Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Pass Costs on to Medicare Beneficiaries, Medicare Under Romney, Republicans Debate Again

NCPSSM Stands Up to AHA

"The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, on behalf of its 3 million members and supporters nationwide, has urged the American Hospital Association to reconsider its support of raising Medicare’s eligibility age."  They say that "passing costs to seniors to avoid provider cuts isn't the answer."

Of course, we agree.  It's unfair to Medicare beneficiaries -- and ultimately unfair to providers also -- to change eligibility, add out-of-pocket costs, etc.  We need a longer-term solution which recognizes the essential needs of the aged and disabled, not only as beneficiaries of Medicare but also as patients.  It's time that advocates for the aged and disabled and advocates for health care providers UNITED to sensibly address the problems without blaming or taking from the other.

Romney and Medicare

Romney's proposal for Medicare:  "His proposal for Medicare, which he and other Republicans have nodded at in the past, would mimic the GOP budget plan.  It would provide future seniors vouchers to buy private insurance, while at the same time preserving traditional Medicare as an option.  This type of approach has been adopted by one independent fiscal commission this year (the Domenici-Rivlin proposal), but it dates back to the 1990s when then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich embraced it as a way to put traditional Medicare on the path to extinction -- or as he put it to 'wither on the vine and die.' [emphasis added]"

Although Mr. Romney himself might not be thinking of repealing Medicare, the leaders of the Republican party and their Conservative friends sure are.  A Romney Presidency would mean that those forces would have greater opportunities to end Medicare.

More:  Romney Offers More Details On Medicare Plan: ‘We’re Going To Give People Vouchers’.  "Romney’s one modification [to the Ryan plan] -- maintaining traditional Medicare as an option -- is significant but also problematic.  Analysts who have studied similar plans, argue that younger and healthier beneficiaries would be encouraged to leave the traditional program for managed care, creating a severe adverse selection spiral for seniors who remain in traditional Medicare."

Republicans Debate Health Care

Oh, was there YET ANOTHER Republican debate last night?  Ho hum.  "Former Governor Mitt Romney came under attack for his health care overhaul in Massachusetts during the last half of the first segment of Tuesday night's CNN debate.  It was by far the toughest questioning he's faced from his fellow candidates during any of the nine debates that have occurred so far."

For Your Information

"Chart: ‘Huge’ Majorities Support Millionaire’s SurtaxA new poll out today from the National Journal shows that 59 percent of Americans agree with the Occupy Wall Street protesters.  Moreover, Americans support a surtax on millionaires -- something Democrats have proposed to pay for a jobs bill -- 'by a huge 68 - 27 margin.  These findings are consistent with several other polls on the 99 Percent Movement and those on raising taxes on the wealthy.  As this chart demonstrates, Republicans are the only group which opposes the surtax."

 The data are not surprising.  It's heartening that people are paying attention.  There's hope for America.

The Republican Reality-Free Zone

Herman Cain Blames The Unemployed, GOP Debate Audience Cheers -- Herman Cain says, "Don't blame Wall Street.  Don't blame the big banks.  If you don't have a job and you're not rich, blame yourself."


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