I see evidence that the public in my town is buying into the Republican lie about ACA stealing $716 billion from Medicare. Obama and the Dems need to distill the complicated answer to that into a few sound bites and disseminate the script! I can't believe they haven't already done that. That is political malpractice. "Obamacare preserves Medicare" comes to mind. Medicare cuts are a potent and persuasive issue. Besides another really important line of attack has not been used.
It was Clinton's argument and no one is using it. Without Obamacare the Medicare Part A Trust fund is projected to be depleted in 2016. Obamacare extends that to 2024. Repeal of Obamacare brings it back to 2016. Then it will need to be "shored up" by Congress, undoubtedly with deficit spending.
The R/R team's voucher plan doesn't take effect until 2023 because it isn't supposed to affect current seniors. So they are going to have to choose between finding extra funds for Medicare Part A in 2016 and adding to the deficit, or they will have to cut Medicare.
Which one do you think? Ryan's original budget cut Medicare by $716B but the RR team restored those cuts for the election. Simpson Bowles, which everybody is pining over, includes cuts to Medicare (I don't know how much).There is no doubt the Republicans are sharpening their knives.
The rising costs and the increasing share Medicare takes of the national budget makes it obvious Medicare reform is needed. But Obamacare is a good start. It sponsors studies to discover the most effective treatments. It shifts to a payment model that rewards quality and safety. Just possibly, when we get to 2024 the costs may not be increasing as fast because the last of the baby boomers will have slipped in to the retirement age.
But with Romney, there will have to be cuts before the voucher program takes place. Have you heard them promise not to cut Medicare? Nope. They only say Obama does. So current seniors will face cuts, lose the donut hole and preventive care coverage and future seniors will have only some discount coupons and have tremendous financial burden.
The Romney campaign's response to all this is that "Medicare will go bankrupt in 2024." The response is that this is only true if Obamacare is not repealed and if it is, some action will be required to "shore it up" in the interim- spending or cuts.
And we are letting Republicans get traction on the Medicare issue? Come on!