Does Romney know something Americans don’t know regarding the outcome of the (SCOTUS) Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the Obama adminsitation’s landmark HCR BILL? *Note: we may hear as early as Monday, June 18 on SCOTUS decision.
ROMNEY: “STRIKE DOWN OF HEALTH CARE LAW WOULD BE “RIGHT THING”
CNN) – Mitt Romney on Monday said he hopes the Supreme Court does the “right thing” and overturns President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care reform.
“Gosh I hope they do the right thing and turn this thing down,” Romney told donors in Atlanta, according to pool reports. “And say it’s unconstitutional because it is.”
ROMNEY VOWED TO REPEAL OBAMACARE AND “KILL IT DEAD ON DAY ONE”
Romney: “If I’m President, I Will Repeal Obamacare, And I’ll Kill It Dead On Day One.”[Romney town hall, Collinsville, IL, 3/17/12]
ROMNEY’S PLAN WOULD END MEDICARE AS WE KNOW IT AND SHIFT MORE COSTS ON TO SENIORS
Romney’s Medicare Plan: “Medicare Is Reformed As A Premium Support System, Meaning That Existing Spending Is Repackaged As A Fixed-Amount Benefit To Each Senior That He Or She Can Use To Purchase An Insurance Plan.” [Romney Press Release, Spending Plan – “Cut The Spending,” 11/4/11]
- Wall Street Journal Headline: “Romney Proposes To Privatize Medicare.”[Wall Street Journal, 11/4/11]
- Associated Press Headline: “Romney Proposal Makes Medicare Voucher-Like System.”[Associated Press, 11/4/11]
Under Romney’s Medicare Plan If It Costs The Government More To Provide Traditional Medicare Than It Costs Private Plans To Offer Their Version “Premiums Charged By The Government Will Have To Be Higher And Seniors Will Have To Pay The Difference To Enroll In The Traditional Medicare Option.” “‘Traditional’ fee-for-service Medicare will be offered by the government as an insurance plan, meaning that seniors can purchase that form of coverage if they prefer it; however, if it costs the government more to provide that service than it costs private plans to offer their versions, then the premiums charged by the government will have to be higher and seniors will have to pay the difference to enroll in the traditional Medicare option.” [Issues: Medicare, Romney For President, accessed 6/11/12]
CBPP: Under Romney’s Budget Cuts, If He Cut All Nondefense Programs Proportionately But Exempted Social Security, Medicare Would Be Cut By Nearly 35%.[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/16/12]
ROMNEY SUPPORTED A PLAN THAT WOULD DOUBLE OUT OF POCKET COSTS TO SENIORS
Romney Said “Yes” He Would Sign The House Republican Budget. “On health care, Romney responded ‘yes’ when asked if he would sign the plan written by Rep. Paul Ryan that would restructure Medicare if it reached his desk as President, but quickly added that he would be offering his own plan.” [ABC News, 6/2/11]
The House Republican Budget Would Force Seniors To Pay Twice As Much. The Republican budget would end the traditional Medicare program for those 55 and under and essentially convert it into a voucher program. The budget forces seniors into a more expensive private plan. In 2022, a typical 65-year-old would have to pay $6,400 more in health care expenses, or twice the amount they would under the current system. [LA Times, 4/7/11]
In 2022, Beneficiaries Out Of Pocket Costs Would Be $6,400 Higher Under The House Republican Proposal Than Traditional Medicare. “In 2022, the first year the voucher would apply, CBO estimates that total health care expenditures for a typical 65-year-old would be almost 40 percent higher with private coverage under the Ryan plan than they would be with a continuation of traditional Medicare. (See graph.) CBO also finds that this beneficiary’s annual out-of-pocket costs would more than double — from $6,150 to $12,500. In later years, as the value of the voucher eroded, the increase in out-of-pocket costs would be even greater.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/7/11]
ROMNEY WOULD REPEAL PRESIDENT OBAMA’S AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, WHICH PREVENTS INSURERS FROM DENYING COVERAGE TO AMERICANS WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS AND FROM CHARGING WOMEN HIGHER PREMIUMS THAN MEN, AND HAS HELPED MILLIONS OF YOUNG ADULTS GAIN COVERAGE
Under The Affordable Care Act, Starting In 2014, Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions Cannot Be Denied Coverage, Charged HigherPremiums, Or Be Subject To Other Discriminatory Actions. “Up to one in five non-elderly Americans with a pre-existing condition – 25 million individuals – is uninsured. Under the Affordable Care Act, starting in 2014, these Americans cannot be denied coverage, be charged significantly higher premiums, be subjected to an extended waiting period, or have their benefits curtailed by insurance companies.” [Healthcare.gov, Accessed 12/30/11]
In 2014, The Affordable Care Act Will Prevent Insurers From Charging Women Higher Premiums Than They Charge Men.“Before the law, women could be charged more for individual insurance policies simply because of their gender. A 22-year-old woman could be charged 150% the premium that a 22-year-old man paid. In 2014, insurers will not be able to charge women higher premiums than they charge men.” [HealthCare.gov, accessed 7/28/11]
Within The First Year, 2.5 Million Young Adults Have Gained Health Coverage Through The Provision Allowing Young Adults Under 26 To Remain On Their Parents’ Insurance,Results released today by the National Center for Health Statistics demonstrate that the extension of dependent coverage up to age 26 has increased the number of young adults with health insurance, by even more than prior analyses had suggested. These new estimates show that from September 2010 to June 2011, the percentage of adults 19 to 25 with insurance coverage increased from 64% to 73%, which translates into 2.5 million additional young adults with coverage. [Department of Health & Human Services, 12/14/11]
ROMNEY HAS BEEN CALLED OUT BY INDEPENDENT FACT CHECKERS FOR SAYING PRESIDENT OBAMA CUT MEDICARE
Politifact Rated Romney’s Claim About Obama And Medicare “False,” Noting That Romney Falsely Implied That Obama Cut Benefits When In Reality, Obama Increased Benefits For Seniors. “Romney said, ‘only one president has ever cut Medicare for seniors in this country and it’s Barack Obama.’ The statement gets it wrong on every front. The Medicare belt was tightened in 1981 and 1982 under Reagan, in 1989 under the first President Bush and again in 1997 under Clinton. So Obama is in no way the only president to cut the program. Further, by specifying that Obama cut Medicare ‘for seniors,’ Romney seems to mean that the president slashed benefits, not just the program’s spending. That’s even more egregious. Other presidents have made changes to Medicare that reduced benefits for seniors, while the health care law Obama signed actually increases them. That’s a lot of inaccuracy in a single sentence. We rate Romney’s statement False.” [PolitiFact.org ,12/12/11]
Associated Press Fact Check: The Affordable Care Act “Strengthens Traditional Medicare” By Improving Preventative Care And Increasing Payments To Primary Care Doctors But Reduces Subsidies To Medicare Advantage. “The law signed by Obama strengthens traditional Medicare by improving preventive care and increasing payments to primary care doctors and nurses serving as medical coordinators, but reduces subsidies to private insurance plans that have become a popular alternative to Medicare.” [Fact Check, Associated Press, 12/12/11]
Associated Press Fact Check: Romney Falsely Attacked President Obama For Taking $500 Billion From Medicare As The Program Was Being Overpaid And House Republicans Voted For The Allocation Change. “MICHELE BACHMANN: Obama ‘stole over $500 billion out of Medicare to switch it over to Obamacare… These are programs that need to be saved to serve people, and in their current form, they can’t.’ ROMNEY: ‘He cut Medicare by $500 billion. This is a Democrat president. The liberal, so to speak, cut Medicare. Not Republicans, the Democrat.’ THE FACTS: ‘Stole’ is a hyperbolic way to describe the kinds of shifts in budget priorities that happen every day in Washington. To pay for expanded insurance coverage, Obama’s health care law cuts $500 billion in payments to the Medicare Advantage program – which a congressional agency said was being overpaid – and to hospitals and nursing homes. Nearly all House Republicans, including Bachmann, later voted for a GOP budget plan that retained the same cuts Obama had made.” [Fact Check, Associated Press, 9/13/11]
PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS TAKEN STEPS TO STRENGTHEN MEDICARE FOR SENIORS, EXTENDING THE LIFE OF MEDICARE, CLOSING THE DOUGHNUT HOLE, PROVIDING FREE PREVENTIVE CARE, AND FIGHTING MEDICARE FRAUD
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT DOES NOT CUT $500 BILLION FROM MEDICARE FOR CURRENT BENEFICIARIES
Factcheck.org Notes That $500 Billion Is A Reduction In The Future Growth Of Medicare Spending Over 10 Years, Not A Slashing Of The Current Budget.“We’ve seen many versions of the claim that the health care bill cuts Medicare by $500 billion.That’s actually a reduction in the future growth of spending over 10 years, not a slashing of the current budget, as we’ve pointed out….The health care law calls for a reduction in the currently projected growth of federal outlays of about 7 percent over the decade.” [Factcheck.org,10/08/10]
The Affordable Care Act Reduces Spending But Those Dollars Are Not Taken Out Of The Current Budget, They Are Not Actual Cuts, And No Currents Benefits Are Eliminated:“The Affordable Care Act does reduce Medicare spending by $500 billion over the next 10 years. But here’s the catch: Those dollars aren’t taken out of the current budget, they are not actual cuts, and nowhere does the bill actually eliminate any current benefits.” [Politifact,11/09/11]
Associated Press: President Obama’s Affordable Care Act “Strengthens Traditional Medicare.”“The law signed by Obama strengthens traditional Medicare by improving preventive care and increasing payments to primary care doctors and nurses serving as medical coordinators.” [Associated Press, 12/12/11]
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT EXTENDS THE SOLVENCY OF MEDICARE PART A TO 2024 AND ACHIEVES SHORT TERM SAVINGS OF $200 BILLION IN MEDICARE THROGH 2016, IMMEDIATELY BENEFITING THE MEDICARE TRUST FUND
The Affordable Care Act Extends The Solvency Of Medicare Part A To 2024, Eight Years Longer Than Without Health Care Reform.“The Medicare Trustees Report released today shows that the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund is expected to remain solvent until 2024, the same as last year’s estimate, but action is needed to secure its long-term future. In 2011, the HI Trust Fund expenditures were lower than expected. Without the Affordable Care Act, the HI Trust Fund would expire 8 years earlier, in 2016. ”[Center For Medicare & Medicaid Services,04/23/12]
The Affordable Care Act Achieves Short-Term Savings Of Over $200 Billion In Medicare Through 2016, Resulting In Immediate Benefit To The Medicare Trust Fund.“The Affordable Care Act: Achieves short-term savings of over $200 billion in Medicare through 2016 according to the independent CMS Actuary…resulting in immediate benefit to the Medicare Trust Fund.” [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services,04/23/12]
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT CLOSES THE DOUGHNUT HOLE IN MEDICARE PART D BY 2020, AND HAS ALREADY REDUCED THE COST OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FOR MILLIONS OF MEDICARE RECIPIENTS
The Affordable Care Act Closes The Prescription Drug Coverage Gap—The “Doughnut Hole”—In Medicare Part D By 2020.“The Affordable Care Act includes benefits to make your Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D) more affordable. It does this by gradually closing the gap in drug coverage known as the ‘Donut Hole.’…the gap is closed in 2020.” [healthcare.gov,08/03/11]
- In 2011, Nearly 3.6 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Who Were In The Medicare Part D Coverage Gap Received Discounts On Prescription Drugs.[Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services, 02/02/12]
- In 2011, Medicare Recipients Have Saved More Than $2.1 Billion Through The Prescription Drug Coverage Gap Discount Program In The Affordable Care Act.[Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services,02/02/12]
- Medicare Recipients In The Prescription Drug Coverage Gap Saved An Average Of $604.[Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services,02/02/12]
THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT HAS ALREADY PROVIDED MORE THAN 25 MILLION AMERICANS IN TRADITIONAL MEDICARE WITH PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE BENEFITS
Under The Affordable Care Act, At Least 25.7 Million Americans In Traditional Medicare Received At Least One Free Preventive Benefit In 2011, Including The New Annual Wellness Visit.“According to preliminary numbers, at least 25,720,996 million Americans took advantage of at least one free preventive benefit in Medicare in 2011, including the new Annual Wellness Visit. This represents 73.3% of Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries.” [Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 02/2012]
Combined With Seniors Enrolled In Medicare Advantage Plans, An Estimated 32.5 Million Medicare Beneficiaries Benefited From Medicare’s Coverage Of Prevention With No Cost Sharing.“This report details how over 25.7 million Americans in traditional Medicare received free preventive services in 2011. In Medicare Advantage, last year 9.3 million Americans – 97 percent of those in individual Medicare Advantage plans – were enrolled in a plan that offers free preventive services. Assuming that Medicare Advantage beneficiaries utilized preventive services at the same rate as beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, an estimated 32.5 million beneficiaries benefited from Medicare’s coverage of prevention with no cost sharing.” [Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services,02/2012]
Romney Confirms He Will Deny Insurance To Millions With Pre-Existing Conditions If Obamacare Is Struck Down
Supporters of Abortion Rights Should Fear a Supreme Court Shaped by Romney [Mother Jones, 6-12-12]
6.6 YOUNG ADULTS HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE, THANKS TO OBAMA CARE
Thanks to the landmark 2010 health care reform law, approxmately, 6.6 million young adults signed up for health coverage through their parents’ insurance plans in the first year after a new provision in the federal health law took effect, according to estimates in a study released late last week. As part of the law, most insurance plans offered by employers to their workers had to allow parents to enroll dependents on their plans up to the age of 26, starting in September 2010. Previously, parents had been able to include children only up to their 19th birthdays, or until the age of 22 if the children were full-time college students [New Nebraska Network, 6/11/12]
Why Romney’s “repeal and replace” plan for Obamacare would fail millions of Americans
Obama for America Policy Director James Kvaal explains why Romney’s “repeal and replace” plan fails to offer anything new or provide the health reforms that will actually provide millions of Americans with affordable, quality care:
Yesterday, Governor Romney repeated something we’d heard before about his “plan” for health care. What he didn’t tell us—and what he’s hoping we don’t realize—is that the centerpiece of his “plan” has actually been the law since 1996.
Romney told us that he wanted to help individuals with pre-existing conditions get coverage. Under his proposal, anyone with a pre-existing condition who has been “continuously insured” should have a way to get coverage if they “lose their jobs or change jobs.” That makes sense to most people, but it’s not a new idea. In fact, it’s a core provision of President Clinton’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which was enacted in 1996.
Under HIPAA, if you have been continuously covered without any lapses—a big if—then you are protected in two ways. First, if you change to a new job with new insurance, then your new plan cannot exclude your pre-existing condition. Second, if you lose your job and run out of COBRA coverage, you have the right to buy coverage without being denied based on a pre-existing condition. Romney’s proposal is the very same thing—protect people with existing insurance when they lose or change jobs.
Today, Romney claims he is opposed to health care mandates because there shouldn’t be a penalty for going without insurance. But under his proposal, the penalty for foregoing insurance is involuntary entry into a life-threatening lottery—if you develop a serious disease while you are between insurance policies, you could be locked out of the private health insurance market.
There’s a reason Romney’s plan is so limited: he’s concerned about “free-riders,” people who would wait to buy insurance until after they got sick. This is something that Romney—and health economists—have been concerned about for years. However, when Romney was governor of Massachusetts, he had a different and far more comprehensive solution to the free-rider problem, which he enacted into law as part of health reform in his state. Under RomneyCare, anyone can buy insurance without being denied or charged more based on a pre-existing condition, and lower- and middle-income families get financial assistance to make insurance affordable. But to prevent free-riders, people who can afford insurance but chose not to buy it have to pay a penalty. That worked well in Massachusetts, and it is the same approach that President Obama took in the Affordable Care Act.
Obamacare and Romneycare protect a lot of people that are left out under the 1996 law and what Mitt Romney is proposing today: people who lose their job and can’t afford COBRA, children who are diagnosed with cancer or autism when their families are uninsured, people who aren’t offered insurance at work and have had no way to afford coverage before, or anyone else who has a gap in coverage. Up to 129 million Americans have a pre-existing condition, and they all deserve protection—and that’s what the Affordable Care Act does.
Addressing coverage and costs
The President’s leadership on the Affordable Care Act has also taken on a number of other problems that Romney would prefer to ignore. Obamacare puts in place reforms that will help cover the uninsured: more than 30 million people will gain health insurance because of the law. Romney’s proposal for the uninsured is to block-grant Medicaid and slash billions of dollars from the program—an approach that independent experts estimate will mean 14 to 27 million fewer people with health insurance.
And perhaps nowhere is the contrast more clear than on addressing health care costs. President Obama’s law takes aim at the rising costs of health care, and puts in place serious reforms that will slow growth and make sure health care remains affordable. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that, because of these aggressive efforts, the health care law will reduce the deficit by more than $100 billion in the first 10 years and more than $1 trillion in the second decade. Romney would repeal all of this and has offered no serious ideas to address the problem. In fact, yesterday—as Governor Romney was repeating his pledge to repeal the health care law—we received some tentative good news about how well the health care law is working. In a report on health care spending, the government’s actuaries estimated that the early reforms in Obamacare have actually reduced total health care spending. And they projected that health care as a share of GDP would remain constant from 2009 to 2013, an unprecedented signal that slowing health care cost growth may become the new normal.
In short, President Obama enacted a law that will help everyone with pre-existing conditions, cover the uninsured, and tackle rising health care costs. Romney would repeal these reforms, leaving health care costs on an unsustainable trajectory, and replace it with a law that has been on the books for more than 15 years.
Reposting this here too. MOFO DOESN’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT. GTFOH
MEDICAID AND THE UNINSURED
What he said: “To help states care for their own uninsured I would take the Medicaid dollars that come with all sorts of strings attached today and send them back to the states along with something known as the DSH money and lets states care for their own people and do what they think is best.”
Why it doesn’t work: Romney says block-granting Medicaid is the way to extend coverage to the uninsured. But block-granting doesn’t help states cover more people; instead it means we have millionsmore uninsured.
• Medicaid is a program that covers low-income uninsured individuals, including pregnant women, children, and people with disabilities. States administer the program, and the federal government pays a significant portion of the costs – between 50% and about 80% depending on the state.
Romney’s plan to block grant Medicaid would cut billions of dollars from the program. He has bragged about cutting Medicaid by $200 billion – a year – by the end of this decade.
• Similar plans to block grant Medicaid in the Ryan budget were evaluated by independent experts. They found that states would have to cut between 14 and 27 million people who currently have Medicaid from the program in order to balance their budgets.
• In other words, Romney’s proposal to “cover the uninsured” would actually result in tens of millions more uninsured people – seniors in nursing homes who outlived their savings, low-income mothers with children, and adults with disabilities, many of whom have nowhere else to turn.
What he said: “What I would do is level the playing field and say individuals can buy insurance on the same tax-advantaged basis that businesses can buy insurance.”
Why it doesn’t work: This is consistent with Romney’s other tax proposals – eliminate protections that benefit middle classand working families, and replace them with benefits for the wealthiest individuals.
• Obamacare provides a valuable tax credit for middle class families that buy insurance on their own, starting in 2014. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the average tax credit will be worth about $4,800. For some families, the tax credit will be worth more than $8,000.
• Romney would repeal this tax credit – and “replace” it with something that provides much less relief for the middle class. For a typical middle class family struggling to afford coverage, Romney’s tax exemption would be worth only 15% of the cost of their insurance, or about $1,500. But for wealthy families, the tax exemption could be worth at least twice as much.
• In sum, Romney would eliminate tax credits for middle class families that actually make a meaningful difference. His alternative is a tax exemption that helps wealthy families the most, and does very little to help people afford coverage.
ACROSS STATE LINES
What he said: “And I want these individuals and businesses to be able to buy insurance across state lines to get the best deal they can get anywhere in the country.”
Why it doesn’t work: “Buying insurance across state lines” has long been a conservative talking point, but it does nothing to help consumers.
• You don’t have to look any further than Romney’s own reforms in Massachusetts to understand why. Under RomneyCare, insurance companies in Massachusetts can’t charge more because of past health conditions, but in most other states that is currently legal (at least until 2014, when Obamacare is implemented).
• But if an insurance company could get around that rule, that’s obviously what they would do. They would move to another state, and go back to increasing prices for kids with ear infections or adults who were once treated for depression. People in Massachusetts wouldn’t be able to buy affordable coverage with the consumer protections their state tried to put in place, because no insurance company would be there to provide it.
• By allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines, all you do is erode state’s ability to protect its own consumers.
What he said: “[L]et’s say someone has been continuously insured and they develop a serious condition and let’s say they lose their job or change jobs. They move and they go to a new place. I don’t want them to be denied insurance because they’ve got some pre-existing condition so we’re going to have to make sure that the law we replace Obamacare with assures that people who have a pre-existing condition who’ve been insured in the past are able to get insurance in the future….”
Why it doesn’t work: When Romney says people who have been “continuously insured” should not be denied coverage for their pre-existing conditions, he is simply defending the status quo.
• If you currently have health insurance, you arealready guaranteed the right to get new coverage without being denied based on a pre-existing condition.
• Since 1996, federal law has provided you two protections if you maintain “continuous coverage.” First, if you change to a new job with new insurance, than your new plan cannot exclude your pre-existing condition. Second, if you lose your job and run out of COBRA coverage, you have the right to buy coverage without being denied based on a pre-existing condition. Romney is not proposing anything that goes beyond thisexisting protection.
• While this protection is already the law, we know it leaves a lot of people without options: people who lose their job and can’t afford COBRA, children who are diagnosed with cancer or autism when their families are uninsured, or anyone else who has a gap in coverage. Up to 129 million Americans have a pre-existing condition, and they all deserve protection. That’s why we must do more, and that’s why Obamacare puts in place a comprehensive plan to help everyone get affordable health care coverage that meets their needs.
I have to thank you for this. the information here is on point, and can’t be said enough as to what WILLARD is all about…and it’s nothing good
Your’e welcome. PASS.IT.ON! Thank you.
Will Millions of Young Americans Benefiting From the ACA Turn Out for Obama?
When Inga Haugen set out to farm two hundred and thirty acres of rolling grass in Canton, Minnesota, she didn’t expect it to be easy. There was the fact that she was a 26-year-old woman in an industry run by graying men. There were the fifty pigs, several cows and nearly 200 chickens to buy and take care of. There was an agreement to be ironed out with her parents, who owned the land, and a tight market for the meat she hoped to sell.
But the obstacle that infuriated her was one she didn’t see coming: the extraordinary cost of obtaining health insurance for herself.
“I don’t gamble,” Haugen says, “except that I farm. You are gambling when you work with critters, with machinery.” As a small-business owner in one of the most dangerous industries in the country, Haugen needed insurance, and her options were dismal. She could reckon with a steer, but insurers deemed Haugen high-risk and overweight, which counted as a pre-existing condition, and sent her premium soaring. “It made me so angry,” she recalls. “Of all the barriers I faced trying to move home to farm, that was the one that rankled the most.” Every year, Haugen paid a fifth of her income to her insurer. She made a go of it for a few years, but stepped back in 2011 to let her two brothers try their luck on the land.