Viewpoints: Medicare As A 401(k) Plan; Health Doublespeak
The New York Times' Economic Scene: Rationing Health Care More Fairly
Older adults are understandably anxious about the political sniping over the future financing of Medicare. That is precisely the intention of the presidential campaigns. Yet the cross-fire over who will cut Medicare by how much sidesteps a critical issue about the future of our medical care: If we must ration our care to hold down costs in the future, how can we do it in a fair, efficient and transparent way? (Eduardo Porter, 8/21).
Los Angeles Times: GOP Platform Presents Medicare As A 401(k) Plan
The proposed Republican Party platform, which convention delegates will vote on next week, embraces the controversial "premium support" model for Medicare that presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), have advocated. In doing so, it puts the idea in terms that are easy for voters to grasp -- and, potentially, for Democrats to attack (Jon Healey, 8/21).
The Fiscal Times: Medicare Doublespeak On The Campaign Trail
So let's stack up the reality against the campaign rhetoric. Romney has wrapped himself in the flag of fiscal austerity while opposing all cuts in Medicare. He supports a version of Ryan's Medicare privatization plan without specifying which one or how much less the government will contribute, which he wouldn't call "cuts." Obama is also against cuts in Medicare, which he defines as the type proposed by the Romney-Ryan privatization plan. Meanwhile, he is moving on implementing the cuts, er, reductions in projected future cost increases, in the ACA while his brain trust outlines plans for even greater cuts. ... No wonder most Americans hate politics. Between the ads and the newspaper commentary, they have no idea what is going on (Merrill Goozner, 8/22).
MinnPost: Why Today's Seniors Should Object To The Dissolution Of Medicare
The seniors who now participate in Medicare desire to make a clear statement: This is a plan we like, we appreciate, we use, and is of significant value. The fact that we will continue to enjoy it also makes a statement to those who follow us, it is something you should have as well. And we will help you retain it (Myles Spicer, 8/22).
In addition, several outlets look at local health issues.
(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Insurance Exchange An Opportunity To Minimize The Negative
On a positive note, Minnesota has the opportunity to minimize the negative impact of the law if policy-makers engage the customers in the creation and implementation of the state health insurance exchange. ... Minnesota's exchange should promote quality, affordability, flexibility and competition. ... Minnesota can achieve these goals if policy-makers engage all stakeholders -- especially consumers -- in developing an exchange that emphasizes quality at each step of the equation (David Olson, 8/21).
Detroit Free Press: James Haveman's Record Raises Concerns For Michigan Community Health Dept.
Gov. Rick Snyder's surprise appointment of James Haveman to head the Department of Community Health raises troubling questions about the direction of mental health care in Michigan. During the administration of Gov. John Engler, Haveman was the department head largely responsible for sweeping changes that undermined community mental health care and, in effect, pushed tens of thousands of mentally ill people into jails, homeless shelters, prisons and hospital emergency rooms, as reported in this year's Free Press editorial page series, "Criminal Negligence" (8/22).