Well perhaps I got a bit carried away in my previous post on this subject. Maybe it was a little over the top to say that Glenn Kessler is no better than a child murderer and should be fired and fed to wild dogs. Although I did mean this literally--I don't know why some suspected me of satire--it could be that hysterical indignation isn't my thing after all. In the end, you can't deny who you are, can you. Let me try a calmer pass at this issue.
Consider two statements: the Republicans' claim that the Affordable Care Act is a "government take-over" of health care, and the Democrats' claim that the GOP is proposing the "end of Medicare". Factcheck.org (let's give Kessler a pass this time) has ruled both these claims unacceptable: it calls the first a "tired old falsehood" and says the second is one of the worst "whoppers" of last year.
Both of the statements in question are exaggerations, and nobody needs Factcheck--"A Project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center", which sounds wonderfully authoritative--to point that out. Politicians exaggerate. It's what they do. But neither statement is simply false. Each expresses a defensible point of view.
At the very least, the Republicans want to change Medicare radically. A so-called Medicare option remains under their latest proposal, though its viability would be in doubt; and, yes, the existing program continues for those approaching retirement. Nonetheless, the plan is avowedly intended to end Medicare as we know it. That's the whole idea. It's absurd to dismiss what the Democrats said as a lie.