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Show, Don’t Tell: How to Explain Obama’s Medicare Cuts



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The American Right seems to be doing a pretty good job of explaining how President Obama and Congressional Democrats looted $716 billion from Medicare to finance Obamacare, as I detailed on NRO yesterday. For the first time in memory, Democrats are on the defensive on Medicare.

Still, if handled badly, this complex issue could put Adderall-fueled college students to sleep. Visuals and graphics that clearly illustrate the Democrats’ theft of Granny’s healthcare money are priceless. They should be deployed immediately and as widely as possible.

The best, by far, is the above headline, which appeared atop the print version of Sarah Kliff’s excellent article on this topic. “Romney’s right,” read last Tuesday’s WashingtonPost.com headline. “Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion.”

This headline graphic, conveniently enough, looks like a bumper sticker. Maybe some enterprising supporter of medical freedom will turn these into bumper stickers and hand them to seniors in Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin. It also helps that the source on this headline is neither Ann Coulter nor Rush Limbaugh. None other than America’s center-left, Nixon-ousting paper of record declared that Obama, in fact, chopped Medicare by $716 billion. This is gold, and conservative/free-market activists should use it to pin this issue on the donkeys.#more#

The second graphic, above, cites the Congressional Budget Office as the source for the $716 billion in cuts. It also gives July 24, 2012, as the date for this information. (This is when CBO’s Douglas W. Elmendorf wrote House Speaker John Boehner with this news.) This graphic shows an empty wheelchair, which recalls the disgusting, reprehensible ad that Democrats produced showing a Paul Ryan look-alike murdering a sweet old lady by throwing her from a cliff. This graphic slightly evens the score by showing who actually has weakened Granny’s health program.

The third graphic is from the New York Post. It shows how in what would constitute criminal fraud in the private sector, Obama simultaneously applies the same funds to Medicare and to Obamacare.

“So,” Congressman John Shimkus (R., Ill.) asked Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a House hearing on March 3, 2011, “are you using it [this money] to save Medicare, or are you using it to fund health-care reform? Which one?”

Secretary Sebelius confessed: “Both.”

“So,” Shimkus replied, “you’re double-counting.”

The $500 billion figure is from earlier in Obamacare’s rollout, when fewer years of the program’s operations were included in estimates of its cost and the extent to which Obama and the Democrats smashed-and-grabbed this money.

Finally, this political cartoon sums up these sometimes baffling facts in a way that even the most distracted citizen can fathom:

Think visually. Act globally.

As this and other vital issues animate the public debate, conservatives and libertarians should keep matching our good thoughts and well-crafted words with relevant images that penetrate life’s mounting clutter.



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