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Listen Up As Karl Rove Explains Why Seniors Will Flock To GOP To Kill Medicare For Them

Pay no attention to the man behind the screen Who among you supposed — nay, dreamed — way back in 2008 that Karl Rove, having completed his task of gifting George W. Bush to America, would take his balls and go home and stop messing around with democracy? Well, we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but not only does he have a $200,000,000 SuperPac to screw around with, he’s also been going on the Sunday morning yap shows to talk about Bush’s “accomplishments” and writing op-eds for the Wall Street Journal that misquote Bill Clinton. Now he’s back with ANOTHER op-ed, also in the Wall Street Journal, this one focusing on the fact that the GOP has a “Medicare advantage” over the Democrats. And surprise surprise, this one is as poorly sourced and given to hyperbole and obfuscation as the last one. But it’s Karl Rove, leader of the GOP Hive Mind, so we figure we should pay attention!

Predictably, Democrats went after Mitt Romney’s new running mate immediately, describing Paul Ryan as a “certifiable right-wing ideologue” whose views are “extreme” and “radical.” They focused on Medicare, warning that Republicans “would end Medicare as we know it,” making it “a voucher system” that costs seniors “thousands of dollars in health care costs.”

Well those Democrats are WRONG. According to Karl Rove, Paul Ryan is not an ideologue, and the GOP is better for Americans on Medicare. (Note: this is coming from Karl Rove, which is a little like Sarah Palin saying that Michele Bachmann isn’t a nutjob and also that the GOP is better for Muslims. Anyway, we digress. Back to Karl Rove’s main point, which is his lies about Medicare generally and not Paul Ryan specifically.)

For one thing, the GOP doesn’t cut Medicare spending. This fiscal year, Medicare outlays will total $503 billion. Even under the House GOP budget—considered the most parsimonious plan out there—Medicare spending would be $855 billion annually 10 years from now. That just 3% less than what President Obama proposes, hardly enough to justify Vice President Joe Biden’s claim that Republicans are “gutting Medicare.”

To be fair, this is kind of true. If you don’t focus on who is GETTING the $503 billion and when they will be getting it [pdf at link].

More important, Messrs. Obama and Romney differ on how to moderate the growth of future heath spending. Mr. Obama relies on a board of unelected bureaucrats—whose decisions cannot be appealed—to decide which procedures will be covered and at what prices. This will lead to rationing and slow down innovation in new therapies, procedures and devices.

Yes. Obama relies on a board of unelected bureaucrats, which is awful, instead of relying on unelected insurance company employees, which is not. And Romney relies on Ann–the-women-whisperer for advice on women, lobbyists for banks partially responsible for LIBOR manipulation for advice on monetary policy, and a Reagan-era Secretary of the Navy who thinks that Czechslovakia is still a country for advice on foreign policy. But yeah, a board of unelected bureaucrats is DEFINITELY worse.

Mr. Ryan’s plan has a different approach. While there would be no changes in Medicare for those 55 or older, starting in 10 years younger Americans would have a choice. They could either pick traditional Medicare or use the average amount of money the government spends on each Medicare enrollee to buy private insurance. The reasoning is based on a reliable truth: Competition will lower costs by using market forces to spur innovation and improvement.

True story: last week, a few friends of ours were in a pretty serious car accident. When the police arrived and asked them if they wanted to go to the hospital, they said they first wanted to run home to conduct a cost analysis of the services provided by the three in-network hospitals within a fifty mile radius. After calculating a cost analysis and a cost-benefit structure for each of the three procedures they anticipated needing, then and ONLY then would they be interested in swinging by whichever hospital offered the best quality MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays for the lowest price. So could the ambulance pick them up later, after they’re done figuring? Except this didn’t happen (well, the car accident did), because health care does not function like any other market, and sick or injured people don’t really have the option of comparison shopping or getting help from the Free Market Fairy.

Premium support can also make good politics. This spring, Resurgent Republic (a conservative polling group I helped organize in 2009) offered 1,000 registered voters the choice between a candidate who echoed Team Obama’s recent Medicare arguments and a candidate who backed allowing those aged 55 and younger to choose between traditional Medicare and private insurance backed up by premium support. The poll’s respondents picked the candidate favoring choice and premium support by 48% to 40% with independents preferring him 48% to 41%.

Note to our dear readers: we predict that calls for the privatization of Medicare will move away from language offering “choice” or “personal medical accounts” to the language of “premium support,” because it is what Karl Rove (and probably Frank Luntz) has decreed. So this is what we can look forward to. Happy retirement, ladies and gentlemen: if Mitt wins (or even “wins”), it will be Mitt’s time in Karl Rove’s America so enjoy your premium support!

[WSJ]

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About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson

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153 comments

  1. sbj1964

    With Paul Ryan on the ticket the GOP is going to see a grey revolt.Grampa likes his SS money Viagra ain't cheap.

  2. iburl

    Turd blossom is in full bloom. He is really the GOP's best friend because his ideas are just as dangerous and destructive as any one of them, but he has enough sense to put on the brakes when the rhetoric goes bat-shit-toxic (i.e., Palin, Birthers, etc..)

    1. noodlesalad

      Evil, yes. Genius, not so much. Just access to tons of dinero and ready, willing and able to take advantage of the fact that 49% of the American people possess below average intelligence and a portion of the remainder would like their taxes cut and don't care if the dummies have decent lives.

    2. tessiee

      By "genius", they meant "missing the element of humanity that keeps most of us from pushing guy in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs", so pretty much, yeah.

  3. mrpuma2u

    Isn't Turd Blossom code for magic mushrooms, that grow on cow pies? People are going to need to be on some serious psychedelics to buy this logic.

  4. ChernobylSoup

    Why is he not in jail? Like so many hopeful liberals in 2008, I thought a vote for Obama was a vote for a jailed Karl Rove.

  5. Callyson

    Medicare spending would be $855 billion annually 10 years from now. That just 3% less than what President Obama proposes… starting in 10 years younger Americans would have a choice

    So, the shit does not hit the fan until after ten years into their proposed policy. Which, as HuffyPo's headline stated a while ago, they are not about to give details on for fear that they might frighten the voters (more so,)

    Asshole,

  6. Billmatic

    So I assume Karl is laughing because someone raped, killed and ate a puppy right in front of him.

      1. Billmatic

        Oh come now, Karl delights in pulling strings behind the scenes. Why do it yourself when you can convince some stupid moron to do it for you?

    1. tessiee

      I call shenanigans.

      That fat turd wouldn't laugh if anybody ate anything in front of them, unless they gave him the lion's share.

  7. elviouslyqueer

    The reasoning is based on a reliable truth: Competition will lower costs by using market forces to spur innovation and improvement.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *gasps for breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!11!!0!0001!!00!!1!

    1. Generation[redacted]

      This is proven by the fact that private Medicare Advantage insurance is cheaper than traditional medicare.

      1. SorosBot

        At look at how insurance companies were scrambling to issue policies for the elderly, with all their susceptibility to illness and injury, before Medicare came along!

    2. chicken_thief

      The same market that exists RIGHT NOW to spur innovation and improvement. So he admits that Ryan's plan reduces the benefit and adds nothing additional?

    3. LetUsBray

      Ah, a reliable truth right up there with "The people we shock and awe all over will welcome us as liberators".

    4. reliefsinn

      Innovation and improvement?
      How about a supply of fresh squeezed lemon and lime juice, tequila, triple sec and simple syrup before they put me on the ice floe.
      I don't want any of that pre-mixed crap.

  8. Baconzgood

    THIS FUCK IS A FUCK. I MEAN I REALLY HATE THIS FUCK HEAD WIND FUCKING DOUCHE FUCK BAG COCKSUCKER MOTHER FUCKER. HE FUCKED THIS COUNRTY ONCE AND NOW HE WANTS TO FUCK IT AGAIN. THIS FUCK DOESN'T CARE ABOUT AMERICA. POLITICS IS A FUCKING "I GOTTA FUCKING WIN" GAME FOR THIS FUCK FACE.

  9. SorosBot

    Hey, idiot, the insurance company operatives are unelected bureaucrats; and these are bureaucrats who work for for-profit industry, and therefore can't be trusted like most government bureaucrats who are mostly decent, hard-working people out to help the public instead of just make money.

    Oh, and the free market is the fucking problem in the health care industry; there can be no free market solutions, that will just make everything worse. Moran.

  10. rockyoumonkeys

    It blows my mind that "blatantly lying" has become such an effective strategy in this country. That there are THAT many people in this country who will literally believe anything the GOP tells them. That there are that many people who are too stupid to weigh actual evidence or too stubborn to demand any.

    And furthermore, how is it the democrats are so ineffective at fighting the GOP's transparent plan to keep us stupid?

    1. Ruhe

      Re blatantly lying: I think this is one of those nostalgia-esque phenomena where our ever telescoping view of the past gives us the impression that things today are somehow fundamentally different and broken. But really blatant lies as a rhetorical strategy have always been effective, and by always I mean since the beginning of language. In one of the Dialogues Socrates talks specifically about the dangerous power of a "likely story" in opposition to the simple truth.

      1. rockyoumonkeys

        You're right, but I would counter that with the internet, such lies should be so easily caught and dismissed. It should be much harder for them to get away with this stuff, but it's not, they're getting away with it so easily. And all I can think is that the simple people who buy the GOP's message are so overwhelmed by all the real information out there that they just throw their hands up and accept what they're told if it means they don't have to go read something.

  11. Generation[redacted]

    It's fun to watch this guy blow his top when someone says, "Mission Accomplished."

  12. PuckStopsHere

    Karl Rove is slipping badly. With R/R running, I doubt he's even in the Top 10 Conservative Liars anymore.

  13. Lot_49

    My sister has multiple myeloma. Her medicine costs $17,000 a month. How exactly will the Ryan/Romney plan for "saving" Medicare work for her?

    Here's how Medicare currently works: everybody who works pays in. Some don't live long enough to get any benefit, and their payments are used to provide medical care for people who need expensive treatments. Soshecurity, life insurance, annuities, private pensions and many other programs work this way. The people who twiddle the dials to make it work are called actuaries. What will kill it any of these is making the pool of contributors and beneficiaries smaller, as the Republicans want to do. This is not good.

    1. reliefsinn

      Not mentioned by Rove or any of the other creeps on the right is that in this scenario, the insurance co's are going to "cherry pick" the healthiest customers.
      I am guessing that this would not include your sister, god bless her.
      That would leave the sickest people, of course, to be covered by the government program, increasing it's costs, and ensuring more profits for the private insurance companies.
      Both parties, it seems, have dropped the ball as far as attempting to lower drug prices.
      USA!USA!

  14. noodlesalad

    If this story doesn't say "fuck it, it's Friday afternoon, time to check out and have a cold beer somewhere before the internets get me any madder" then nothing does.

  15. mbobier

    If ever I saw a pic just begging for the caption BWA-HA-HAAAAAA!!!!!, this is it. Especially if Rover followed it up by rubbing his hands together and hissing "Ehhhhxcellent."

  16. YouBetcha

    On some days, the pictures that Wonkette puts up with its articles are the opposite of porn.

    1. Jus_Wonderin

      Though, I doubt even that photo would keep Bristol from "ropin' and ridin', all night long"………………………..

  17. FakaktaSouth

    I cannot believe he has 200,000,000 moneys just for being willing to lie, fuck over and destroy America better than anyone else. Rich people who have done terrible things to gain vast wealth with horrid agendas look at Karl and say, he is the guy who will get our shit done, and that is just amazing to me. Having a conscience is for fucking suckers man.

    1. Generation[redacted]

      200,000,000 in lies buys you 400,000,000 in tax cuts. Think of it as America's close-out sale.

    2. Ruhe

      "A conscience is for suckers." I think that's what Thrasymachus tried to tell Socrates about 2500 years ago.

    3. sewollef

      "Having a conscience is for fucking suckers man."

      There are greater things than making boatloads of money at the direct expense of others. You have a conscience and most everyone who posts here has a conscience, and I might add, a heart.

      And although you or I might get angry at these motherfuckers and leeches in society, we still try to 'do the right thing'. I know I do. I can sleep at night with that knowledge.

      If that makes us suckers, then like you and most wonkette fifth columnists, then fucking good. We are the better people for it.

  18. fartknocker

    More utter horseshit from GWB2s fluffer bitch. These nimrods have one agenda and that is to fuck the middle class and line the pockets of the insurance companies with gold. I will again remind turdbasket that I have been paying into Social Security and Medicare for over 38 years at a tax rate almost twice of what Shit Romney has ever paid.

    I'm also for a U.S. version of the French Revolution involving bankers.

  19. OkieDokieDog

    Speaking of screwing around, how is it that this guy, the Newt & Rush Limbaugh, have all had 3 or more wives? I don't get it. They're all mean, ugly, pasty fat guys. And don't say it's the money. There's not enough money (or Quaaludes or a room dark enough!) for me to want to have sexy time with any of these "family values" huckster hacks. Ugh. I mean really. OMG. UGH.

    1. DahBoner

      There's a lot of dumb White women in Suburban Detroit who think Republicans are JUST SO SMART

    2. Geminisunmars

      It's the money, but in a round-about way. The wifey thinks that if she can *snag* such a powerful, rich dude, that reflects well on her own trophy-worthiness. Later, when she wakes up next to a dead-eyed control freak, she becomes obsessed with reclaiming freedom.

  20. Jus_Wonderin

    Just the other day, I painted a flower pot the color of Karl's teeth. Maybe another trip to Sherwin-Williams is in my future.

  21. chicken_thief

    "The poll’s respondents picked the candidate favoring choice and premium support by 48% to 40% with independents preferring him 48% to 41%."

    Choice is always good, amirite?! But I bet the pollster's did not point out that the option of Medicare isn't as we know it now, it is the option of about 70% of what Medicare covers now. The rest – out of the pocket of the insured.

  22. TootsStansbury

    Choice? If you get sick you can choose between wrist slitting, head in oven, building leaping offing etc.

  23. Come here a minute

    I've had some of my best MRI's from the hospitals that offer coupons in the Sunday paper.

  24. barto

    "Competition will lower costs by using market forces to spur innovation and improvement"

    It's not a market if you are forced to participate in it. Competition does nothing to control costs – it foments consolidation and reduces choice. The only rational choice for funding health care is single-payer financing. "premium support" = gifts to private insurance companies.

    1. sewollef

      "Competition will lower costs by using market forces to spur innovation and improvement"

      Does Rove mean like the cable companies then? 'Cos I'm not thinking Time-Warner, or Comcast are in the market of lowering costs to us consumers somehow.

  25. MinAgain

    When is the soccer team that he apparently ate for breakfast going to kick its way to freedom?

  26. SayItWithWookies

    Remember the last time Karl wanted the people to have a choice in what to do with their money? He was behind Dubya's whole privatizing Social Security thing, which was a ploy to inject a massive amount of cash into the stock market. Despite Dubya's touring the country relentlessly and speaking to hand-picked friendly audiences, the people didn't buy that shit.

    Anyway, here comes Karl with another wonderful choice to give the people. And frankly I'm thrilled that he's up front in this race, as the more people remember about Karl Rove, the less likely Romney is to get a vote.

    1. SorosBot

      Hey, I trust that guy from Law & Order who ran for President once; I'll buy whatever he's selling, it must be good!

  27. Naked_Bunny

    Competition will lower costs by using market forces to spur innovation and improvement.

    As is standard procedure when discussing Republican economic policies, the fact that this has never happened before in this segment of the economy (which is the reason for trying something different) should be ignored.

    1. chicken_thief

      Hey, it works for "tax cuts for corporations stimulate hiring" despite any statistics to support the claim so why not with health care?

  28. Jus_Wonderin

    How has the noun Rove NOT been added to the Dictionary and defined as "the oily scum on diarrhea, while simultaneously defining "the sounds made while fucking your own Mother"?

    1. Naked_Bunny

      Rove's head wouldn't look good under any circumstances, but it would certainly be less repulsive.

  29. fawkedifiknow

    Karl Rove ain't collecting all that money from people who just want to see a government that works for all the people. I know that's probably news to Scalito and Roberts and Clarence, but then, they can go fuck themselves, too.

  30. JustPixelz

    Rove and Ryan and Romney and the Repubicans think the cost of Medicare is awful. But one reason Medicare costs a lot is because people live longer. (Not as long as under socialism, but let's ignore that little fact.) Isn't longer life a good thing? Doesn't the R-Team at least want to preserve innocent, older human life?

    Medicare is funded by a 2.9% payroll tax on all wage. By statue it's split between employee and employer. Maybe that rate needs to be 3.4%. Another half a percent tax increase that goes directly to keeping retirees alive. Call it the "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother Surtax" so the bible thumpers will (have to) go along.

  31. pdiddycornchips

    Karl knows Democrats have an advantage over Republicans when it comes to protecting Medicare. The real question this election will answer is are the American people stupid enough to believe insurance companies will deliver better results than the single most successful government program in our history. Keep in mind, there's a lot of incredibly stupid people living in the good 'ol USA.

  32. Self-Uploader

    A friend who is a nurse-practitioner at a clinic that deals with very sick people can no longer stand her job. she's really tired of dealing with the insurance companies whose plan is always to delay and deny until the patient dies.

    Don't know why I just thought of that.

    1. Monsieur_Grumpe

      This must be one of those private sector solutions that is always better than government “rammed down our throats” solutions.

  33. Generation[redacted]

    You have a good idea there, Rove. You should try it on the VA first, and see how our veterans like it.

  34. ChernobylSoup

    Now, grandma, make sure the surgeon washes his hands with the garden hose out by the shed. Grandpa should be back with the whiskey before the incision… if the pawn shop gave him a good price on the jewelry. I've got some S&H stamps we'll use for aspirin and a respirator.

  35. TootsStansbury

    I know hate is a strong word but this fucker broke this country and is now actively trying to kill it completely. I hate him.

    1. bikerlaureate

      That'll teach those jocks in a long-ago Texas high school for being mean to him.

      "Burn it down. Burn it all down."

  36. BlueStateLibel

    Who the heck writes: "Messrs. Obama and Romney?" Go back to France, Messr. Turd Blossom, even your pudgy fingers can't save Mitt Rmoney now.

  37. PubOption

    If competition is going to drive down health care costs, insurance companies are going to have to answer questions like "How much should I expect to pay for this procedure?" and "Is there another provider who can perform this service at lower cost to me?" I have tried asking similar questions of my insurance company, and have never received a reasonable answer. What I do know is that I get charged much more if an X-ray is done in a hospital rather than an imaging center, and I suspect the same is true for many other procedures.

    1. Ruhe

      Yes, essentially the shopping around must be done in advance and the most effective method for doing that is price control.

  38. Generation[redacted]

    This statement: While there would be no changes in Medicare for those 55 or older… and this statement: starting in 10 years younger Americans would have a choice.

    Putting aside the obvious incongruity of saying it's both a choice and a change, why not give seniors a choice now? Sounds like a great deal, after all. America can't afford to wait, Messr. Rove.

  39. Ruhe

    When you wear what's basically a cotton and latex sling on your crotch that's "athletic support" but when you can have some buff fake reporter dude follow you around the White House cupping your balls in his hands…now that is "Premium Support".

  40. MonkeyMotion

    "Karl Rove has been stricken by a rare neurological disorder that's debilitating, excruciatingly painful, and causes constant vomiting and diarrhea. It's incurable, though not fatal. Ironically, his medical insurance doesn't cover the condition, so after exhausting his life's savings, he'll spend the rest of life in some dank back alley drooling and shitting himself in lonely agony."

    Hey, I can dream, can't I?

  41. tessiee

    If the GOP had any sense at all, they'd be muttering "Shud-UUUPPPP!" out of the sides of their mouths, kicking him under the table, and hoping the country forgot that this pond scum of a "man" ever existed.

    But they don't have any sense at all, or any ethics at all, so they think he's just nifty.

  42. anniegetyerfun

    I mean, I know the dude has a lot of influence and money and stuff. But is he so terrifying that no one around him could say, "You know, Karl, you're fat, balding, and have disgusting yellow teeth. Growing you hair an additional three inches in back isn't going to change any of that."

  43. tessiee

    I find this so impossible to masturbate to that my ladyparts actually slammed shut with an audible "Clank!"

    Also, just to be on the safe side since we're talking about Repukes, something else slammed shut with a smaller, but still audible "Clink!"

  44. tessiee

    No snark here: KKKarl Rove is a hateful, evil creature, who is ugly and disgusting on every level and in every way possible. He should die a lingering, painful death. But first, he should be publicly humiliated in a way that reduces him to a quivering pile of blubbering blubber.

  45. bikerlaureate

    describing Paul Ryan as a “certifiable right-wing ideologue” whose views are “extreme” and “radical.”

    The guy who wants the concept of "personhood" codified so that ectopic pregnancies are protected, and IUD users would be murderesses – extreme and radical ? Posh. Only a Democrat atheist lemming would find fault with that view.

  46. bikerlaureate

    The reasoning is based on a reliable truth: Competition will lower costs by using market forces to spur innovation and improvement.

    …as the entire modern history of HMO and pharmaceutical pricing demonstrates.

    Flesh-eating bacteria has more humanity than this traitorious glob of pus.

  47. LibertyLover

    Like lemmings following the Pied Piper….only the Faux News Watchers and the victims of Frank Luntz's word games will flock to the GOP and their so-called "protection" of Medicare.

  48. HistoriCat

    As someone who worked in the health insurance industry for almost a decade, let me just say that Karl Rove is full of shit. But you already knew that.

    Single-payer is the best way to go.

  49. SavageDrummer

    So… can I be the first to suggest that us on the left turn "Premium Support" to "You pay a premium to get support"? 'cause that's pretty much what it is, no?

  50. ttommyunger

    I sometimes wonder what gets people like Rove up and out of the house in the morning. Is it hate, bile, greed? Then I realize I don't really give a fuck about Rove and his ilk, although it wouldn't do to find myself alone in a public bathroom with him or several others I can think of.

  51. Warpde

    Funny!
    But by that picture, see above, you would think that a man that shit's $100 bills out his ass, yes I know shitting and ass go hand in hand, he would take better care of his teeth.
    Jesus fucking Christ Almighty KKKarl.
    Did you sign a "No dentist pledge" with Grover?

  52. Schmegeg

    But, of course, any insurance executive that proposes covering old people at any price will be killed and eaten by his Board of Directors.

  53. smitallica

    Say Karl, weren't the Supreme Court justices who appointed your idiot friend W to pretend to be President and fuck everything up royally, thereby making all of us have to know who you even are, ALSO unelected bureaucrats?

Comments are closed.