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Endorsing GOP's Medicare 'Reform' Could Ruin Romney

Memo Pad Politics

Endorsing GOP's Medicare 'Reform' Could Ruin Romney


Desperate to remove the indelible stigma of his Massachusetts health care reform legislation, Mitt Romney may well have overreached by endorsing the Congressional Republican scheme to replace Medicare with a costly, medically inadequate voucher system. No doubt Romney meant to distance himself not only from his own record but also from Newt Gingrich, the GOP front-runner who denounced the same scheme — authored by House Budget chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) — as “right-wing social engineering” last spring.

Whether Republican voters will buy this latest renovation of Romney remains to be seen. What we already know, however, is that most voters, including Republicans and Tea Party zealots, prefer Medicare as it is and disdain politicians who want to dismantle it. Although comfortable conservative pundits love the Ryan budget and dream of killing Medicare, the program’s popularity is well known among Republicans who must actually face voters in the coming year. Many of them have tried to avoid the question altogether or have defended traditional Medicare from the House Republican assault.

Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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  1. paul moyer December 10, 2011

    Are these people nuts I hope people are reading the papers and listening to the news
    because most of these republican suggestion are just plain nuts. The democrats have there share of ridiculous ideas but if you have to make a choice I have to go with Democrats. Why can’t we come up with a third party that would take a few good things each party has to offer.

  2. Vail December 10, 2011

    Will save Medicare and be more clinton like in his approach. mitt is a strong leader solid businessman and has demonstrated the ability to accomplish and implement goals. He will balance the budget and right size government Would prefer Hillary but 4more yrs of the guy I voted for in the last election will destroy this country


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