Keep your eyes open, journalists. Connect the dots. Sometimes it’s as easy as reading two stories in the same day’s newspaper — in this case, The Washington Post. A story on Republican efforts to come up with a repeal-and-replace plan for the Affordable Care Act includes this:
Some congressional Republicans have been more vocal in recent days about concerns that they are hearing from constituents on what comes after the law is repealed. Several also suggested that Democrats are deliberately spreading misinformation.
“I think you hear from two categories,” said Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). “One are people that think Medicare is going to be affected, and obviously we haven’t made very clear that there’s absolutely no connection with Medicare. And the other one is dealing with the people they think are going to lose their insurance as soon as we … repeal.”
Those dastardly lying Democrats! But wait. Elsewhere in the Post, we learn that Tom Price, who is Donald Trump’s choice to be the next secretary of health and human services, is in fact a sworn enemy of Medicare:
Starting early in his tenure on Capitol Hill, Price wrote a series of commentaries lambasting the popular Medicare program and exhorting changes along more conservative lines. “Its flawed structure increasingly fails our seniors on all counts — responsiveness, innovation, access, cost and quality,” he wrote in 2008 in the Washington Times. He has repeatedly introduced legislation that would have converted Medicare from the entitlement program it has been since its origins in the 1960s to a system of “defined contribution,” with the government giving older Americans fixed sums to help them purchase private health plans.
For what it’s worth, the bylines of Post reporters Julie Eilperin and Amy Goldstein appear on both stories.
And let’s not forget that House Speaker Paul Ryan spends most of his waking hours dreaming about doing away with Medicare.
I guess the most logical explanation for letting Grassley’s words stand without challenge is that destroying Obamacare will not destroy Medicare. Instead, it will require a separate vote.