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As an Employee Benefit consultant I get regular updates.  Below is an article received today outlining The Republican National Convention adopted 2012 party platform. The article addresses Medicare, Medicaid, Keystone Pipeline, TSA and the Akin distraction.

By James Rowley
August 29, 2012
The Republican National Convention adopted a 2012 party platform that advocates changing how U.S. senior citizens receive health care by shifting Medicare from a defined-benefit entitlement to a defined-contribution plan.

The platform also proposes a constitutional amendment to ban abortion without stipulating any exceptions for ending pregnancies caused by rape or to save a woman’s life. It also affirms marriage as “the union of one man and one woman.”

The platform would turn administration of the Medicaid program for 54 million low-income Americans over to the states. The outlines of the Medicare overhaul, which wouldn’t affect the 47 million current beneficiaries or anyone older than 55, are in line with the proposal to revamp the program by the party’s vice presidential nominee, Representative Paul Ryan.

This ambitious blueprint projects a sea change in the way government works,” said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, the platform panel’s chairman. States would “take center stage in the long-overdue renewal of our American society” through “reforming Medicaid and welfare programs and managing environmental programs locally.”

The 2012 platform was adopted on a voice vote Tuesday as the convention opened in Tampa.

Insurance broker Jason Seltzer, co-founder of Pittsburgh-based J. Seltzer Associates, believes the majority of the information coming from the Republican National Convention has nothing to do with the Republican platform.

Outside of health care reform I don’t think the Republicans have done a good job coming out and saying specifically what they’re going to accomplish [if they take office],” he says. “They’ve made it very clear they have every intention of attempting to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which I think all of us in the industry know is almost politically impossible.”

Debt ‘Driver’

Calling Medicare “the largest driver of future debt,” the platform proposes giving senior citizens financial support, adjusted by income, to purchase private insurance. Such private plans would compete with the traditional Medicare program. To achieve further savings, the current Medicare eligibility age of 65 should be “made more realistic” because of longer life expectancy, the platform says.

The platform also calls for turning many of the functions of the Transportation Security Administration over to private businesses to provide security at airports throughout the U.S.

In a boost for big coal-production states like Wyoming, Illinois and West Virginia, the platform advocates development of “state-of-the-art” coal-fired power plants and the new coal gasification and “coal-to-liquid” fuels.

It says President Barack Obama’s administration “seems determined to shut down coal production” even though “there is no cost-effective substitute for it” as the “largest source of electricity generation.”

Keystone Pipeline

The party affirmed its commitment to building the Keystone XL pipeline, which TransCanada Corp. proposes carry tar-sands crude from Alberta to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama administration is reviewing a revised proposal after the president rejected the original route, which raised concerns it would damage environmentally fragile regions of Nebraska.

Republicans “respect the states’ proven ability” to regulate hydraulic fracturing to tap oil and natural gas resources, the platform said.

On abortion, the platform advocates legislation to bar women from terminating a pregnancy for the purpose of selecting a child’s gender.

The constitutional amendment to ban abortion is a reiteration of the Republican Party’s longstanding position. The issue was thrust to the forefront of the political debate after Todd Akin, a Missouri congressman running for the Senate, said he opposed making an exception for rape because “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy.

Akin Distraction

As the platform was being debated in Tampa last week, Republicans seeking to end the distraction from Romney’s candidacy, called for Akin to drop out of the Senate race and allow another Republican to challenge Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. Akin, who apologized for the remark, has defied those requests that he step aside.

The platform calls for a permanent ban on all federal financing of abortions; such a prohibition is enacted as a policy restriction to spending measures. The platform also advocates the end of any government subsidies for private health plans that provide abortions, though the party wouldn’t do away with tax benefits for companies that sponsor such coverage.

Seltzer says that the Republicans’ adopted platform, which is focusing on Medicare, TSA, Keystone XL pipeline and abortion, are “ideological things; they’re not tangible."

In a bow to supporters of Texas Representative Ron Paul’s presidential candidacy, the platform calls for a commission to study the feasibility of returning the dollar to the gold standard. A similar commission created by President Ronald Reagan “advised against such a move,” the platform noted.

— Additional reporting by Marli D. Riggs, associate editor of Employee Benefit Adviser.

NOTE: All bolding was added by me.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The fix to Medicaid, Medicare and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, SoCaliana, chimpy

    health insurance in general is going after the medical industrial complex.

    Health care costs per capita in Germany are half of those in the US.

    So rather than cut people's benefits it's time to cut the EPS of big medicine and get rid of their monopoly on health.

    "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

    by bcdelta on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:26:09 AM PDT

    •  it is staggering when you see the healthcare (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bcdelta, chimpy

      costs when allocated by country - I see them broken out by the costs of drugs, hospital visits, procedures and doctor visits.  The cost between countries is staggering.  A great many services covered in North America by private insurance is covered under government mandated coverage in Europe.

      •  Sure (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Olympia, trumpeter

        Private insurance in the US used to be non-profit and it needs to head back there.

        Then look at the partnership between pharma, oncologists, FDA, NIH.

        Pharmaceuticals have improved health a lot, but now I think they're out of control.

        Take cancer - chemo/rad are cash cows, but with all our technology is this the best we can do?

        What other ways can cancer be treated or better yet cured?  There is no incentive to look at it differently given all the profit.  Anyone with another way of treating cancer would probably be shut down by FDA and jailed.

        Our system is focused on treating symptoms rather than curing the cause of the illness simply because it's more profitable.

        So one has acid reflux probably due to poor diet, but we have a pill to enable you to keep eating pepperoni pizza and when you get some disease for not listening to your body we have a pill for that and it goes on and on.

        "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

        by bcdelta on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:43:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  many countries focus on preventative healthcare (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in both public and private plans but I hear where you are coming from.

          •  We need more foucs on prevention, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            but when someone is sick we need to start treating the cause rather than the symptom.

            On the issue of prevention the conversation has to be extended to processed food, exercise, stress, etc.

            And to go after processed food is to take on another huge lobby.

            "And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space" Khalil Gibran

            by bcdelta on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:52:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  you mean there still are employee benefits? nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Olympia, bcdelta

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:31:18 AM PDT

  •  Private security (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, SoCaliana

    of course did a wonderful job on 9/11.  Just sayin.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:32:34 AM PDT

    •  The Sole Effective Response Was Unarmed Civilians (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      So the military-intel complex didn't defend the homeland either.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:37:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What are they wanting to do to the TSA? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My nephew works for the TSA and he's  a stupid republican.

    For some reason he can't understand that he's cutting his own throat by voting republican.

    I need a little 'ammunition' to maybe convince him to change his mind.

    I should add that he is also a religious zealot, which I am sure is driving his party affiliation.

    •  here's your ammo (0+ / 0-)
      The platform also calls for turning many of the functions of the Transportation Security Administration over to private businesses to provide security at airports throughout the U.S.

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