As President Obama and Democrats try to salvage the reputation of the Affordable Care Act, a national Republican group will hit 12 Democrats -- all running in Senate elections next year–over changes to Medicare. The National Republican Senatorial Committee will highlight Wednesday the candidates' support for the federal health care law, better known as Obamacare, and what Republicans call $717 billion in cuts to the popular entitlement program that guarantees health insurance to seniors.
If this seems familiar to you, there's a good reason -- Republican campaign officials have rolled out this same bogus claim every year since 2010. It's one of the GOP's go-to zombie lies that just can't be killed.
Which is a shame, because it's ridiculous. First, it's simply wrong to claim the Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare. The health care reform law strengthens the Medicare system's finances by reducing payments to insurance companies and hospitals. Benefits for seniors, meanwhile, have been expanded, not cut.
Second, if Republicans want to know if this line of attack is effective, they should check in with President Romney and Vice President Ryan.
And finally, all this does is help put Medicare back on the front burner, giving Democrats an opportunity to point to the Republican plan to end the Medicare system altogether, replacing it with a wildly unpopular voucher scheme.
Regardless, the NRSC, fresh off its profoundly silly criticism of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, is pushing this new attack, claiming Democrats are "deceiving seniors." The irony is rich.