that Republican John McCain won 53 percent of the vote among those 65 and older in 2008, and lost to Obama with 46 percent of the overall vote.”This is certainly a bit of a game changer,” Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said of the increasing support for Obama among older Americans. “Older individuals vote. They’re the ones who turn up on Election Day, for sure.” Pew Research Center, September 19

This is exactly why the GOP’s political strategy was to avoid a full conversation of the Romney/Ryan voucher plan for Medicare during this campaign entirely, instructing their candidates to dodge and deflect to a rehash of health care reform instead.  However, as our President/CEO, Max Richtman, predicted this summer:

“what this divert and deflect strategy ignores is how much easier it was to fool voters before the ACA was implemented. I predict this year will be different. It’s simply a lot harder now to believe a political candidate who’s telling you your Medicare benefits were slashed when you remember taking your $250 drug rebate check to the bank, you paid $600 less in drug costs this year, didn’t fall into the donut hole, and received your first free mammogram in Medicare.  Now that seniors are seeing first hand their benefits were not cut, and were in fact improved, this Medicare myth can finally be laid to rest next to the infamous (and also false) “death panels” claim made by Republicans.

The GOP “Obamacare Robs Medicare” myth will finally be exposed and with the selection of Paul Ryan it should get the national attention needed to put a stop to it once and for all. Just as with President Bush’s campaign to privatize Social Security, the more the American people find out what the Ryan/GOP plan for Medicare contains the less they’ll like it. That process has just begun and it will be a real eye-opener for the millions of American retirees who continue to be the targets of one of most cynical Mediscare campaigns in political history.” Max Richtman, President/CEO, Huffington Post Oped