Florida Gov. Rick Scott met with senior citizens on Tuesday to talk about how Obamacare-mandated cuts to Medicare Advantage were ruining their lives. They didn't know what he was talking about. “I’m completely satisfied,” Harvey Eisen, 92, a West Boca resident, told Scott, according to The Sun Sentinel.
Most of adults in the audience hadn't experienced any changes to their insurance and argued that, “if, as you say,” there are cuts to Medicare, they didn't see why they shouldn't share the wealth of government subsidized health care. “We’re all just sitting here taking it for granted that because we have Medicare we don’t want to lose one part of it. That’s wrong to me. I think we have to spread it around," Ruthlyn Rubin, a 66-year-old from Boca Raton said, according to The Sentinel. "This is the United States of America. It’s not the United States of senior citizens,” she added. (Though maybe it's close, given how reliably senior citizens vote in midterm elections.)
Unfortunately for Scott, older Americans are not reliably anti-Obamacare. “As I travel the state and I listen to seniors they tell me stories about how their plans are being changed, how they are losing their doctors, the coverage is changing, and so what I’m here to do is just hear your stories,” he said.
This is slowly becoming the new normal for Republicans. As The Wire noted earlier, Republicans have had to scale back their repeal talk in the face of newly insured constituents. Those who don't risk embarrassing themselves — Senate hopeful Scott Brown ended up trash talking the health care law to a man saving nearly $1,000 a month on an Obamacare plan. In Scott's case, only one woman said orthopedic surgeons weren't accepting Medicare anymore — no one else seemed to have the same problem. Obamacare was mostly popular at the senior center, especially with one woman whose son purchased a plan. “I don’t have any complaints,” she said.
Republicans argue that Obamacare's cuts to Advantage, the popular private insurance option within Medicare, will hurt seniors, because they'll bear the costs. Democrats point out that Advantage costs 6 percent more, and that extra money goes to insurer profits. The Obama administration backed off the cuts this year in the face of pressure from the insurance industry and Republicans, but Scott still hoped to find someone, anyone, in the audience with a good Obamacare horror story. As it turns out, if Scott wanted to hear how the health care law affects people's lives, he didn't need to look that hard. The left's horror story is still the woman who died uninsured because Florida refused to expand Medicaid.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.