Romney’s Medicare Plan Would Gradually Raise Eligibility Age
The plan was released just days before just days before the next round of primary elections. Also in the news, more on GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's tea party appeal and position on abortion, while rival Rick Santorum offers more charges that the former Massachusetts governor is not conservative enough.
The Wall Street Journal: Romney Offers Medicare Plan
Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney unveiled a plan Friday to increase the Medicare eligibility age and laid out a time line under which the government would offer a new private option for care. Mr. Romney has said he would offer seniors a choice between the traditional fee-for-service government health-care program and a new option to purchase private insurance, with the cost partly supported by the government (Murray and King, 2/25).
MSNBC/AP: Romney Would Raise Eligibility Age For Medicare
Four days before critical primary elections, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney outlined a far-reaching plan Friday to gradually delay Americans' eligibility for Medicare as well as Social Security. Romney said the shift, as people live longer, is needed to steer the giant benefit programs toward economic sustainability (Espo, 2/24).
The Associated Press: A Political Tip Sheet For The Rest Of Us
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney offered a fix for Medicare: raise the eligibility age one month per year until it's tied with life expectancy. It was a new detail in a campaign speech that was otherwise short on new policy ideas (Salcedo, 2/24).
The Wall Street Journal: Romney Hits The Tea Party Notes
Standing before a wall-size American flag in a banquet hall here, Mr. Romney drew cheers from some 500 tea-party supporters Thursday as he touched one chord after another that resonates with the limited-government movement. Programs for the poor, such as Medicaid, should be run by the states, "as the Constitution intended," he said. Federal workers? Mr. Romney won applause by saying he would cut their pay by 10% (White and Nelson, 2/25).
National Journal: Romney: Regan Switched On Abortion, Too
At a town hall meeting at Western Michigan University, a woman in the audience asked Romney why "we should regard you as a man of high standards and integrity when you have flip flopped on your position regarding the sanctity of life?" Romney replied that Reagan was "pro-choice before he became pro-life," and named other Republican figures who he said had similar transformations on the issue, including former President George H.W. Bush and the late former Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois, who went on to become a leader in the effort to stop the expansion of abortion rights in Congress (Boxer, 2/24).
The Associated Press: Santorum: Romney Isn't Conservative Enough For GOP
Santorum got a rare hostile question from Wally Tuccini, 57, a heavy equipment operator from Marquette. Tuccini said his mother was a Roman Catholic who personally opposed birth control, as does Santorum. When she delivered her eighth child, Tuccini said, the family was so poor they barely obtained essential medical care in time, and he asked why Santorum wants to reduce the government's social safety net. "We don't need a government health care plan to be able to solve the problem," Santorum replied. ... Santorum noted that he supports a refundable tax credit for low-income people seeking health insurance. He did not offer details, nor does his campaign website (Babington, 2/26).
Also in the news, governors express thoughts on the continuing campaign -
The Associated Press: GOP Governors Concerned About Long Primary Race
Some Republican governors voiced concern that social issues like contraception and gay marriage had at times eclipsed discussion of the economy in the primary race. "I do agree those social issues are not as significant as some of the economic and fiscal issues that really threaten our way of life," South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard said, saying he was worried the debate over such issues might alienate uncommitted voters (Fouhy, 2/25).
Boston Globe: Deval Patrick Defends President Obama On Energy Policy
In one instance, Patrick may have actually helped former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. In his Republican presidential campaign, Romney has stood by the health care overhaul he implemented in Massachusetts, while saying he opposes Obama’s overhaul nationally. Romney has said the Massachusetts reform worked for the state – something his successor agrees with. Patrick said the program has been "enormously important and successful" in Massachusetts, noting that 98 percent of residents have health insurance, including 99.8 percent of children, while 90 percent of residents have access to primary care. Patrick said the reform added just 1 percent to state spending (Schoenberg, 2/26).