Paul Ryan Medicare

“Tell Us What To Say” – Tea Party Group Gives GOP Freshmen Medicare Talking Points

So, what sort of power does a group like the Tea Party have over members of the House and Senate?  Could it be Corporate and special interests who are looking for members of both houses in Congress to tow the free market line?  

The wealthiest corporations and special interest groups usually pepper politicians with overwhelming amounts of money in hope of influencing the political process.   

It’s the same way with the Tea Party which is backed by the likes of Koch Industries and other corporate interests.

Huffington Post

FreedomWorks Gives Freshman Republicans Tips For Dealing With Medicare At Town Halls

The conservative group FreedomWorks has a message for freshman Republicans in Congress: Do not shy away from the Medicare fight.

On May 24, the group run by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey convened one of its regular off-the-record meetings with “communicators from limited-government conservative offices in the House and Senate who have a close relationship with the grassroots,” according to an email from FreedomWorks’ Media Coordinator Jackie Bodnar obtained by The Huffington Post. The email was intended for attendees of the breakfast meeting.

The main topics of discussion, according to notes attached to the email that recapped the meeting, were the debt ceiling and Medicare. The special guest that day was Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who argued, according to the recap, that the “debt ceiling has become a key bargaining chip that can be used to get the BBA [balanced budget amendment] passed.”

Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks, focused on Medicare and gave the congressional offices tips for dealing with the hot topic in their districts (emphasis added):

  • Get out there and talk to people. Hold town halls at senior centers and other areas where the population is especially concerned about their benefits being cut. Take the lessons of ’94 and ’95 and get out there and explain to people that their immediate benefits will not be affected. Explaining the plan will offset confusion and the Democrats’ negative messaging.
  • We need to dispel the myth that if we leave Medicare alone it will stay the same. It won’t. By reforming them we are saving and strengthening these programs for the current and future generations.
  • Don’t bury your head in the sand. Republicans must not shy away from this issue. Expect Democrats to attack, but not fighting back will only makes it worse. BOLD action is needed.
  • Communicate that Democrats do not have a plan of their own. Hold up a blank piece of paper as a powerful image of their do-nothing approach.
  • Stick to your message.

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House Republicans Face Backlash At Home Over Medicare Vote

What planet are these  “Tea Baggers” from?

Huffington Post

House Republicans returning to their districts on Monday faced harsh criticism for voting to turn Medicare, the federal health care program for retirees, into a voucher system. GOP lawmakers faced this same constituent iremere weeks ago when they first voted to support House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan, which would lower tax rates for corporations and the wealthy while replacing Medicare with private-insurance subsidies for those under 55.

Speaking in his home state of Arizona Monday night, freshman Rep. Ben Quayle (R), son of former vice president Dan Quayle, took heat from constituents who demanded to know why he supported turning Medicare over to private insurers.

Quayle isn’t the only lawmaker who, after voting in favor of Ryan’s plan, faced anger at home this week. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) faced a similarly boisterous crowd at her first Vancouver town hall, while Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) weathered disapproving audiences in Worcester County.

A town hall meeting held by freshman Allen West (R-Fla.) on Monday night degenerated into a shouting match, with one person having to be removed from the meeting by police.

A recent speech by Ryan, meanwhile, was met with dozens of protesters marching outside a hotel in downtown Chicago and carrying signs that read: “Hands off my Medicare” and “Paul Ryan plan: Let them eat cat food.”

The most recent round of backlash comes just days after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Republican presidential candidate, called the Republican plan to end Medicare too “radical” and “too big a jump” for Americans. He also referred to it as “right-wing social engineering.”

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