American Elephants

Paul Ryan Went to Florida, and Seniors Liked What They Heard. by The Elephant's Child

Democrats have been sure that Seniors would regard Paul Ryan and his plans to reform Medicare as a terminal threat. They have been sure that with the announcement of Ryan’s candidacy, Florida was theirs. America’s seniors may have grown older, but they didn’t grow dumber. Older Americans vote more reliably, know what they are voting for, and care a lot about the nation they leave for their children and grandchildren. Democrats were sure that Paul Ryan wouldn’t even dare go to Florida.  Oops!

Here is what Mitt Romney and I will do,” he said. “We will end the raid of Medicare. We will restore the promise of this program and we will make sure that this board of bureaucrats will not mess with my mom’s health care or your mom’s health care.”

Then, as he’s done at dozens of town halls in his congressional district over the past two years, Ryan made the positive case for reforming Medicare for future generations of seniors. “Now, let me just see a show of hands, how many of you are 55 or over?” Ryan asked. Thousands of hands shot up. “Okay,” Ryan said with a laugh.

“Our solution to preserve, protect and save Medicare does not affect your benefits,” Ryan told the 55-and-older crowd. “Let me repeat that:  Our plan does not affect the benefits for people who are in or near retirement. It’s a promise that was made, and it’s a promise that must be kept.”

Ryan explained that “in order to make sure we can guarantee that promise for my mom’s generation for those baby boomers retiring every day, we must reform it for my generation. To save it for this generation, you have to reform it for my generation, so it doesn’t go bankrupt when we want to retire.”

Ryan pointed out that his plan for Americans 54 years old and younger is a bipartisan plan that “originated in the Clinton commission plan to save Medicare in the late 1990s.”

Huge, enthusiastic crowds have been welcoming Paul Ryan wherever he speaks. Seniors are worried about being unable to find a doctor, worried about having no choice about their own health. They like what they are hearing from Paul Ryan.

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