Throwing-Grandma-Off-Cliff Ads Dim Odds of Medicare Cuts

By Julie Bykowicz – Nov 13, 2013 5:45 PM CT

A television ad that aired briefly in August 2012 stands as a warning today for lawmakers who want to cut Social Security and Medicare.

A man in a dark suit acting as Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, then the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate, pushes a wheelchair carrying a panicked-looking grandmother to the edge of a cliff. He dumps her over the rocky ledge. “Is America Beautiful without Medicare?” the ad asks.

Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appears at the AARP convention in New Orleans, on Sept. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

The commercial, produced by the Democratic-aligned Agenda Project, ran only a few times in Ohio, Florida and Colorado during last year’s presidential campaign. Its enduring imagery illustrates the power of the lobbying coalition that guards the health and financial programs for seniors.

The effort to protect Social Security and Medicare is led by AARP and its 37 million members. They’re joined by unions and Democratic-activist groups such as MoveOn.org, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, and the New York-based Agenda Project and its action fund. Continue reading “Throwing-Grandma-Off-Cliff Ads Dim Odds of Medicare Cuts”