Thursday, November 10, 2011

GOP "Offers" Joint Committee Deal, Romney & Medicare, Raising Medicare Eligibility Age, Cain & the State of Medicare

The more I think about it, the more I just shake my head:  Herman Cain has no clue about Medicare.  His 65th birthday is coming up in about a month, and he's never talked to any human resources staff about his Medicare choices when he turns 65?  Not only is he completely uninformed on public issues, he's completely uninformed on personal ones, too!  For him to joke about his ignorance is just inexplicable and unacceptable.  He seems to have not a clue about Medicare, to never have heard of Medicare, to be empty of any notion that Medicare actually has some relevance to HIS life.  The same can be said of his reactions to sexual harassment accusations.  It's as if he somehow had an out-of-body (and mind) sexual harassment experience of no relevance to him personally and so completely without memory.

Republicans Offer Unacceptable Deal

From Kaiser Health News:  "Jackie Judd talks with KHN's Mary Agnes Carey what Medicare changes would be part of the latest proposal from super committee Republicans to strike a deficit reduction deal.  Also in the background is the status of a $300 billion fix of the sustainable growth rate formula that determines how much Medicare doctors get paid."

Watch this discussion.  An intelligent and informed review.

How Romney Would Repeal Medicare

Also from Kaiser Health News:  "Mitt Romney's plan to overhaul Medicare follows a familiar Republican prescription: Use the power of the marketplace to bring down costs and improve care.  Yet, such a move would fundamentally change the nature of the popular program, and treads close to a proposal that Republicans were heavily criticized for earlier this year."  "Polls have shown that the public in general is split about a 'premium support' model, and seniors, an important voting bloc, strongly oppose it.  Noting the negative public reaction to Ryan’s plan, even some Republicans have distanced themselves from it."

Again, highly recommended, as is everything Kaiser Health News produces.

Understanding Romney's Ambiguity

Commentary:  "Kaiser Health News tries hard to understand Mitt Romney’s Medicare plans and ultimately concludes it’s difficult to figure out what it all means.  Not surprisingly, Romney is none too quick to get into specifics.  And from his standpoint why should he?  With a collection of extremists and perverts running against him, it doesn’t make sense to be too specific on an issue that’s likely to lose him backers."

"Still, it’s clear that Romney is proposing a version of the Paul Ryan plan that would turn Medicare from a defined benefit plan to defined contribution.  He’d offer more 'premium support' to those who are older and sicker and would probably push back the eligibility age a bit.  He’d hope for competition among health plans to control prices.  And -- following the wishful thinking/let’s please everyone template of Rick Perry’s flat tax -- he’d let those who like the current fee for service system to stick with it."

Impact of Raising Eligibility Age for Medicare

"Politico’s David Nather pressed Tom Coburn on his proposal to raise the Medicare eligibility age and wondered if the senator was at all concerned that younger seniors (those between the ages of 65 and 67) would go uninsured if the exchanges in the Affordable Care Act were also repealed.  Coburn notes that his latest proposal with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) assumed that the law remains enact, but said he wouldn’t mind increasing eligibility even if seniors had no clear alternative for obtaining coverage."

Mr. Lieberman has become a huge disappointment; to be kind, I'd suggest he simply didn't think through his earlier positions.  Mr. Coburn doesn't seem to particularly care what happens to seniors.  He, too, lacks a grasp of the basics of Medicare.  Of course, neither compares with Mr. Cain's personal -- let alone policy -- ignorance of Medicare.

Clues to The Clueless: Cain's Understanding of Medicare

Mr. Cain's "policy proposals might merit more attention from the debate’s moderators:  Just how does Cain propose to fix Medicare’s finances?  During his health policy speech last week, Cain made a reference to Medicare that indicated that he either doesn’t know that Medicare, the program for the elderly and disabled, is run and financed solely by the federal government -- or that he thinks it shouldn’t be.  Medicaid, the safety net program for the poor, is the program jointly financed by the states and the federal government.  Judge for yourself by viewing the video."

Mr. Cain's Medicare deficits suddenly are becoming well known.  It seems the his understanding of all issues is at about the same depth.  The aged and disable should be very wary of Mr. Cain due to his utter lack of understanding of issues.

Watching the Debate

From CNN - Five things to watch for in GOP debate:  "As for Romney, his plan to cut government spending dramatically and overhaul federal entitlements was largely overlooked during last week's episode of 'As Cain's World Turns.'  The former Massachusetts governor would preserve Medicare for current retirees and those nearing the age of enrollment into the program.  But Romney would partially privatize Medicare for future recipients, offering premium support payments -- i.e., vouchers -- to buy into the program or they could take their chances in the private insurance market.  Speaking of Romney's offer to use that payment to stay in Medicare, how is that not a 'public option'?"

Well, anything on Medicare?  Did Mr. Cain step in? . . . or step in it?

The Republican Reality-Free Zone


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