Parsing Medicare Policy And Politics


Topics: Health Costs, Medicare, Politics

Aug 16, 2012

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney‘s promise to restore the Medicare provisions cut by the 2010 health law would move the insolvency date of the program closer, reports The Associated Press. Other news outlets examine the Medicare policy specifics that Rep. Paul Ryan, the likely GOP vice presidential pick, has advanced in his House budget proposals.

The Associated Press: Undoing Obama Medicare Cuts May Backfire On Romney
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s new promise to restore the Medicare cuts made by President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul law could backfire if he’s elected. The reason: Obama’s cuts also extended the life of Medicare’s giant trust fund, and by repealing them Romney would move the insolvency date of the program closer, toward the end of what would be his first term in office (Alonso-Zaldivar, 8/16).

The Wall Street Journal: GOP Sees A Medicare Retort
Republicans are drawing lessons from a House election last year in Nevada for how to talk to voters about the party’s plans to revamp Medicare, typically a thorny issue for the GOP and one that President Barack Obama has used in attacking Mitt Romney. Former state Sen. Mark Amodei turned the tables in the Nevada special election last September. Parrying Democratic efforts to focus on GOP proposals for changing Medicare, he argued that his Democratic opponent supported Medicare cuts that were part of Mr. Obama’s 2010 health-care law (Hook, 8/15).

The Wall Street Journal: Some Seniors Worry Over Ryan Selection
The news that Mitt Romney picked Rep. Paul Ryan, who has suggested changing Medicare, as his running mate sparked worries over the weekend among some residents at the Stella Maris retirement community in Miami Beach—concerns that could reverberate among seniors nationwide (Campo-Flores, 8/15).

CQ HealthBeat: Paul Ryan’s Budget Has Changed, Gained GOP Support Over Years
The fiscal 2013 budget resolution written by House Budget chairman and now vice presidential candidate Paul D. Ryan is really a tale of two plans or maybe even three. At its most practical level, the budget resolution the seven-term Wisconsin congressman dubbed “The Path to Prosperity” proposes a discretionary spending limit of $1.028 trillion for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. That is $15 billion below this year’s spending level and $19 billion below the $1.047 trillion level set in the debt limit increase law enacted last August…Between 2013 and 2022, Ryan’s budget would spend $5 trillion less than Obama’s budget and $4 trillion less than would be spent under current law. The Ryan budget would do that by cutting domestic discretionary spending, as well as restructuring federal health care programs including Medicare and Medicaid (Krawzak, 8/15).

National Journal: Ryan Budget Plan Adopted Medicare Cuts From Democrats’ Affordable Care Act
As House Budget Committee chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., didn’t just propose to overhaul how Medicare would work. In both of his budget blueprints, Ryan included the same cuts to Medicare that Democrats used to pay for their health care law. Yes, that’s right. Paul Ryan—champion of the tea party movement, crusader to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and now GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate—chose to keep a piece of “Obamacare” alive in his conservative manifesto. And it was one of the pieces Republicans hit the hardest in blistering campaign critiques of the law (McCarthy, 8/15).

Roll Call: Democrats Find Useful Fodder In Paul Ryan’s Record
Romney has said he differs with Ryan on how to deal with scheduled reductions to Medicare that are being used to fund President Barack Obama’s 2010 health care law. … The 2010 health care law reduced payments for a program known as Medicare Advantage. Under Medicare Advantage, seniors may opt to have a private insurance plan in lieu of traditional Medicare, with the private company being paid by the government for the service at a higher cost. Romney has previously signaled he would repeal the Medicare cuts rather than redirecting them as in the Ryan plan. Repealing the Medicare cuts from the health care law rather than keeping the money saved from the cuts in Medicare would send about $200 billion to private insurers over the next decade, a Democratic aide said (Lesniewski, 8/15).

This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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