Biden Emerges As Health Care Messenger
The vice president took the stage Wednesday for the administration's health reform campaign with a talk with seniors at Leisure World in suburban Maryland. The Associated Press reports: "Vice President Joe Biden sought to reassure nervous seniors Wednesday that they won't see cuts in their Medicare benefits if the nation's health care system is revamped. ...
"President Barack Obama and the White House contend that Medicare benefits won't be affected even though legislation in Congress would cut payments to Medicare Advantage plans by more than $100 billion over 10 years. ... Biden ... argued that seniors would benefit from the changes by closing the gap in the Medicare prescription drug benefit known as the 'doughnut hole.' He also said overhaul would cut overpayments to insurance companies for treating Medicare Advantage patients and bring down the cost. The vice president spent a considerable amount of time relating personal stories and challenging claims about health care" (Gresko, 9/23).
NPR also reports on Biden's visit with seniors: "Polls show those most skeptical about plans for a health care overhaul are the nation's senior citizens. Nearly all of them already have coverage in the form of the government-run Medicare program. And they worry about losing benefits. In an effort to allay some of those concerns, the Obama administration on Wednesday unleashed a new weapon from its arsenal: Vice President Joe Biden" (Rover, 9/24).
The Christian Science Monitor reports: "With Obama tied up at the UN, Vice President Biden is out front on health reform. ... With the health reform debate building as the Senate Finance Committee hammers out its bill, the White House appears determined to pound home its message on a daily basis. Biden also reportedly plans to get more involved in engaging his former Senate colleagues, both Democratic and Republican, on the issue." The Monitor also notes: "Biden called for tighter regulation of the health insurance industry in a speech Tuesday before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners" (Feldmann, 9/23).