A new video has surfaced that may this time do damage to the Tommy Thompson campaign for the U.S. Senate.
Reportedly filmed in June at a Wisconsin Tea Party gathering, the video shows a stern Thompson boasting that he is just the guy to get rid of Medicaid and Medicare because he pioneered so-called welfare reform.
In this video, Thompson said he’d “change Medicare and Medicaid like I did with welfare. And who better than me who’s already finished one of the entitlement programs to come up with programs to do away with Medicaid and Medicare?”
His policies for doing away with these crucial social programs are right in line with those of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, except they haven’t been so blunt about it.
Thompson said: “Let’s block grant what the state has and allow the states to determine what’s going to go into Medicaid.”
That’s essentially what Romney said on 60 Minutes Sunday night: “I’d take the dollars for those programs, send them back to the states, and say, ‘You craft your programs at your state level and the way you think best.” The problem with that is that many states might erect ridiculously high hurdles for the poor and the disabled to clear before they can get these crucial benefits. And states, which are strapped for revenue, would have an almost irresistible temptation to divert some of this money to cover their budget deficits.
And on Medicare, Thompson parroted the Ryan line. “For Medicare, the best way for everybody that’s right now under 55 . . . give them a choice whether or not they want to purchase health insurance with a subsidy from the federal government or stay on Medicare. I’m here to tell you when you look at the situation no one’s going to accept it because Medicare is going broke by the year 2022.”
That’s letting the cat out of the bag. Republicans want to so deplete Medicare that the public system becomes so unattractive that people will flock to the private sector. Like Ryan, Thompson didn’t bother to acknowledge that people would be paying $6,000 more a year for Vouchercare than they would under the existing Medicare system.
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