Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mitt May Enroll in Medicare, IPAB Repeal Falters, Medicare Attack By "Senior" Group, Republicans Focus on Budget

Mitt May Find Avoiding Medicare Isn’t That Simple

As I mentioned earlier:  "Romney most likely will still be enrolled in Medicare Part A, which covers hospital services.  That piece is much harder to avoid.  But another high-profile Republican has tried to do it.  Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey joined a lawsuit with several other individuals in 2008 against the Department of Health and Human Services to force the government to allow them to un-enroll from the program."

"But the D.C. District Court of Appeals last month upheld a lower court ruling that individuals cannot 'choose' not to be covered by Medicare Part A."

GOP Losing the IPAB Fight

"IPAB repeal legislation began to hemorrhage Democratic support Monday, after Republicans said they intend to pair the broadly popular House bill with a more partisan medical malpractice reform package.  'Typical right-wing overreach,' charged Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, one of 20 Democrats to co-sponsor the Independent Payment Advisory Board repeal bill.  'I’m baffled by it.  It’s a way to destroy the chances of bipartisanship.'”

GOP Budget Fight and Medicare

"At issue is the party’s budget plan laying out its fiscal agenda for the year.  Republicans were accused last year by Democrats of plotting to end Medicare when their budget proposed overhauling the health care program for the elderly.  They probably will revive their Medicare plan this year, though with changes to reflect a compromise that Ryan has since written with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon."

60 Plus At It Again

As you know, this is probably my least favorite group ever, even including the Conservative Republicans themselves.  "Conservative groups are gearing up to spend millions of dollars in advertising this year to hammer President Obama and congressional Democrats over a little-known health care board that is at the heart of a heated debate on holding down Medicare costs.  The latest barrage began this week with a $3.5 million TV and online advertising campaign from the conservative 60 Plus Association.  The commercials target Democratic senators up for re-election this fall in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Montana and Missouri.  In the ad, singer and association spokesman Pat Boone called the Independent Payment Advisory Board a panel of 'unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats' with the power to deny Medicare treatments."

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