Views On Medicare: Ryan Plan Could Hurt Disabled Americans; Pitting The Poor Against Seniors
Opinion writers continue to look at the debate about Medicare as it becomes a focal point of the presidential election.
Los Angeles Times: The Disabled May Be Hurt Most By Paul Ryan's Medicare Plan
Amid all the chatter about whether Paul D. Ryan's proposed changes would, as Democrats say, "end Medicare as we know it," one group has been largely overlooked: disabled people. The vast majority of Medicare's roughly 48 million beneficiaries are seniors over the age of 65. But about 8 million are disabled people of all ages. The federal program was expanded in 1972 to include those with permanent disabilities (David Lazarus, 8/21).
The Wall Street Journal: How Ryan Recasts The Race
The economy remains a central issue, as do Mr. Obama's overall record and Mr. Romney's past one. But now the looming fiscal crisis, Medicare, and the size and role of government are front and center of the campaign. The presidential contest has been elevated into a clash of big ideas and fundamental differences. Neither presidential candidate, but especially Mr. Obama, could have imagined this. Credit Mr. Ryan (Fred Barnes, 8/20).
The Hill: GOP Has Good Reason To Worry About Paul Ryan On The Presidential Ticket
The GOP's only hope for victory is to distract people from Ryan's attempt to end the Medicare guarantee by reviving anger among seniors at President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Romney and Ryan have already started by claiming in their campaign speeches, and in a TV ad, that President Obama "robbed $716 billion to pay for ObamaCare." Never mind that independent fact-checkers, ranging from ABC News to Politifact, have rated this claim as false. Never mind that Ryan's own budget calls for the same cuts, only he puts the burden on people seeking medical help as opposed to the medical industry. Obama's plan keeps the Medicare guarantee. And any senior who checks will find that Obama's plan closes the Medicare donut hole. He also cracks down on Medicare fraud creating more value to Medicare beneficiaries (Juan Williams, 8/20).
The Des Moines Register: The Register Editorial: Public Rightfully Skeptical Of This Medicare 'Fix'
To hear Mitt Romney tell it, President Barack Obama is a thief. The Republican presidential candidate says Obama "robbed" $700 billion from Medicare. This campaign rhetoric is a reference to changes made in the health reform law. Before Romney calls the cops, he should do a little more research. Then he might actually commend Obama (8/20).
The Des Moines Register: Another View: Massachusetts' Governor Explains His Vote For Obama
In the so-called battleground states, voters hear a lot from each candidate about why not to vote for the other guy. We get blessedly little of this back-and-forth in Massachusetts. It's not that we are so reliably Democratic. In fact, there are more un-enrolled independents in the Commonwealth than there are registered Democrats and registered Republicans combined. It's certainly not that Governor Romney has a lock on the state he governed for 4 years and calls home even today. Actually, it's telling that he seems to have conceded the state that knows his record and his leadership most intimately (Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, 8/20).
The Boston Globe: The Poor Vs. Old Election
Romney has gotten to Obama's left on the Medicare issue, promising to spend 10 percent more on the program than the president would over the next decade. Meanwhile, Romney and Paul Ryan want to slash spending on health care entitlements for the poor and the lower middle-class. They would repeal the health care law and all the insurance subsidies and Medicaid expansions that go along with it. And they would further slash Medicaid by linking the growth of future federal spending to inflation, not the actual increase in the cost of delivering care (Josh Barro, 8/20).
Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): The Facts About Medicare Spending Debate
The latest debate over the Affordable Care Act is whether the new law cuts Medicare funding by more than $700 billion and then uses the money from those cuts to cover the cost of reforms that have nothing to do with American seniors. The implication is that the ACA will hurt Medicare without offering anything in return (Bob Serno, 8/20).
Bloomberg: Private-Market Tooth Fairy Can't Cut Medicare Cost
Unfortunately, proponents of moving Medicare to a private "consumer-driven" system, including Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan, seem to instead believe in a health-care competition tooth fairy -- that if we just increase the patient’s share of costs and bolster competition among insurance companies, the expense will come down. ... Someone might want to tell that to the Congressional Budget Office, which evaluated Ryan’s original 2011 proposal. ... What did the budget office conclude? "A private health insurance plan covering the standardized benefit would, CBO estimates, be more expensive currently than traditional Medicare" (Peter Orszag, 8/20).
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Throwing Mud, Muddying The Water On Medicare
Medicare can be cured. But the longer the nation waits, the more bitter the medicine will be. The main Medicare trust fund is projected to run out of money just 12 years from now. To restore this important program to good health, we need an honest debate about the alternatives and trade-offs of the various ideas that have been proposed. We're not getting it (8/20).
Sacramento Bee: Romney Misleads On $716 Billion 'Cut' To Medicare
If Congress and the president do nothing, Medicare after 2024 will be able to cover only 87 percent of scheduled benefits. So the president and Congress need to fix the system. Yet President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney have vastly different ideas about how to bring Medicare costs down. Romney, his running mate, Paul Ryan, and House Republicans would end Medicare as we know it for people born after 1956 by turning it into a voucher program. This would reduce costs by capping the amount of care paid for by vouchers, shifting more costs to seniors themselves (8/21).
Detroit Free Press: Let's Stop All The Scary Sound Bites About Medicare
One of the casualties of the presidential campaign could be the potential for a constructive look at Medicare. Both candidates are busily assailing the other's ideas for controlling Medicare costs, essentially as a way to scare up votes from seniors. The Romney-Ryan ticket says President Barack Obama's health reform changes to Medicare will cut $700 billion from the program. Obama says Rep. Paul Ryan's budget turns Medicare into a voucher system that will leave seniors short when it comes to covering medical costs (8/21).