Columbia Journalism Review (NAT)
Medicare and the $716 billion bogeyman
And as for the $716 billion dollar cut, the facts are and continue to be: The health reform law did take $500 billion out of the future spending projections in the Medicare budget to help fund subsidies for the uninsured, and to help shore up Medicare’s finances further into the future. Most of these cuts centered on reduced reimbursements to providers—mostly to hospitals, which agreed to smaller payments over 10 years in return for more patients with insurance, which the ACA promised to deliver. In other words, they didn’t squawk about it.
Center for American Progress (DC)
Increased Costs During Retirement Under the Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan
Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan claim that no one over 55 will be affected by their health care plan. This claim is false. Their plan would harm all seniors. The Romney-Ryan plan would hurt current seniors in two important ways:Increased drug costs and higher Medicare premiums. By repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Romney-Ryan plan would raise health care costs in retirement by $11,000 for the average person who is 65 years old today.Increased long-term care costs, including increased costs for nursing home care, because of cuts to Medicaid. A substantial share of Medicaid spending pays for health care costs for Medicare beneficiaries. The Romney-Ryan Medicaid cuts mean a loss of over $2,500 annually for seniors currently on Medicare who also rely on Medicaid. Unlike the Medicare voucher system that would begin in 2023 the cuts to Medicaid would begin almost immediately.
Huffington Post (NAT)
Romney-Ryan Medicaid Plan Would Endanger Health Care For Poor Children
Children's advocates worry kids are in particular danger of losing their benefits if the plan is adopted. With cuts of the magnitude Ryan proposed in a budget adopted by House Republicans in March, all children covered today simply wouldn't be able to keep their health benefits.
Children make up about half Medicaid's 62 million beneficiaries. The rest is a mix of the parents of some of those kids, pregnant women, people with disabilities, and the elderly. Predicting the exact number of children who would be dropped from Medicaid under a block grant scheme isn't possible, but taking away that much money means some would, said Robert Block, a pediatrician from Tulsa, Okla., who is president of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"The simple math is: You subtract that from the total Medicaid available and there's a lot less for kids," Block said.
Think Progress (DC)
GOPer Says Medicare And Social Security Are Unconstitutional Then Whines When He’s Attacked For It
Indiana GOP U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock thinks that Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional. We know this because there is video of Mourdock expressing his incredulity at the idea that the Constitution permits the safety net for seniors to exist — in Mourdock’s words, “I challenge you in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. where those so-called enumerated powers are listed, I challenge you to find words that talk about ‘Medicare’ or ‘Medicaid’ or, yes, even ‘Social Security.’”
Elko Daily (NV)
Commentary: Ryan as the token conservative
Romney twists himself around every issue (abortion, climate change, the health care individual mandate — to name a few), so at one point, like a corkscrew, he’s on every side of it. By selecting Ryan, best known for his radical plan to end Medicare for future retirees and who also once advocated for privatizing Social Security, Romney hopes to capture the Ayn Rand true-believer wing of the Tea Party.
Blue Ridge Now (NC)
Seniors talk Medicare, Social Security with candidate
Medicare and Social Security took center stage Thursday during an informal roundtable discussion with Henderson County residents and Hayden Rogers, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in North Carolina's 11th District.
About 50 people attended the forum at Blue Ridge Community College.
"These public roundtables allow me to have a direct and honest conversation with the people of Western North Carolina," Rogers said. "I am not an expert on every policy issue, but I know it's essential to listen to your constituents, and I have the experience and cultural appreciation to be an effective and pragmatic policy maker."
Battle Creek Enquirer (MI)
Social Security article has the wrong facts
Please refer to an actual record sent out by the Social Security Administration. It shows the lifetime earnings of a person. It shows the person’s total contributions to the retirement trust fund, and to the Medicare trust fund. It also shows the employers’ contributions to the retirement and Medicare trust funds.
Washington Post (NAT)
Ryan vs. Obama: Who protects Medicare more?
In short: The Affordable Care Act shores up the trust fund but it’s not clear that means much. The Ryan budget shores it up in a more meaningful way but repeals the ACA’s new benefits for seniors. The Romney-Ryan plan to reverse the ACA’s cuts weakens the trust fund considerably, and their plan to repeal the ACA as a whole would hit seniors’ new benefits as well.
The Lowell Sun (MA)
Social Security doomed by politicians
It seems Social Security is under attack again by the political hacks who have ensured they will be OK, even if we aren't. It was reported that Social Security has a $2.7 billion dollar "surplus." How can that be since all the Social Security money is in the "general fund," and the money being paid back to Social Security is in the form IOUs written on Monopoly money. The surplus is an illusion, a trick conjured up with smoke and mirrors. The real money is gone, spent by the hacks we stupidly elect.
The Hawk Eye (IA)
Loebsack defends safety net programs
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-2nd District, is not just an advocate for federal safety net programs, like Social Security, but for much of his youth, he also was a beneficiary.
Loebsack told a group of seniors Thursday he and his three siblings moved into their grandmother's house with their mother when he was in fourth grade. He said that offered stability for his family, largely due to his grandmother's income from Social Security Survivors Benefits.
The three-term congressman also credits those same survivors’ benefits from his father for helping him earn his bachelor's degree from Iowa State University.
The Atlantic (NAT)
Why Todd Akin Could Still Win Missouri (Seriously)
The incumbent is unpopular: Democrat Claire McCaskill hasn't managed to pull more than 45 percent support in any poll conducted in the last year and a half, and in one poll taken since the rape controversy erupted, Akin was still leading, as Jeff Smith has noted. (A second poll, however, has shown Akin losing by 10 points.)
Akin has a loyal base: Like Angle, Akin has a strong, largely under-the-radar base of social-conservative activists across the state and nationally. They helped him win the primary, in which Mike Huckabee was his only big-name endorsement.
The Hill (DC)
Romney to fundraiser: 'Big business is doing fine in many places'
Alicia M. Cohn
“Big business is doing fine in many places,” Romney said during a fundraiser in Minnesota, according to reports. “They get the loans they need; they can deal with all the regulation. They know how to find ways to get through the tax code, save money by putting various things in the places where there are low tax havens around the world for their businesses.”
Boston Globe (MA)
Mitt Romney cites Bain Capital lessons in Wall Street Journal op-ed column
Mitt Romney, in an effort to steer the conversation back to positive aspects of his business experience, wrote an opinion piece in today’s Wall Street Journal focused on his long tenure at Bain Capital.
The column, with the headline, “What I Learned at Bain Capital,” comes days before Republicans gather in Tampa, Fla., to nominate Romney as their presidential candidate, a four-day event that is designed to promote Romney’s strengths.
Romney’s experience at the Boston-based Bain has been the subject of harsh criticism, from Republicans during the primary race and from Democrats in recent months.
They have accused him of loading companies with debt and triggering bankruptcies while reaping millions for himself, his business partners, and their investors.
Romney accentuates the positive, highlighting companies they helped start – like office-supply store Staples and child-care provider Bright Horizons – and struggling companies they helped get going again – like retailer Brookstone and contact-lens maker Wesley Jessen.
Washington Post (NAT)
The Republicans walk the planks
This is just one of many policy innovations to appear in the Republican platform. The most discussed one, following the Todd Akin flap over his comments on rape, has been the antiabortion language: no exceptions, no way, no how. Just for kicks, the drafters tossed in a “salute” to states that have informed-consent abortion laws such as Virginia — the state (led by Gov. Bob McDonnell, who also led the platform committee) that brought transvaginal ultrasound into the national discourse.
But there is also a plank calling for a study of whether to return to the gold standard, a call for auditing the Federal Reserve, positions denying statehood to the District but seeking to introduce more guns onto its streets, a provision denying women a role in combat, and others calling for a constitutional amendment that makes tax increases a thing of the past and for a spiffy new border fence — with two layers!
New York Times (NAT)
Romney May Be Nominated Early
Updated TAMPA, Fla. – Mitt Romney’s quest to formally win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination is coming two days earlier than expected.
Mr. Romney will be elevated as the party’s standard bearer on Monday – not Wednesday as previously expected – to keep the official business of the roll call delegate vote from competing with broader themes of introducing Mr. Romney. Officials also are keeping an eye on a potential threat from Tropical Storm Isaac and considering concerns about a possible disruption from Ron Paul supporters at the Republican National Convention next week.