This is mostly a message problem for Republicans, but it’s one that’s been a long time coming. Much of the conservative movement has honed in on “Medicare cuts” as a killer argument against health care reform. This led to even the 60 Plus Association, a conservative group more or less founded to campaign for the privatization of entitlements, running TV ads to demand that seniors get all the Medicare benefits they were promised. It was not hard to find Republicans who’d admit that a spirited defense of Medicare was not in their long-term interests Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) told me as much but they expected immediate short-term benefits.