Competing Medicare Positions: The Debate Behind The Rhetoric
As the Romney and Obama campaigns continue to spar over Medicare politics, news outlets examine the questions in play.
The Boston Globe: Two Diverging Visions On Future Of Medicare
Mitt Romney's campaign accuses President Obama of "raiding Medicare" — to the tune of $716 billion over 10 years — to pay for the 2010 national health care law. The Obama campaign says Romney, under a plan championed by his running mate, Paul Ryan, would "throw seniors onto the tender mercies of the private insurance market" by turning Medicare into a voucher program. Behind the mutual accusations of Medicare destruction is a more fundamental debate about restraining Medicare's costs that could serve as a microcosm of the entire election: regulatory oversight versus free-market capitalism (Borchers, 8/18).
Fox News: Middle Class, Medicare Issues Add More Fuel To Obama, Romney Debate Talk
The campaigns of President Obama and Mitt Romney, after attacking each other for months in TV ads, on the campaign trail and through surrogates, upped the ante this weekend – challenging each other to face-to-face talks on such key issues as helping the middle class and saving Medicare. GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan was the first this weekend to say he’s ready for both sides to get in the same room, and the Obama campaign appeared to respond to the challenge Sunday. "Now, you've heard the president has been talking about Medicare a bit lately," Ryan, R-Wis., said Saturday at a central Florida retirement community. "We want this debate. We need this debate. And we are going to win this debate" (8/20).
USA Today: Obama-Romney-Ryan Medicare Debate Takes Surprising Turn
It's no surprise that Medicare has become a big campaign issue -- it is somewhat surprising that the Republicans are pushing it. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, running mate Paul Ryan, and other Republicans are stressing $716 billion in cuts to Medicare that are part of President Obama's health care plan. That attack has forced Obama and company to play defense, even as they emphasize that Romney and Ryan want to turn Medicare into a voucher program that will cost seniors thousands of dollars a year (Jackson, 8/19).
The Washington Post: What The Medicare Plans Mean To You
President Obama and his Republican challengers, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, have very different plans for Medicare, the popular government health insurance for seniors (and some people with disabilities). Obama's Affordable Care Act tweaks it a bit; Romney and Ryan hope to overhaul it, although many details are unclear. How the plans would affect you depends on your current age (8/18).
Kaiser Health News: FAQ: Decoding The $716 Billion In Medicare Reductions
The structure and financing of Medicare, the federal health insurance program that serves seniors and the disabled, has become a defining issue in the presidential and congressional campaigns since GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney picked as his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan. KHN's Mary Agnes Carey answers some frequently asked questions about the numbers and policy surrounding the Medicare debate (Carey, 8/17).
CNN Money: How Romney-Ryan Could Weaken Traditional Medicare
Romney and Ryan both call for giving seniors a voucher with a fixed payment to purchase health insurance on the private market or to cover their Medicare premium. Though Romney is still working out the details of the reform, seniors would have to kick in some bucks if they pick a plan that exceeds the voucher's value. Conversely, they'll get money back to spend on medical care if they select a cheaper plan. Some experts, however, say that once the program is opened to competition, Medicare could wind up being a pricey refuge for sicker, poorer patients. "Traditional Medicare could become a relatively high-cost plan pretty quickly," said John Holahan, director of the Health Policy Research Center at The Urban Institute (Luhby, 8/18).
Los Angeles Times: Republican Medicare Plan Would Be A Gamble
The members of the Republican presidential ticket argue that giving seniors vouchers to shop for a private insurance plan would spark competition among health insurers, holding down costs and ensuring the long-term viability of Medicare. But several previous experiments with privatizing Medicare insurance coverage have ended up raising costs to taxpayers. And on the other side, there is little evidence that moving millions of elderly and disabled patients into commercial health plans will protect their coverage or tame the nation's skyrocketing healthcare tab (Levey, 8/18).