Republicans are vowing to tweak their Medicare message to make it an easier sell to voters in the wake of the party's defeat in New York's 26th Congressional district special election. The problem is not what's in Rep. Paul Ryan's plan, they argue, but how they sold it. "If we'll just stay with our argument and do a better job developing it, we’ll be fine," Rep. Tom Cole told The Hill's Molly K. Hooper and Russell Berman. "I think we need to be stronger in marketing who we are and our message," Rep. Allen West agreed. But anonymously, some Republicans are "grumbling" that "you don't piss off senior citizens," The Hill reports, and some are even talking of "revisiting" Ryan's overhaul. That might be even more tempting, given that a one-time massive change to the system might be politically impossible, Politico's Jason Millman reports.
The Hill reports that Republicans are "frustrated that their leadership failed to prepare them for the outrage" over the Medicare propsal. Lawmakers "know that this was handled badly, that there was no messaging, that Ryan's not making his case and they are all looking down the road thinking, 'Oh my God, it’s coming,'" a source familiar with internal discussions said. Another lawmaker said that while some have been considering rethinking the plan, "How serious it is... don’t know."