'Pull the Plug on Grandma'? That's GOP Policy

Republicans, not Obama, willing to let elderly die off: Weisberg
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2009 5:20 PM CDT
Protesters for and against President Barack Obama's health care reform proposals demonstrate outside of a town hall style meeting on health care in Reston, Va., Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – Chuck Grassley’s warning that Obamacare will “pull the plug on Grandma” has become a rallying cry for the GOP’s anti–health reform efforts. But looking at past policies, it’s the GOP that's out to get grandma, Jacob Weisberg writes in Newsweek. A wide range of Republican policies, from opposing stem cell research and clean air legislation to privatizing Social Security, are more likely to make Grandma kick the bucket early.

Grassley himself proposed an expiration date—Jan. 1, 2011—for the estate-tax cut that gives the elderly and wealthy an incentive to die before that date. So why is the GOP secretly anti-Grandma? Because, Weisberg writes, they prefer lower taxes to benefit programs. Too bad for Republicans—"after all, senior citizens are more likely to vote for the GOP than for Democrats." (Read more George W. Bush stories.)