TEA Party Congressman Dennis Rehberg sent out an email this week trying to give the impression that he didn’t intend to cut Medicare. Problem is, he never says he isn’t planning major cuts:
Unfortunately, some members of Congress and their special interest allies are willing to use half-truths to scare seniors. They want you to think that someone is trying to take away the Medicare benefits that you spent a lifetime earning. Fear mongering may be good theater, but it’s not good for the country and it’s not something I’m going to do.
The “it” he’s not going to do is “fear mongering.” He doesn’t say he won’t cut Medicare, rather, he only says:
I want to set the record straight. Any Medicare reform I support must first have the support of Montana’s seniors.
Which only means that when he votes again to cut it, he’ll trot out a couple of TEA partiers rounded up to say they agree with him.
You can read Rehberg’s entire email message below the fold. It includes a longish video, in which he immediately launches into a fear mongering campaign saying that Medicare is broken and in dire need of immediate changes. This appears to be his attempt to lay the groundwork for the cuts he expects to vote for later in the campaign. He says he won’t “undermine” Medicare, but specifically will not say that he doesn’t plan to propose or support major cuts.
Jon Tester meanwhile launched a petition to protect Medicare, saying that
the folks who want to cut the deficit by ending Medicare as we know it while protecting tax loopholes for oil companies and the super-rich are going to use this new committee as another path to their goal. And it’s up to everyone who supports Medicare to stop them.
Women live longer than men, so the majority of Medicare beneficiaries are women, as are two thirds of Medicaid recipients. Seventy percent of Medicaid dollars go to care for seniors and Americans with disabilities.
Here’s Rehberg’s email: