Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Romney On Medicare, Medicare Elections in 2012, Supreme Court Decision

Coming Soon: How Romney Will Protect Medicare

"Mitt Romney, facing a tough fight before Michigan's Feb. 28 primary, said he'll further outline his plan to lower taxes, reduce spending and protect Medicare and Social Security in Detroit this week.  Speaking before more than 400 people at a snowy campaign stop in Shelby Township, Romney said he'll offer more specifics on his vision in the coming days, including at his scheduled address to the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field Friday.  The message: 'We know what it takes to get Washington to work, so that America works, so that Michigan works.'"

Medicare Politics On Parade

"Don't look now, but the 2012 election is turning into a national referendum on what to do about Medicare.  Democrats want to run on the issue -- and to charge that Republican proposals to change Medicare into a voucher-based system would end the current guarantee of virtually unlimited healthcare for the elderly.  The chairman of their House campaign committee, Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., has told candidates to stress three issues: 'Medicare, Medicare and Medicare.'"

"At least some Republicans -- such as Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., author of a leading GOP Medicare proposal -- say they welcome that fight.  'Medicare is the issue,' Ryan told reporters last week.  Ryan believes Republicans can only lose if they play defense and allow Democrats to 'scare seniors.'  Instead, he argues that if the party spells out its ideas clearly, it can win a mandate to transform Medicare from a government-run plan to one run mostly by insurance companies."

It's the same old arguments.  And, health insurance companies already have too much power and make too much profit.  This simply hands more of both over to a bloated, well-politically-connected industry.

Health Care Reform Law

"The Supreme Court is poised to rule this summer on the constitutionality of the health care reform law’s requirement that Americans buy insurance or pay a tax penalty.  But it has the legal option to delay a decision until at least 2014, and although the possibility has received little attention, new evidence suggests that justices are considering it more strongly.  The temporary escape hatch involves the Anti-Injunction Act, an age-old law that says courts may not halt a tax that isn’t yet being collected.  (Under the Affordable Care Act, it won’t be collected until 2014.)  Although the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals last fall tossed out a lawsuit against the mandate on this basis, most courts have decreed that the statute doesn’t apply here."

"But further evidence that justices may disagree came Tuesday, when the Supreme Court increased the time for next month’s oral arguments from 5.5 hours to 6 hours, allotting an extra half hour to discuss the application of the Anti-Injunction Act.  That means there will be a full hour and a half to discuss whether the court has the authority to rule on the health law this year."

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