If Extremist Republican Rep. Tom Cotton’s campaign against incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is going to be Obamascare all the time, Pryor’s can be expected to be a healthy dose of Mediscare, plus the threat Cotton poses to Social Security benefits and retirement before decrepitude.
Here’s the thing. Both are right. Depending on your point of view.
Pryor voted for the Affordable Care Act. It has been implemented poorly. It needs some fixes. But Cotton doesn’t want it fixed. He wants it gone. Can a majority realization of the benefits of a broader health coverage system for Americans come by November 2014? Good question. It may already be terminally poisoned, along with those who voted for it.
Cotton on the other hand is solidly on record for Republican budget initiatives that upend the U.S. safety net as we’ve known it. Medicare could become a voucher program, which almost certainly means insufficient for many people’s needs. It could mean no retirement with Social Security benefits until 70. It could mean a change in figuring annual Social Security COLAs, in favor of smaller increases. Some who believe in Medicare and Social Security still think a reduced COLA and a later retirement age make sense. Younger voters, who think they’re immortal, don’t currently give a fig. Is Cotton too extreme on traditionally popular issues? Or ishe reflective of a new school of thinking that social Darwinism should prevail?
A good $30 or $40 million in advertising between now and 2014 will likely test those questions.
This release has all the footnotes on Pryor’s criticism of Cotton.
UPDATE: Cotton fired back. It was Pryor who wants to kill Medicare.