State of the Union
President Obama only briefly mentioned Medicare and Social Security in his State of the Union Address last night. He seemed, however, to offer them as bargaining chips in the vast political arena. It appears that the possible concessions, perhaps the very same ones the President has offered before, would not necessarily be optimal for the aged and disabled -- or the middle class. It's difficult to read these words as anything but troubling.
"The American people know what the right choice is. So do I. As I told the Speaker this summer, I’m prepared to make more reforms that rein in the long-term costs of Medicare and Medicaid, and strengthen Social Security, so long as those programs remain a guarantee of security for seniors."
GOP: Health Care in the Debate
From Kaiser Health News: "Health care came up in a variety of ways in Monday's debate in Tampa, sponsored by NBC, National Journal and the Tampa Bay Times. Mitt Romney accused Newt Gingrich of influence-peddling on Medicare and also defended the Massachusetts health care reform. Rick Santorum tried to distinguish himself from both men, claiming their support of the individual mandate in the past undermines their conservative credentials. And he defended his behavior during the 1995 controversy about Terri Schiavo, who was in the center of a right-to-die dispute." (Video and transcript)
Romney Cannot Repeal Health Care Reform
"Mitt Romney has been running around the country trying to convince Republican voters that he would repeal the Affordable Care Act on 'day one.' 'Now, there are some programs I just don’t like and would be easy to eliminate like Obamacare,' Romney told a town hall audience in Exeter, New Hampshire this past November. 'And that saves about $90 billion, Obamacare alone, by 2016.' But this morning, Romney backer and former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) threw cold water on Romney’s claim and 'predicted the GOP won’t repeal the Democrats’ healthcare reform law even if a Republican candidate defeats President Obama this November.'"
Santorum Warns Seniors
"Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Monday warned Florida's seniors that the Democrats' health law would limit their access to doctors and dollars and criticized his main rivals for backing its requirement that younger Americans buy health insurance. Santorum tried to draw a connection between Medicare and a key provision of the health care law, the so-called individual mandate, which doesn't affect older Americans because virtually all of them are already covered through the government program."