Romney Doesn’t Just Want to Cut Medicare, He Wants to Cut Medicaid Too

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Lots of healthcare wonks have been beating the drums to focus a little more attention on Mitt Romney’s proposed cuts to Medicaid, which acts as an indispensable backstop to Medicare. Last night, Bill Clinton went there:

Now, folks, this is serious, because it gets worse. And you won’t be laughing when I finish telling you this. They also want to block-grant Medicaid, and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years.

Of course, that’s going to really hurt a lot of poor kids. But that’s not all. Lot of folks don’t know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid.

It’s going to end Medicare as we know it. And a lot of that money is also spent to help people with disabilities, including a lot of middle-class families whose kids have Down’s syndrome or autism or other severe conditions. And honestly, let’s think about it, if that happens, I don’t know what those families are going to do.

Clinton’s specific number is apparently wrong. According to Sarah Kliff, about 40% of Medicaid dollars are spent on nursing home care for seniors, not two-thirds. But Clinton’s primary point remains true: at the same time that Romney/Ryan would squeeze Medicare, they’d also squeeze the very program that takes care of the elderly who’d be hardest hit by the cuts. This backstopping function is one reason that Medicaid is a surprisingly popular program: it doesn’t just help the poor, it also helps the elderly and the disabled, and is therefore a lifeline for a lot of middle-class families. It’s worth making a little more noise about.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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