Romney Vow To Restore Medicare Funding Raises Tough Fiscal Issues; GOP Platform Adds Revamping Of Medicare


Ryan-Graph

Ryan-Graph (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Topics: Health Costs, Medicare, Politics

Aug 22, 2012

In the short term, the Republican presidential candidate’s promise to stop the Medicare cuts included in the health law would increase beneficiaries’ costs. Meanwhile, the GOP draft platform embraces the Medicare changes advanced as part of Paul Ryan’s House budget plan.

The New York Times: Patients Would Pay More If Romney Restores Medicare Savings, Analysts Say
Mitt Romney‘s promise to restore $716 billion that he says President Obama “robbed” from Medicare has some health care experts puzzled, and not just because his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, included the same savings in his House budgets. … While Republicans have raised legitimate questions about the long-term feasibility of the reimbursement cuts, analysts say, to restore them in the short term would immediately add hundreds of dollars a year to out-of-pocket Medicare expenses for beneficiaries(Calmes, 8/21).

Politico: Draft Republican Platform Embraces Ryan Medicare Ideas
The platform language (on Medicare) isn’t a total surprise … (but) it gives the Republican Party one more level of commitment to the controversial idea of turning Medicare into a premium-support program, in which seniors would get subsidies to buy private health insurance. And while Romney’s Medicare plan doesn’t call for raising the retirement age, Ryan’s most recent budget, as passed by the House, would gradually start to increase the retirement age starting in 2023 to match Social Security’s retirement age (Hohmann, 8/21).

The New York Times’ The Caucus: Ryan Takes To Pennsylvania To Push Medicare Message
Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin customized from his menu of attacks on President Obama to fit a full day of campaigning in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, putting state-specific numbers on his assertion that current Medicare beneficiaries will suffer benefit cuts under the 2010 health care law. “In Pennsylvania, 38 percent of Pennsylvania seniors choose to get their Medicare from a plan called Medicare Advantage,” Mr. Ryan said here. “Forty-seven percent of them are going to lose it under Obamacare, according to Medicare, by 2017″ (Gabriel, 8/21).

CNN Money: Medicare: Private Insurers Not Always Cheaper
The Republicans’ proposal to increase the role of private insurers in Medicare has sparked a debate as to whether it can actually lower the cost of care. Many experts say Medicare Advantage hasn’t produced the expected savings. Proponents of private plans, however, say that increasing competition will drive down costs even more. Medicare was opened up to the private market in the 1970s with the idea that insurers could provide benefits more efficiently and cheaply. Enrollment didn’t really start taking off until 2006 though. That’s when the Medicare prescription drug plan was rolled out (Luhby, 8/22).

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.

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