Per Ben Smith, here’s a new ad from a Tennessee Republican running for the House. Her dismay with cutting $500 out of Medicare “all to help pay for government control of medicine” encapsulates a contradictory message I haven’t heard so overtly since a man attending a town hall last year told a South Carolina congressman to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.”
It’s kind of surprising that Democrats never tried to sell their health care plan using the popularity of Medicare. Sure, the system is flawed in a lot of ways – reimbursements to doctors are low and the program as it currently exists will eventually become insolvent. But, on the ground level, most elderly Americans love Medicare and feel that it does good job at providing benefits. Instead of touting the success of Medicare as an example of how government managed health insurance can work, Democrats got hammered for cutting funding from the program, as Republicans purported to be the protectors of the closest thing to socialized medicine that exists in the U.S.