Add this to the list of reasons why I don’t understand Romney picked Ryan.

Romney needs Florida or it’s over for him. And he has built up a lot of good will between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio’s influence down there.

But Paul Ryan wants to turn Medicare into a voucher system. And Floridians aren’t very excited about that.

From Miami Herald:

Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is the architect of the Ryan budget plan that makes big changes to Medicare and Medicaid and could allow for some privatization of Social Security. And that’s widely seen as a politically risky stance in Florida, a must-win state for Republicans.

Ryan might have another Florida problem: He once opposed the U.S. embargo on Cuba, a now-reversed stance that concerns some in Miami-Dade’s exile community, which is overwhelmingly Republican and had hoped that one of its own, Sen. Marco Rubio, would have been picked as Romney’s running mate. The county’s elderly Cuban population also relies heavily on government assistance, particularly Medicare.

Polls indicate that voters over 50 years old — who make up more than half the Florida electorate — are wary of changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which together pump about $96?billion yearly into the hands of the elderly, the infirm and the hospitals, doctors and other providers who give them care.

We’ll see how the polling will go, but Romney seemingly made his path to victory more difficult in the Sunshine State.

More as it develops…

  • cranky critter

    A month or so ago, I had folks telling me that Ryan’s “so-called plan” lacked any substantive details to use as a basis for evaluating it. It wasn’t serious.

    How come now that he’s been nominated everyone who opposes deficit reduction knows exactly what this plan would do? I’d really like to know.

  • Jeremy

    Paul Ryan used his Social Security inheritance left to him by his father to finance his education. How ironic it is that he wants to deny us all that same opportunity.

  • Tillyosu

    Actually, Ryan’s plan for Social Security is to give taxpayers the OPTION to invest about a third of their Social Security payments into personal retirement accounts, that are guaranteed by the government against losses. Ironically, if his father had had this option, Ryan would have probably had more money to invest in college, and would have had to take out less loans…something I would expect the Occupy crowd to approve of.

    Look, there’s plenty of legitimate policy criticisms of Ryan’s Social Security plans, but to claim that he would “deny” others Social Security benefits is just false, stupid, and lazy. I think people like coming to this blog because the conversation tends to be more substantive than that.

  • cranky critter

    Agreed. The biggest and foremost problem with investing 1/3 on your own isn’t philosophical. It may work well for some, many, or even most.

    But it does create an immediate need for WAY more resources. Because SS is pay-go, if you implement set-asides, you need resources for that. Unless you’re willing to simply trust there are actual assets backing what Uncle Sam says you have set aside.

  • mw

    It seems that the Dem strategists crowing about Ryan undermining their chances in Fla were pinning their hopes on the ignorance of senior voters. Good to know that the sound bite level of political discourse (“Ryan’s plan will destroy Medicare as we know it!”) does not always work.

    Palm Beach Post

    “In Florida, where seniors were 22 percent of voters in the 2008 election, Obama pollsters John Anzalone and Jeff Liszt called the Ryan pick a “game changer” that could “immediately erode” Romney’s advantage with senior voters.

    But two Florida polls conducted since Ryan’s selection suggest that voters who are 65 and older support Ryan and his budget plan more than younger voters do. A third Florida poll released this week doesn’t include an age breakdown, but finds the state’s voters agreeing more with Ryan’s description of his budget and Medicare plan than with Democratic criticisms that it would “end Medicare as we know it.”

    With Medicare projected to be unable to cover all its expenses beginning in 2024, House Budget Chairman Ryan has proposed changing it, when those now 54 and younger retire, from a guaranteed fee-for-service program to one in which the government subsidizes the purchase of private insurance.”

    Medicare will be destroyed as we know it now regardless of who gets elected. Otherwise it will destroy us.