For years now, Republicans in Congress have been unified around a plan to promise continued Medicare benefits to everyone over the age of 55 while phasing out the program for everyone else. This is the famous — or perhaps infamous — Paul Ryan plan for Medicare. But denying that this is what their plan amounts to has been an important part of the political strategy for getting it done. Except Jeb Bush messed up, and in a talk at an Americans for Prosperity event Wednesday night he said that America needs to "phase out" Medicare.
His argument is that once Medicare is phased out, the GOP can offer the 54-and-under set "something," because the alternative will be to get "nothing."
Recall that back in 2011, the GOP whined endlessly about allegations that they wanted to end Medicare, and PolitiFact dubbed the idea that the GOP wants to end Medicare their "lie of the year."
But as Jeb Bush reveals here, it was never a lie of any sort. Conservatives' preferred answer to the challenge of paying for Medicare in the future is to scrap the program, and that idea has gained wider and wider currency in GOP circles in recent years.