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Tag Archives: 2012 elections and healthcare
Health plans and other stakeholders in Medicare Advantage and Part D can be assured of one thing by President Obama’s reelection: that the claws will come out at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in his second term.
It’s hard to argue this wasn’t a decisive victory for the President and Democrats in the Senate. What remains to be seen is whether intractable Congressional Republicans will come to the table to get stuff done.
Like most, I found the Biden/Ryan debate last week some of the best TV of the election season. Both were well-prepared and spoiling for a fight, and moderator Martha Raddatz did a terrific job. There was one exchange that really got our attention when the topic turned to Medicare Advantage:
GOP nominees Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have big plans for Medicare reform, as we’ve written about here often. But health plans and other stakeholders need to start paying attention to their plans for Medicaid, which are game-changing, would affect millions more Americans, and would take effect much sooner: a recent Bloomberg report found that Romney/Ryan’s changes to Medicaid would lead to an estimated $1.26 trillion drop in federal funding from 2014 through 2022. Other analyses estimated that 14-27 million Medicaid beneficiaries could lose coverage if the campaign’s promise to block-grant the program became reality.
We all know seniors vote in huge numbers, and that Medicare has become a centerpiece issue in this Presidential campaign with the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as the GOP VP candidate. Gallup is out with a new poll showing registered voters in swing states prefer President Obama to Mitt Romney on Medicare.
The most frequent question I get is “what will the elections mean to Medicare and Medicaid?” We’ve said here the Republicans’ only hope of repealing the Affordable Care Act and enacting entitlement reform comes from making President Obama a one-termer, maintaining their majority in the House, and retaking the Senate. At the moment the Presidential race remains largely unchanged, with Mitt Romney getting a disappointing bounce from the GOP convention; Republicans will likely hold the House, but their grip on retaking the US Senate is slipping — and with it, any chance of ObamaCare repeal or major changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
The political jiu-jitsu on Medicare since the selection of Paul Ryan as the GOP Vice Presidential candidate has been amazing to watch. Democrats shriek Romney/Ryan will “end Medicare as we know it.” Romney/Ryan countered by charging that health reform was funded by $716 Billion in Medicare cuts — it’s Obama who is the threat to the program. At the moment they’re fighting to a draw in the polls on the issue. But the fact is that Romney’s budget would restore the ACA cuts to Medicare – and require everything else the Federal government does except Social Security and defense to be cut by a catastrophic 40% as a result. Which means Romney’s budget proposal isn’t worth the paper it’s on.