prospect.org — In terms of demographics, Mitt Romney has one path to victory: overwhelming support from white voters. At the least, he’ll have to outperform every Republican since Ronald Reagan, and win 60 percent of their votes. And this is if minority turnout is at its 2008 levels. If it increases, he needs even more whites to make up the difference. Seniors play a key part in this coalition. John McCain won 51 percent of seniors, beating Obama by four percentage points. At the moment, Obama’s support among this group is in the low 40s. If the former Massachusetts governor can outperform McCain and crush Obama among older Americans, he can eke out a narrow win. But if Obama can hold his own — and move closer to his 2008 total — he’ll have secured victory. Enter Paul Ryan.
But a few people have noticed something I pointed out at length about a year ago. He may want to give Medicare a witness-protection-style makeover, but Paul Ryan still wants to gut Medicaid. Apparently, so does Mitt Romney.
jaredbernsteinblog.com — In posts about the Ryan pick, I’ve argued that if we in the commentariat and the media get this right, the American electorate could have a salutary debate on the role of government. But, I stressed, that’s a big “if.” We particularly need an eagle-eyed media to cut through the inaccurate and misleading stances that show up with increasing frequency around this time. A classic, for example, is the one I talked about with Rachel Maddow last night: the claim that President Obama is “destroying Medicare” by reducing its growth rate to the tune of $700 billion in the Affordable Care Act. Rep Ryan has precisely the same cut in his budget. The difference is what they do with the savings.
tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com — Lost in the back and forth between the Obama and Romney campaigns over who’s the real Medicare cutter is a critical difference between visions: President Obama’s plan is to make the program solvent by reducing payments to health care providers, while Rep. Paul Ryan achieves his savings by transforming Medicare into a voucher-like system. The Medicare cuts, passed in the Affordable Care Act, come in the form of reimbursement reductions to hospitals, Medicaid prescription drugs and private insurance plans under Medicare Advantage. The Congressional Budget Office projects that they’ll extend the solvency of Medicare by eight years. Ryan’s plan would end Medicare as an insurance program that directly pays medical bills for the elderly, and replace it with a fixed subsidy which seniors may use to buy competing private and public insurance policies on an exchange. The CBO projects that Ryan’s plan would raise seniors’ out-of-pocket expenses by $6,500 per year.
Then he described Romney's Medicare plan ... which is the same thing as the Ryan Medicare plan: privatize it.
SUNUNU: Medicare is going to be covered by guaranteeing to everybody 55 and over that they can have Medicare exactly as it is today. No change. ...
CHRIS MATTHEWS: But the future of Medicare under the Ryan and Romney plan is to replace a fee-for-service program ... with a voucher plan, when you got to go out and buy insurance in the private market. That's what they want to do. Both of them.
SUNUNU: But that happens for people under 55.
MATTHEWS: But why is that a good deal?
SUNUNU: Why is it a good deal? Because I'd rather have a private insurance policy than a government insurance policy any day.
Romney's campaign spokesperson says the Romney plan is to privatize Medicare for all Americans currently under 55 years of age.
prospect.org — Mitt Romney has been so busy securing his Republican base that he hasn't had time to court independent voters, the ones who will actually decide this election. But now, probably by accident, he has an opportunity to show them that he's something other than a slave to his party's right wing. Will he take it? When Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul committed the apparently unpardonable sin of praising the health care law Mitt Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts, was she making a horrible mistake that made everyone in Romney headquarters gasp in horror, or was she just reflecting what her candidate actually believes? The answer to that question would tell us where Romney is going to go from here on health care, and whether he may at long last try to find some issue on which he can convince voters he's something more than a vessel for whatever his party's right wing wants to do to the country.
kentucky.com — Medicare turned 47 years old last Monday. Bill Mahan celebrated by setting up a booth on Main Street to try to convince passersby that America's health insurance crisis could be eased considerably if everyone had Medicare. The Lexington retiree collected about 125 signatures for his petition. It asks members of Congress to support proposed legislation that would strengthen Medicare, which now covers more than 47 million seniors and disabled people, and make it the vehicle for providing basic universal health insurance coverage But Mahan spent much of his seven hours on Main Street listening to people tell him their horror stories: lack of insurance, inadequate coverage, baffling paperwork, treatment they can't afford to get and medical bills they can't afford to pay. What Mahan mostly tells them is that these problems are likely to continue until the United States has a single-payer health insurance system.
dailykos.com — Texas Gov. Rick Perry was one of the first Republican governors out of the blocks to vow he'd never take any of that federal Medicaid expansion money after the Supreme Court ruled that states could refuse to participate in that provision of the Affordable Care Act. He announced on July 9 that he'd reject the program. Either he didn't send that message to the rest of his administration, or he was lying.
In the case of fetuses and rich people, Republicans insist on the sanctity of life. But in the case of destitute people, infants who imprudently choose working-poor parents and struggling young adults – basically all riffraff unable to afford health insurance – the GOP says there’s nothing sacred about their stinking lives.
Let ’em die. The uninsured should be left to rot. more »
billmoyers.com — I read a news story this week that sent me on a nostalgic trip down memory lane. This past Monday, July 30th was the 47th anniversary of Medicare, and to celebrate it, the “Raging Grannies,” as they’re known, gathered outside the county office building in Rochester, New York to protest rumored cuts to their Medicare coverage. They praised Medicare in song as “the best deal we have in the country,” and even called for expanding it Medicare into universal health care for everyone. It seems the Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, was coming up from Washington to raise funds for Republican congressional candidate Maggie Brooks. The “Raging Grannies” wanted to make certain Ms. Brooks didn’t sign on to the GOP budget which includes cuts to Medicare. For myself, the “Raging Grannies” channeled a familiar voice, the Texas twang of my boss back in 1965, Lyndon Baines Johnson.