COSTELLO: The Romney campaign rolling out yet another commercial blasting President Obama for stripping the work requirement out of welfare. Republicans are expected to attack the President on that point at their convention, too, but is it true? Our fact checker Tom Foreman has been sifting through the evidence.
CLINTON: Join me as I sign the welfare reform bill.
FOREMAN: Welfare reform was a big bipartisan success story in the mid-1990s. Signed by Bill Clinton, it fulfilled is promises by the Democratic President and the Republican Congress to push welfare recipients to work in exchange for their benefits – to end welfare as we know it. So the idea of another Democratic President, Barack Obama, taking the work requirement off of the table is political dynamite. Right?
AD: On July 12th, President Obama quietly ended the work requirement gutting welfare reform. One of the most respected newspapers in america called it nuts.
FOREMAN: The problem is, President Obama calls this claim nuts.
OBAMA: Every single person here who’s looked at it says it’s patently false.
FOREMAN: So where did this come from, this notion of a giant change in welfare rules? Oddly enough, it did not originate here in Washington, but rather out in the country. Several states, including some with Republican governors asked the federal government for more flexibility in how they hand out welfare dollars. Specifically, they want to spend less time on federal paperwork and more time experimenting with what they hope will be better ways of getting people connected to jobs. So the administration has granted waivers from some of the existing rules.
OBAMA: Giving them, those states some flexibility in how they manage their welfare rolls as long as it produced 20 percent increases in the number of people who are getting work.
FOREMAN: That might in a small way change precisely how work is calculated, but the essential goal of pushing welfare recipients to work remains in place. That’s pretty much it. This is clearly not an effort by the President to kill off the welfare work requirements. That’s why even some Republicans backed away. Governor Romney’s claim doesn’t work. And we rate it false. Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
And check out this piece on the FACT about MEDICAID under a Romney-Ryan plan:
But What About Medicaid?
Ed Kilgore reminds us that, even with Medicare somewhat protected under the Romney-Ryan plan, all is not peachy for seniors, especially poor ones:
More than two-thirds of America’s nursing home residents—two-thirds—are having their basic needs met by Medicaid. So with federal Medicaid funding being cut an estimated one-third over the next decade if Ryan gets his way (not cuts likely to be offset by the typically Republican leadership in the states most affected, who are already whining they can’t afford their current costs), and Romney apparently even more inclined to aggressively follow the block, cap and dump approach, it’s going to get tough fast for lower-income seniors.
Harold Pollack likewise focuses on seniors covered by both Medicaid and Medicare:
Dual-eligibles are the sickest, poorest, and most vulnerable segment of the Medicare population. Medicaid spends billions on nursing home and long-term care for the dual-eligible population. It pays for many other things, too. It helps dual-eligibles by covering Medicare Part B premiums, copayments, and deductibles that they couldn’t otherwise afford. It also covers essential services such as dental care that Medicare doesn’t cover, but that elderly and disabled people need.
And just to keep reminding folks about the Akin-Romney-Ryan stance on Abortion: