Democrats are trying to frighten seniors into backing them at the polls by preying on their fears about Medicare without forming concrete plans to aid the program, the head of the 60 Plus Association told Newsmax.TV.
“Every election, one party scares seniors into the voting booth, whether it’s Social Security or Medicare,” said 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin. “I call it ‘Mediscare’ now. Pretending that someone is going to destroy it — that’s nonsense.”
Politicians try to sway seniors because they realize many are vulnerable, Martin said during an interview at recent the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C.
“So many seniors are living home alone, they don’t have that many friends around [as] they watch the TV ad,” Martin said.
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He pointed to “Grandma Over the Cliff,” a recent ad that The Agenda Project produced. It showed a man resembling Republican Rep. Paul Ryan shoving an elderly, wheelchair-bound woman over a cliff — a metaphor for what the liberal group says Ryan’s Medicare proposal would do to seniors.
Martin praised the Wisconsin congressman’s plan, saying, “Ryan came forth with a plan to save Medicare. It’s being distorted and demonized, to use his words.”
Martin also expressed enthusiasm about the tea party movement.
“They inspire older generations like myself and quite frankly they are the wave of the future in the political arena,” he said.
Now in its 19th year and with 7 million supporters nationwide, Martin’s organization is the leading national conservative seniors advocacy group. It was formed as a counterpoint to AARP.
AARP has “absolutely, totally” sold out its members by endorsing President Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation, Martin said.
“They’re a Fortune 500 company, they are going to make millions of dollars. That’s why a lot of their members are leaving right now,” Martin said.
Many seniors were disillusioned when they read that AARP made “over $600 million in profits selling products” last year, he said.
“We are not out there pushing products,” he said. “We’re pushing one thing: limited government, less taxes and adherence to a document that is sometimes forgotten about in Washington, the Constitution.”
He described it as “incomprehensible” that AARP has accepted plans to cut $500 billion from Medicare. The Obama plan would lead to healthcare rationing, he said.
“They wonder why members are leaving them in droves,” Martin said.
However, an AARP spokesman told Newsmax that the group is "dedicated to fighting on behalf of our members and everyone over 50."
"To be clear, AARP supported the Affordable Care Act because it protects and strengthens Medicare for current and future retirees, including the creation of new preventive care benefits, closing the prescription drug 'doughnut hole' coverage gap and extending the life of the Medicare trust fund," spokesman Jim Dau said. “The law's savings in future Medicare spending were endorsed by hospitals, doctors and other care providers who said the reductions would not reduce the quality of or access to the care that millions of people in Medicare depend on.”
"However, AARP, doctors and hospitals opposed the recent House-passed budget resolution, which incorporated nearly every single Medicare spending reduction but without protecting the guarantee of secure health coverage that older Americans have earned," he said.
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