Perry Unveils New Economic Plan
In political developments, media outlets analyzed GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry's new plan, which includes a national flat tax, would cut discretionary funding by at least $100 billion a year, and would overhaul Medicare and Medicaid. In other news, a new poll uncovers deep distrust of the government, with about a quarter of the public in favor of repealing the entire health law.
The New York Times: New Poll Finds A Deep Distrust Of Government
With Election Day just over a year away, a deep sense of economic anxiety and doubt about the future hangs over the nation, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, with Americans' distrust of government at its highest level ever. … Only about a quarter of the public said that lowering taxes on large corporations or repealing the entire national health care law was a good idea. But half of the public favors reducing or repealing regulations on businesses in the United States (Zeleny and Brenan, 10/25).
Los Angeles Times: Rick Perry Announces Economic Plan In Bid To Revive Campaign
Perry said he would balance the federal budget by 2020 by spurring economic growth, cutting discretionary federal spending by at least $100 billion a year, and overhauling Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, three of the main drivers of future deficits. As an example of where he would cut, Perry said federal spending for elementary and secondary education could immediately be halved, saving $25 billion (West, 10/25).
The New York Times: Perry Calls His Flat Tax Proposal 'Bold Reform'
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas unveiled a plan on Tuesday to scrap the graduated income tax and replace it with a 20 percent flat rate. By throwing out rates as high as 35 percent and eliminating estate and investment taxes, the plan would grant a major tax cut for the wealthy. It is the centerpiece of an ambitious proposal that aims to overhaul political sacred cows like Social Security and Medicare while slashing the federal budget (Oppel, 10/25).
The Hill: Perry Plan Vague On Health Care Cuts
Texas Gov. Rick Perry's economic plan vaguely calls for a major Medicare overhaul, potentially along the same lines as the controversial proposal introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Perry's plan, released Tuesday, says significant changes must be made to Medicare and Medicaid. It also calls for the full repeal of President Obama's health care reform law. Perry would raise the eligibility age for both Social Security and Medicare — an option Obama has endorsed in deficit-cutting negotiations. And Perry also said vaguely that seniors should have more control over their Medicare benefits (Baker, 10/25).
Politico Pro: Perry's Latest Medicare Plan A Lot Like Ryan's
In the economic plan [Rick Perry] released Tuesday, the Texas governor suggested restructuring Medicare to include either "bundled premium support payments" or a credit to help seniors buy their own health insurance coverage. That's a variation on the Ryan plan, which would have turned Medicare into a program that gives subsidies directly to private health insurance plans that seniors could purchase, rather than a program that pays for services directly. But Ryan — the Wisconsin Republican who is chairman of the House Budget Committee — also used the term "premium support" — a phrase for a fundamental restructuring of the way seniors' medical care is financed (Nather, 10/25).
Des Moines Register: Perry's Economy Fix: 20 Percent Flat Tax And Government Overhaul
Presidential candidate Rick Perry wants a new optional income tax system that would let people choose a flat tax with a rate of 20 percent or stick with the existing tax code, his aides told The Des Moines Register on Monday. ... Perry's wide-ranging plan calls for letting younger workers invest in personal retirement accounts, gradually increasing the Social Security retirement age to reflect longer life expectancy, handing Medicaid over to states and reforming Medicare (Jacobs, 10/25).
Meanwhile, two progressive groups organize to come to the defense of "Obamacare," and CNN draws parallels between health policies advanced by former President Richard Nixon, GOP candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Groups Thank 'Obamacare,' And Not Sarcastically
Usually Americans hear that phrase only in the most sarcastic contexts. Opponents of the health reform law have hung the "Obamacare" moniker on it to belittle the measure as nothing more than an attempt to fix America's health care problems – varied as they are – with a one-size-fits-all approach they say expands the reach of government to never-before-seen levels. … But now, two nonprofit advocacy groups, ProgressNow Colorado Education and the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, are trying to take back "Obamacare," painting it as a positive brand in a new campaign ... launched Monday (Villegas, 10/25).
CNN: Obama And Romney Health Plans: Both Borrowed From Richard Nixon
Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal President Obama's universal health care law if he is elected president. Critics find his position rather strange, arguing that the plan he helped develop when he was governor of Massachusetts is quite similar in design to the Obama plan. Romney disputes his critics, saying there are important and fundamental differences between the plans. Who is correct? In actuality, both plans draw extensively from legislation offered by President Nixon in January 1974. In a book just published, "Power, Politics, and Universal Health Care," David Shactman and I explain how Romney and Obama used the same approach as Nixon to lower the number of uninsured (Altman, 10/25).