Sunday, August 12, 2012

In which we learn how badly Mitt Romney wants the presidency...

...turns out, not very badly at all.
He tapped Paul Ryan as his running mate.  The same Paul Ryan who wanted to dismantle Medicare.  OK, so this generation of seniors is safe--for now.  That means Queen Mom and Builder, both over 55 (and I won't say by how much) can collect their Medicare when they turn 65.  But what about everyone under 55?  As in me and practically everyone I know? 
Let's face it.  Private health insurance is not the easiest thing to get even under the best of circumstances.And seniors, facing both a lack of funds and serious health problems, are decidedly not in the best of circumstances.  Builder, for instance, has had five hernia surgeries, a tracheal stenosis, and a torn meniscus.  All of which would get him kicked off most private insurance plans as "pre-existing conditions." 
Sure, Obamacare has made it illegal for health insurers to kick people off for pre-existing conditions.  But how long will that last?
Of course, targeting Medicare is capital-S STUPID.  See, the older people are, the more likely they are to show up on Election Day.  AARP, who opposes any limitations on Medicare, will be running Ryan's little plan on TV from now until November.  And too many people got burned by that lovely little law known as Medicare Part-D, where you had to get your own prescription drug coverage.  Between private plan corruption, cut-off dates, and "donut holes," a whole lot of seniors were confused.  Try to privatize Medicare, and all you'll get is a lot of pissed-off baby boomers.
And then there are the swing voters.  Remember the McCain-Palin ticket?  McCain was a serious contender, the sort of Republican that was liberal enough to capture swing voters.  Then he chose Sarah Palin.  Within a few weeks, the swing voters shifted to Obama, and the McCain campaign became something of a joke.  Suddenly, McCain was a loose cannon who might not live out his term, leaving the country ruled by Madam "I can see Russia from my house."
Of course, Romney was in trouble already.  His ties to Bain Corporation, a company that laid off a ton of people, don't sit too well with many voters in a down market.  Neither do his offshore accounts.  I won't mention Sen. Reid's questions about Romney's tax returns, since I put them in the same category as the "birther" fuss four years ago.
Congratulations, Mr. President Obama.  Four more years!

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