Obama And Romney Offer Competing Medicare Visions

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: Health Costs, Medicare, Politics

Aug 17, 2012

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney broke out a whiteboard outside an air terminal to illustrate his key points. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama’s campaign launched a new ad to argue his approach strengthens the program, citing plaudits from the seniors group AARP.

The Washington Post: Mitt Romney, Obama Camp Spar On Medicare Plans
Mitt Romney wants to make the Medicare debate easy to understand. So on Thursday, he pulled out a black marker and stepped toward a trusty white board propped up on a school-room easel here to make a presentation. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s message was simple: For current seniors under President Obama, he said, Medicare would be cut by $716 billion, and some 4 million people would be kicked off their Medicare Advantage plans. Under Romney, he said, current seniors would see “no adjustments, no changes, no savings” (Rucker, 8/16).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama And Romney Agree There Has To Be A Limit On Medicare; Worlds Apart On How To Do That
President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney agree there has to be a limit to how much seniors pay for Medicare, but they’re worlds apart on how to make that happen. You wouldn’t know it from the accusations they hurl on the campaign trail, but that is the real heart of the argument between the two leaders and their political parties (Alonso-Zaldivar, 8/16).

CQ HealthBeat: That $716 Billion Medicare Cut: One Number, Three Competing Visions
By the time this election season is over, even small children may know how much “Obamacare” cuts Medicare. The figure, $716 billion over 10 years, is the subject of already-intense debate over what the health care law will do to, or for, Medicare. And it shows no signs of letting up before November. It’s a policy fight that reflects three distinctly different visions of how the $716 billion should be used and what it means for the health care that the elderly will receive. How that fight plays out may shape not only the outcome of many election races but also what happens next year in Congress to Medicare and the health care law. But first, where did the figure come from? Is it accurate? And why is it so much larger than previous estimates (Reichard, 8/16)?

Los Angeles Times: Romney Maintains Medicare Attack On Obama
Shortly after his chartered plane landed here for the last stop on a two-day fundraising swing across the Deep South, the Republican presidential hopeful stepped before news cameras outside a private air terminal to offer new evidence for how wrong Obama was to slash $716 billion in Medicare spending. “This is going to be a big issue in places where there are a lot of seniors,” Romney said, using a black marker to write down a few key points on a white board mounted on an easel. … A voucher system for Medicare is the centerpiece of a budget proposal championed by [Paul] Ryan, passed by the Republican-led House and embraced by Romney (Finnegan, 8/16).

Politico: Mitt Romney Tries To Explain Medicare Stance
Mitt Romney attempted on Thursday to boil down his Medicare plan to a simple explanation: “No change” and “Solvent.” Those were the words he scrawled on a whiteboard at a last-minute news conference in Greer, S.C. this afternoon as he attempted to address questions about whether his plan is identical to that of Paul Ryan’s. Romney chose Ryan as his running mate last weekend, and the Wisconsin lawmaker is best known for a budget-slashing effort that would convert Medicare into a voucher program for some future seniors (Gibson, 8/16).

Politico (Video): Obama’s First Ad On Ryan And Medicare
The Obama campaign’s first Medicare ad has arrived. Chicago has released several web videos since last weekend going after Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney for their views on entitlements. But only this morning has the president’s team put out a TV spot on the issue. It’s not a totally slash-and-burn ad, but instead a commercial that contrasts what the AARP has said about the Affordable Care Act and what it has said about the Ryan budget. “The nonpartisan AARP says Obamacare ‘cracks down on Medicare fraud, waste and abuse,’” the ad says. “And the Ryan plan? AARP says it ‘would undermine’ Medicare and ‘could lead to higher costs for seniors” (Burns, 8/17).

The New York Times: Romney Says He Paid At Least 13% In Income Taxes
Now, after Mr. Romney’s decision to name Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice-presidential choice, the campaign is instead waging an aggressive battle on Medicare, welfare and Mr. Obama’s character. That change in focus can be seen in the campaign’s ads and in Mr. Romney’s speeches. And it stands in contrast to the approaches of some Republican Congressional candidates, who said Thursday that they intended to wage their own campaigns strictly on economic issues. “We are staying on our message,” said Chris Collins, the Republican candidate in New York’s 27th District, near Buffalo. Mr. Collins said that Republicans should welcome the Medicare debate, but that in his own campaign, “every time anything comes up, I bring it back to the economy, the economy, Obamacare” (Shear, 8/16).

ABC: Romney Gives Medicare Lecture On Tarmac
With a black marker in his hand and a whiteboard to his side, the Republican presidential candidate tried to spell out, literally, the differences between his and President Obama’s policies…The comments seemed to run counter to what he said Wednesday night, when in an interview with ABC affiliate WBAY in Wisconsin, Romney argued his and running mate Paul Ryan’s proposals for revamping Medicare are “the same, if not identical” (Krieg, Dwyer and Friedman, 8/16).

CBS: Romney Uses White Board In Attempt To Clarify Medicare Stance
Between fundraisers in South Carolina, Romney decided to talk about Medicare, giving the press corps an impromptu lesson on the differences between his policies and the president’s. “Which of these two do you think is better,” Romney asked his audience, “going bankrupt or being solvent? Well obviously, being solvent.” “The differences in our Medicare perspective could not be more stark and dramatic, and I think as the people, as the seniors in America understand what the president’s plan is doing to Medicare, they’re going to find it unacceptable,” added the GOP nominee. Both sides now claim they welcome a substantive conversation on Medicare, an issue that’s long been considered a political third rail (Crawford, 8/17).

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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