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Romney-Ryan Bet on "Greedy Geezers"

By       Message Robert Parry     Permalink
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Lecturing a Voter

These Republican priorities hit home at a town hall meeting held by Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Georgia, in May 2011 when one of his constituents worried that Ryan's plan would leave Americans like her, whose employer doesn't extend health benefits to retirees, out of luck.

"Hear yourself, ma'am. Hear yourself," Woodall lectured the woman. "You want the government to take care of you, because your employer decided not to take care of you. My question is, "When do I decide I'm going to take care of me?'"

However, another constituent noted that Woodall accepted government-paid-for health insurance for himself. "You are not obligated to take that if you don't want to," the woman said. "Why aren't you going out on the free market in the state where you're a resident and buy your own health care? Be an example. ...

"Go and get it in a single-subscriber plan, like you want everybody else to have, because you want to end employer-sponsored health plans and government-sponsored health plans. " Decline the government health plan and go to Blue Cross/Blue Shield or whoever, and get one for yourself and see how tough it is."

Woodall answered that he was taking his government health insurance "because it's free. It's because it's free."

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The Romney-Ryan ticket has shoved its chips into the middle of the table with a gamble that Americans so despise the federal government -- and the country's first African-American president -- that they will ignore such hypocrisies as demonstrated by Ayn Rand and Rep. Woodall.

And for those already on -- or soon to be on -- Medicare, the Republican bet is that these seniors and near-seniors will be the greediest of geezers, enjoying the health program for themselves but willing to take the risk that their children and grandchildren will be left at the mercies of private insurance giants.

The Romney-Ryan calculation suggests the Republicans really do believe that today's senior citizens represent the most selfish generation in American history.

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at
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