In case you missed this, yesterday evening we published our first checklist of where members of Congress stand on Paul Ryan’s plan to phase out Medicare and replace it with vouchers for private insurance. A few things to keep in mind for analyzing it and seeing what you can find out from your representative or senator. First, there are lots and lots of Democrats who either are stating vague opposition or are not saying where they stand at all. If they’re still vague or not stating a position at all, that’s very, very dangerous for the future of Medicare. Like every other member of Congress, they won’t state a flat and categorical decision unless pressed. And frankly, from what I can see, most of the these folks are still cuddling with comfort novels or awkwardly singing in dive bars over their third beer. It’s sad. But they’re totally not focusing on this. Trust me. Bigly.
Next, this is all about word play and bamboozlement. So you need to listen closely. For instance, yesterday up on the hill Marco Rubio told our reporter that he opposed “privatization” of Medicare. That’s great. But people tend to come up with their own definitions of what ‘privatization’ means. Because right after that he said: “I don’t want to change it for people that are on it now, but I do think for future generations it will have to look different.”
Those are the code words people usually use to signal support for Ryan-style Medicare phase out. So I would say Rubio more than likely does support Medicare phase-out. But it’s ambiguous and it seems like he at least wants to make people think he doesn’t support it. You will hear a lot of people playing these games. So to get the real story it’s important to press.