Before you even get into this video … I want you to read this quote and then absorb it as you read through the politics of Romney’s embrace of the Ryan plan:
“Do Romney/Ryan understand that implementing their plan to repeal the Medicare Advantage savings will increase Medicare premiums for fully 70% of Medicare enrollees?”
~John McDonough from the Harvard School of Public Health
What you’re about to see Romney discuss will result in an increase in Medicare premiums for 70% of people getting on Medicare TODAY.
Watch the video of an interview Mitt Romney had yesterday 8/15/12 with a local Milwaukee, Wisconsin news station:
REPORTER: Your senior campaign adviser said Sunday if the Ryan budget would have come to your desk you would have signed it. In a January debate you called it a proposal that was absolutely right on.
So I guess, why now are you distancing yourself from at least the Medicare portion of the Ryan budget?
ROMNEY: Actually Paul Ryan and my plan for Medicare I think is the same — if not identical it’s probably close to identical.
So – his plan IS the Ryan plan. Got it. And that means he supports MAJOR changes to Medicare … eliminating the Medicare guarantee and turning it into a voucher program that studies have shown would cost anyone under 55 years of age an additional $6,000 a year with a slow increase to $12,000 extra out of pocket in later years (source). THAT is the plan that Romney supports.
Today … he tries to demonstrate how the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan is different than President Obama’s plan:
“I know there’s an effort by some people to try and bring as much confusion to the topic of Medicare as possible. But I want to bring as much clarity as possible, so I’ve prepared a small chart here, which will describe differences in our respective plans for Medicare.”
Romney says that he makes no adjustments for current seniors and the President’s plan cuts $716 Billion from Medicare. And even though he infers once again that Obama “robbed Medicare of $716 billion” … he moves forward today with a discussion about the cuts to insurance and medical companies that are not managing fraud, waste and abuse (but he doesn’t call it that). So – having never acknowledged that he lied about Obama robbing Medicare as rated “mostly false” by Politifact HERE … he is now trying to convince seniors that if President Obama successfully gets rid of Medicare Advantage (which was passed under George W. Bush and only further eroded the financial security of the program due to its cost) … then somehow the world will end for seniors even though Medicare Advantage didn’t exist before 2004.
So – Romney has tried to slowly transition away from his tremendous lie that Obama robbed Medicare into saying if seniors don’t have Medicare Advantage … noone will want to care for them. That’s his argument. But he doesn’t explain why the Ryan/Romney plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program cuts $716 billion from seniors’ benefits instead of following Obama’s model which cuts $716 billion from hospitals and insurance companies that do not police fraud in the system. You can read more about Ryan’s plan to cut seniors’ benefits HERE.
Politico basically eats Romney’s lunch on his whiteboard press conference HERE:
But after the 10-minute and 11-second news conference, Romney shed no new light on how he would overhaul the 47-year-old federal health care program for senior citizens and how (or if) his program differs from that of his running mate’s much-maligned proposal that is part of an effort to slash the federal budget deficit.
Asked afterward to provide as much detail and specifics as possible about Romney’s Medicare plan, his campaign provided a link to a one-page website with a 907-word explanation (shorter than the length of this article) that included an introduction, seven key elements and a frequently asked questions section. It also forwarded a speech Romney gave on fiscal policy in November.
What Romney’s outline doesn’t include is a total-savings estimate, cost estimates for changing the plan, an age cutoff for when it would be implemented, how the vouchers would be administered, how the government-controlled plan would be administered or what effect his proposals would have on the deficit or current budget.
And John McDonough from the Harvard School of Public Health has some basic questions for Romney HERE:
#1 - But … since Cong. Ryan no longer supports this core plank of his budget plan, what does that deletion do to his and the House’s plan to balance the federal budget by … 2040 (when Ryan will turn 70 years old)? Will Ryan release a new date of budget balancing by … 2050 … 2060 … 2070? Or when?
#2 - Do Romney/Ryan understand they are proposing the elimination of benefits to current Medicare enrollees?
#3 – Do Romney/Ryan understand that implementing their plan to repeal the Medicare Advantage savings will increase Medicare premiums for fully 70% of Medicare enrollees?
#4 - Do Romney/Ryan understand that their plan drastically reduces the financial solvency of the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund?
The Obama administration came out with their own whiteboard in rebuttal to compare the two plans:
The Huffington Post explains that Obamacare has significantly improved the shortfalls in Medicare – they write that HERE:
In their annual report issued this spring, the trustees estimate that the Medicare hospital insurance program now faces a shortfall over the next 75 years equal to 1.35 percent of taxable payroll — that is, 1.35 percent of the total amount of earnings that will be subject to the Medicare payroll tax over this period. This is much less than the size of the shortfall that the trustees estimated before the enactment of health reform: 3.88 percent of taxable payroll (see chart).
The trustees also find that the HI trust fund will remain solvent — that is, able to pay 100 percent of the costs of the hospital insurance coverage that Medicare provides — through 2024. If health reform were fully repealed, however, as the House of Representatives has voted to do, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that the Medicare hospital insurance program would become insolvent eight years earlier, in 2016.
And Romney has already said emphatically that he is going to repeal Obamacare. If that were to happen – Medicare would become insolvent by 2016.
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