Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), architect of the nefarious GOP scheme to plunder Medicare on behalf of the insurance industry and pawn off seniors with a handful of worthless vouchers, led the charge.
"As far as Medicare is concerned, we wanted to make sure the President understood the facts about the proposal so he doesn't continue to mischaracterize it," Ryan sneered.
One Republican fact Ryan didn't mention was that John Abarr, an avowed Ku Klux Klan extremist, may soon be reinforcing the GOP ranks, as he announced he would be running for the open Montana House seat that belonged to Denny Rehberg (R-MT).
Abarr said that he'd been "inspired" to run by Obama's election. It was not known whether Abarr planned to bring any sporting goods or ranching tools into future meetings with the President, and how many of Ryan's cohort would help hold the President down.
Republicans hoped that holding hostage the nation's ability to issue bonds to fund operations and pay off maturing obligations would force the Administration to cave on Medicare and Social Security, which Republicans want to plunder for their cronies, and slash trillions in other services, which Republicans want for tax subsidies, giveaways and kickbacks for their cronies.
Obama had been actively warning people that Ryan and the Republicans' 2012 budget plan not only slashed income taxes for the wealthiest Americans another 10%, but aimed to dismantle Medicare, which pays seniors' doctor and hospital bills, and replace it with a scheme that forces future seniors to buy private insurance with the help of "premium support" - which Republicans refuse to characterize as "vouchers" - that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office revealed would not even cover a third of the cost of premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and other expenses. Republicans howled that informing voters of GOP perfidy was "demagoguery."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), said GOP leaders at the meeting demanded the President, "stop saying that we don't have the best interests of the country at heart."
Cantor, Ryan, and the rest of their infernal cabal apparently tried to browbeat the President into propagating Republican lies, but Obama held firm. Ever the diplomat, the President told Republicans, "The demagoguery comes from both sides." Well, not really, but Obama is always trying to reach out to even the most intransigent of villains.
Ryan and the GOP cohorts' apparent battle plan is to repeatedly, incessantly, relentlessly characterize any warnings about Ryan's Medicare Couponization scam as lies, even though they can never explain what it is about those warnings that are untrue. Instead, Republicans, whose deep pockets can buy the best ad men and spinmeisters Madison Avenue has to offer, have whipped up the slick soundbite "Mediscare" to denigrate any effort to inform people of the GOP's scheme to pillage Medicare and hand all its money to the profiteering insurance juggernaut.
Reputable analysts have joined the chorus declaring that not only does Ryan's plan abolish Medicare, it does so without even accomplishing the balanced budget Republicans continuously howl for. The main aim of Ryan's Republican budget is, as always, to hand ever larger mountains of free cash to the wealthy while brutalizing every other American.
Princeton Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman recently wrote:
"Mr. Ryan may claim...he's facing a backlash because his opponents are lying about his proposals. But the reality is that the Ryan plan is turning into a political disaster for Republicans, not because the plan's critics are lying about it, but because they're describing it accurately."Krugman, upon carefully examining Ryan's budget, confirms Ryan would do away with Medicare and replace it with vouchers, or coupons, or whatever Republicans want to call them, that would leave, "many if not most older Americans unable to afford essential care."
Republicans themselves are keen to promote the notion that only the wealthiest Americans, who can pay cash on the barrel head, should be entitled to health care. Ryan henchman Rob Woodall (R-GA) taunted a constituent who asked about Medicare with, "You want the government to take care of you? ...When do I decide to take care of me?"
Ryan is an Ayn Rand acolyte who, like Rand, believes that a person's own happiness is the only purpose of life, that selfishness is a virtue, and altruism is to be condemned. One look at Ryan's, and Woodall's and shirtless photo stalker Chris Lee's smug, coiffed, tinted, frat-boy looks, and one can immediately imagine how Rand's insipid ramblings might enthrall them.
Of course the likes of Ryan and Woodall and Lee, ever vigilant for any opportunity to toady up to their wealthy patrons, would come up with a plan that would not only leave the vast majority of Americans unable to obtain critical medical care, but would force Americans to empty their bank accounts and sell their assets in a desperate bid to cover deductibles and uncovered expenses before succumbing - impoverished, miserable and in horrible agony - to anguish and death as their loved ones looked on helplessly.
One can almost hear Ryan feverishly pitching his scheme to his industry masters: "Not only that, those losers'll have to sell everything they have first! Then, we'll get it all! We'll get it all!" (Cue maniacal evil villain laughter).
Democrats' health care reforms pared, over time, $500 million from the George W. Bush Medicare Advantage boondoggle that handed a big chunk of the Medicare pie to the same insurance industry cronies Republicans now want to hand the whole Medicare pie to. Medicare Advantage imposed enormous costs on taxpayers, as it pumped mountains of cash directly to billionaire industry moguls for private jets, private yachts and private portfolio packages. But, as Democrats tried to rein in those excesses, Republicans, in true demagoguery, screamed, "Death Panels! Birth Certificate!"
The difference now is that the Republican plan really does condemn the vast majority of Americans to a future without critical medical care. Republicans don't need to set up Death Panels, because, in their system, you and everyone you know dies horribly, painfully and completely destitute, while Ryan and his rich cronies taunt you and torment you as they guzzle champagne and scarf down caviar bought with your money.