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April 26, 2015

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National GOP tries to seize control of Medicare debate

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Nevada Republicans, from left, Mark Amodei, Kirk Lippold and Greg Brower debate Wednesday, June 15, 2011, in Reno, Nev. Amodei is now a congressman and represents Nevada's 2nd District, which includes Reno.

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Kate Marshall

The Republicans really don’t want to lose again.

It’s not just about halting their special election losing streak, which has seen them go down to defeat in what should have been safe Republican districts.

They are waging a message battle to gain the upper hand in the debate over who is out to destroy and who is out to save Medicare.

Nevada’s special election in the 2nd Congressional District is a front in both of these battles.

As the race enters its final weeks, the National Republican Congressional Committee has flooded Nevada airwaves with television ads attacking Democrat Kate Marshall.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has offered tactical advice to Marshall, but hasn’t spent money on television ads against her Republican opponent, Mark Amodei.

Democrats spin this imbalance as desperation on the part of national Republicans, who are compensating for Amodei’s lackluster fundraising.

Marshall, on the other hand, is well funded, allowing her to air a steady stream of attack ads against Amodei.

But although it’s unusual for national Republicans to spend heavily on what is supposed to be a safe seat, it isn’t exactly a desperate act. National Republicans are seeking to fix a mistake they made this spring in the special election for New York’s 26th Congressional District, where they essentially ceded the message on Medicare to the Democratic candidate.

In that race, Democrat Kathy Hochul went up early and hard against her Republican opponent, accusing her of seeking to kill Medicare because she supported Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. It took weeks for Republican Jane Corwin to respond.

When Hochul won the heavily GOP district, the Republicans-want-to-kill-Medicare message quickly became a national strategy, and Democrats posited that by using it they could take back the House.

Marshall has followed that playbook, focusing two of her three attack ads on Amodei’s evolving position on Ryan’s plan to revamp Medicare.

But neither national Republicans nor Amodei are letting the attacks go unchallenged. An Amodei TV ad features his mother and accuses Marshall of lying about his record.

“I will work to support and improve the program,” Amodei promises in the ad.

“You’d better, Mark, I’m counting on you,” his mother says.

“OK, Ma, I’ll do my best.”

In addition to pushing the national momentum on Medicare, Marshall’s campaign thinks Amodei is vulnerable on the issue. The district is home to many seniors.

Early in the campaign, Amodei called Ryan’s proposal a good starting point. When he was working to get the Republican central committee’s nomination, he said he would “cozy up” to Ryan to get his plan passed.

Most recently, he said he wouldn’t support Ryan’s plan because it would hurt rural Nevadans’ access to health care.

“He’s not backing away for what he said,” his spokesman Peter DeMarco said. “It’s a good first start and has the elements to lead a thoughtful discussion. But if the threshold question is ‘does he support Paul Ryan’s budget in its current form,’ no.”

Meanwhile, Amodei and national Republicans are working to shift the debate, bringing up the $500 billion in cuts to Medicare in last year’s health care bill and recycling past GOP arguments against that bill, including that it will put the government in charge of health care decisions.

In the up-is-down world of political messaging, Republicans who call for entitlement spending cuts use such a cut as a weapon against their Democratic opponent. And both sides rely on dubious arguments.

Ryan’s plan would completely change how Medicare is funded, double costs for seniors and cut the same $500 billion that Democrats did. But it wouldn’t end it.

The Democrats’ health care bill cut $500 billion from Medicare, which they claim wouldn’t affect beneficiaries. And although the bill creates a panel to oversee cuts to Medicare, they wouldn’t dictate coverage.

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  1. I would rather have a government death panel that is subject to open meetings and ethical rules than a backroom insurance beancounter deciding if i get treatment .

  2. The 2003 Pharmaceutical Bill prevented the Government from negotiating prices with drug companies. Instead, the company is paid what it asked for Medicare drugs. Check it out.

    The 2003 Pharmaceutical bill is part of the waste in medicare that must be cut to save the program. This is an example of the cuts that GOP is fighting - money to the Executives, not care to the seniors.

    Mark Amodei worries about seniors like he worries about Bill Raggio.

  3. The Republicans are simply doing what they promised decades ago...Starve the Beast. Republicans fought the creation of Medicare and have tried to end it since it began.

    As Medicare became more and more popular they decided the only way to kill it was to starve the government of funds with massive tax cuts to the top. Even there RX plan was designed to weaken medicare (RX plan not funded). Then they try 'Medicare Advantage' managed by private insurers. This too was a massive failure as it proved to cost 14% more per beneficiary than traditional Medicare.

    Make no mistake, if you want to end Medicare vote Republican.

  4. The Republican alternative to Healthcare Reform will be: Die sooner- don't cost profits. Any Baby-Boomer Republican is delusional.

  5. "I will work to support and improve the plan",Amodei promises..

    What he really means,I support Ryan's plan because I think it's an improvement.

    Vote Kate Marshall !!

  6. Amodei is no different from any other run-of-the-mill Republican when it regards Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    ALL of them want these three institutions destroyed.

    That has been their objective since they came into fruition.

    But what's funny about this is they know deep down in their soul that if they make a direct move to dismantle any of them, they understand fully it would be the same as touching the third rail on the train tracks.

    Disintegration. No more Republican Party.

    So, what they do is try to replace things with totally inferior programs, but tell the voters something else.

    Either that or they try to perform the only negotiation and diplomacy they know how to do. They try to maneuver legislation to make the Democrats do it to themselves and do cuts...trying to get them forced into doing it.

    People are beginning to understand Republicans will NEVER, EVER give up trying to dismantle these institutions. Not entitlements. Not freeloading. Not free handouts. INSTITUTIONS. Because Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are carved in stone.

    They are wildly popular as a safety net for senior citizens (along with others eligible) and, if the Republicans were to wake up and work within those systems to make them better, they would do the required fixes to them. But this is the furthest thing from their minds. They don't want the easy fixes. THEY WANT THEM GONE! And they will do anything and everything to make that happen. Even if it contributes to their own political suicide.

    I say we assist. Help them fall on their swords. Because that is the only way they will stop.

    We need to do that at the 2012 elections.

    Because the Republican Party, as a whole, needs to sit in the stands for awhile. Keep them away from the playing field. Not only because of these policies, but also because they have been taken over by the lunatic fringe. It is a certified fact the Republican Party is not even a shadow of its former self anymore. They don't participate in conservative policies. They grasp way-out-there nutball right wingism crap now. It's so bad, this 112th Congress, with its majority of Republicans, has been rendered ineffective, incompetent and fueled only by a mixture of hate, party politics and policies that are not even close to what the American people want or desire. They have successfully taken us the wrong way.

    I really believe that when the Republican Party hierarchy looks at valid polls, they automatically do the exact opposite of what the overwhelming majority of American people want. They do it time after time.

    Throw all them bums out. They lost all credibility and are useless, trapped by their own unattainable politics.

    The only way for forward progress is to chuck all Republicans out of office. Time for another wave election. We ain't got time to screw around.

  7. Apart from the Internet, computers, roads, public libraries, public safety, public health, labor laws, food safety, drug safety, public education, state colleges, worker safety, air traffic control, weather satellites, heavy space-lift capacity and the FDIC what has government EVER done for the people?

    The largest chunk of the current national debt can be laid directly at the feet of George W. Bush and the Republican controlled Congress from 2001-2006.

    And there are three types of Tea Party Republicans:
    1. Billionaires
    2. Millionaires
    3. Suckers dumb enough to think policies for numbers 1 and 2 will benefit them.

  8. And for all you Tea Party Republicans who will doubtless find this article and scream about the "liberal bias" and that liberals don't believe in the "Christian" value of "teach a man to fish...", Jesus didn't say that, Confucius did in the 4th century. It also won't work in the current economic situation since the wealthiest citizens and mega-corporations have bought all the lakes and ponds and put up gates around the communities there with big "No Fishing" signs, both because they want to keep out the poor and because the water is polluted with toxic discharge and mine tailings.

  9. Look at the facts and listen to the people: Perry and Gingrich are from Confederate States, Antebellum South.

    There are millions in the old South today that believe that Lincoln is a Political Tyrant and the blacks had a better life under slavery then then do now. The still hate the Washington Government for taking away their freedom, wealth and way of life.

    Destruction of the Washington Government is essential to allowing them free reign over their actions without Northern control.

    At the end of the GOP straw poll in Iowa, Newt Gingrich (Georgia) declared, to wild applause: "Congress should come back Monday. They should repeal the Dodd-Frank bill. They should repeal Sarbanes Oxley."

    Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley were arguably the two most important pieces of legislation in recent years to regulate Wall Street and punish the kind of mass fraud that tanked the world economy in 2008.

    Gingrich still does not want any regulation on Wall Street, even after devastating America and neither does Perry !!

    These two people are not mad - they do in fact want to tear apart the Government and turn the responsibility of health and welfare over to Corporate magnates and Churches to control.

    They want a CEO to make a profit looking after retirement accounts. If you are sick, maybe the local Pastor can cure the problem with prayer - this IS Rick Perry's America (although Rick can afford a doctor for himself).

    When Gingrich and Perry use the word "America", they mean either their State, their Religion or both and those who are not part of that group do not exist.

    Gingrich and Perry are more dangerous to Democracy, freedom of religion, thought and action for all, then any Communist alive today. Between the two, Perry is way out in front.

    LBJ, George W. Bush - two Texas Governors, two long wars of attrition that accomplished nothing but the destruction of the fabric of America. Are we ready for another Texas Governor?

  10. Thank you Mike Finney, WeDo, ColinfromLasVegas,and Jon Becker, I SO agree with YOU all. Can The United States of America be so dense, ignorant, and stuck on stupid, as to even consider another presidential prospect from TEXAS? Haven't we had enough yet? What is THEIR plan? Open the borders and let all those SOUTH of the Border into the USA and further overwhelm us ---stressing our capacities and resources?

  11. Rick Perry is a philosophical double for Jefferson Davis.

    The last sentence of Davis's inaugural address, given February 1861 is very important:

    "Sanctified by justice and sustained by a virtuous people, let me reverently invoke the God of our fathers to guide and protect us in our efforts to perpetuate the principles which by HIS blessing they were able to vindicate, establish and transmit to their posterity, and with the continuance of HIS favor, ever to be gratefully acknowledged, let us look hopefully forward to success, to peace, and to prosperity. "

    Davis is a very reverent Episcopal. He calls on the "God of our fathers", the Christian God, to sanctify his actions, authority and purpose. Succession now seems the only path possible. Davis knew that slavery was a gift from God and that to interfere with it was the same as interfering with God's plan. John Wilkes Booth felt the same way.

    Succession is also Rick Perry's theme and he has said it more than once. Rickie Tickie plans to save America through prayer and once in office, has vowed to turn the Country over to God, the Christian God: just what a person without a plan would do.

    Rick Perry is talking like a person who wants to destroy the Federal Government and preserve our Freedoms, or at least his.

    Hitler was a life long Catholic, and the Nazi Government had a business agreement with the Catholics called "Reichskonkordat". Nazi Germany celebrated Christmas and the soldiers were often required to pray before battle. Many wore a belt buckle that read "Gott Mitt Uns", the Christian God.

    Never be fooled by faith, religion or what it can do, which is just about anything.

  12. There must have....I say THERE MUST HAVE been a sale on tinfoil hats at the five and dime. Really, you people have got to turn off the Art Bell and X-Files re-runs.

  13. Okay, then lets read the Bible:

    Matthew 10:34-36 (King James Version)

    34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
    36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

    Luke 12:51-53 (King James Version)

    51 Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
    52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.
    53 The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
    Guess who said this? Doesn't sound like peace and love to me. Art Bell is nuts by the way, there are no UFOs.

  14. (Beware, it's infallible....)

  15. bbtrain

    I do hope you were not speaking of SunJon's posts. I guess you never studied history; or maybe just slept thru it, especially during the part of our history as a country that was a travesty - so many Americans killed and for what? And, some of those Southern States are STILL fighting that war.

    Maybe you're the one with the tin foil hat.

  16. Thanks for the attention. To close on this article, compare the last paragraph of Lincoln's first inaugural address on March 4, 1861, to Davis.

    "I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

    Lincoln had no known religion and never wanted war.

    "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies."

    Peace is what he wanted.