ABC News’ Rick Klein reports:
The same Republican-leaning group that attacked Democrats for cutting Medicare during last year’s campaign is this year thanking Republicans for voting for the Paul Ryan budget – a proposal that would phase out Medicare altogether for those under 55 years of age.
On ABC’s “Top Line” today, Jim Martin, president of the 60 Plus Association , told us he’s “being factual” by attacking Democrats and defending Republicans, since – he claims -- Democrats supported “ending Medicare as we know it” last year by supporting $500 billion in future cuts to the program as part of President Obama’s health care law.
“ ‘Ending Medicare as we know it’ is the main talking point now of everybody now from the president in the White House to every Democrat on Capitol Hill,” Martin told us. “Ending Medicare as we know it happened a year ago in March, when Obamacare passed. Because it radically changed Medicare as we seniors know it by cutting a half a trillion dollars out of Medicare.”
“There's a huge doctor shortage on the horizon. And already rationing has started. I can name you one drug, it's a breast cancer drug, called Avastin that has already been declassified by the FDA because of cost and cost alone. That is -- Medicare as we know it changed radically a year ago.”
It’s “absolutely true” that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan phases out Medicare for those who are under 55, Martin said. But “at least [Ryan is] trying to save Medicare for the future.”
“If you do nothing instead of being on the path to prosperity, as Mr. Ryan likes to say, we're going to be on the road to ruin with Medicare. Everybody knows it's going under because of the huge cost involved.”
And Martin attacked Democratic-aligned groups for distorting elements of the Ryan plan: “It's time to stop this. It's shameful. And it's time to stop those tactics.”
Watch the full interview with Jim Martin HERE .
Also today, we checked in with ABC Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper about the extraordinary day in the building he covers today, with President Obama shocking the political world by revealing the long form of his original birth certificate.
Watch the discussion with Jake Tapper HERE .