Paul Ryan Talks Medicare With Mom At His Side [Video]

Congressman Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential candidate, spoke to seniors today at a rally at The Villages, a huge retirement community northwest of Orlando, Florida. His mother Betty, 78, was on the platform with him as he addressed the Medicare issue head on.

Contrary to the claims of his opponents about his budget reforms, Paul Ryan (see clips below) told a large, enthusiastic audience that “like a lot of Americans, when I think about Medicare, it’s not just a program, it’s not a bunch of numbers, it’s what my mom relies on. It’s what my grandma had…we have to keep that guarantee.”

According to AP, “[Paul Ryan] accused Obama of undermining Medicare by cutting billions from the program to devote to expanded coverage under his health care law and asserted:

‘We want this debate. We need this debate. And we are going to win this debate.'”

Ryan claimed that the Obama administration is using Medicare as a “piggybank” given that that the healthcare legislation cuts $716 billion from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare (a funding mechanism which no longer seems to be in dispute). The ObamaCare apparatus also sets up the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a new unaccountable bureaucracy the net effect of which will be to ration healthcare treatments. The same thing is going on in Britain; if you read the British press, you know that the UK National Health Service is in shambles.

Sorry Palin haters, but the IPAB will sadly be a death panel for some seniors. Let’s hope that advances in medical technology and more natural healing or holistic approaches among other things will obviate the need for this panel assuming it isn’t abolished by a future Congress. Presumably, IPAB rulings will also prompt a lot of lawsuits.

In past campaigns, Democrats have used Medicare to their political advantage against Republicans. The Weekly Standard’s Yuval Levin argues that this time around, contrary to conventional wisdom, it may be different:

“Obamacare on the one hand and the Romney/Ryan-Wyden proposal on the other stood to dramatically alter the political terrain of the Medicare debate. It is the Democrats who now propose to cut current seniors’ benefits and access to care while still failing to avert the program’s (and the nation’s) fiscal collapse, and it is the Republicans who would protect current seniors’ benefits and make them available to future seniors while saving the program from collapse through market reforms.”

Watch the CBS video of a portion of Paul Ryan’s speech today at The Villages:

In another clip from today’s rally, Ryan talks about his mother Betty starting her own small business after his dad died and that she did build that.