The Romney team is convinced it can win or fight President Obama to a draw on Medicare. It is therefore going on the attack, not merely batting back attacks. This TV ad is going up today:
This is smart in two respects. First, it accurately pins back Obama’s ears on the “we won’t touch Medicare” brag. As Jeffrey Anderson reminds us, the Independent Payment Advisory Board is going to increase the raid on Medicare:
Any money that the IPAB or other parts of Obamacare would wring out of Medicare wouldn’t go to making Medicare, or the country, more solvent — or to extending the life of Medicare. It would go to Obamacare. That’s right: Obama’s centerpiece legislation would use Medicare as a piggybank — which (given Medicare’s dire financial straits) makes about as much sense as using Greece as a piggybank.
Indeed, the most politically brazen feature of Obamacare has always been its looting of Medicare. About half of Obamacare’s funding would come from siphoning money out of Medicare, while the other half would come from raising taxes on Americans and on American businesses. In fact, Obama is aware enough of this vulnerability that he recently initiated the $8.35 billion Senior Swindle — an unscrupulous and probably illegal ploy to attempt to hide the effects of Medicare Advantage cuts from seniors until after his “last election.”
In addition, Obama has no plan for long-term solvency of Medicare. ABC News reports that back in 2009 Obama was pledging to veto any attempts to undo Medicare cuts:
TAPPER: Are you willing to pledge that whatever cuts in Medicare are being made to fund health insurance, one third of it, that you will veto anything that tries to undo that?
OBAMA: Yes. I actually have said that it is important for us to make sure this thing is deficit neutral, without tricks. I said I wouldn’t sign a bill that didn’t meet that criteria
After 3 1/2 years, all Obama has done is run the Mediscare campaign from the Oval Office and use Medicare to fund the very unpopular Obamacare. This is a fight Romney-Ryan can win.