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The Case For Re-Electing Obama, Part 3: Seniors

By The Reverend Published: October 31, 2012

Among swing state voters 65 and older, Mitt Romney leads Barack Obama by roughly 10 percentage points....even though Obama leads overall in most of those same swing states. Voters often vote against their own interests....for ideological reasons, for prejudicial reasons, for religious reasons, etc....but seniors leaning Romney rather than Obama defies all logic.

While Mitt Romney would jeopardize the solvency of Medicare by pushing Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)......Obama, through the ACA, has extended Medicare's solvency for 8 more years. It would seem to me that seniors...on Medicare....would prefer extending Medicare's solvency rather than shortening it.

The biggest lie of the Romney/Republican campaign has been that through passage of the ACA Obama has cut Medicare benefits to seniors by the tune of $716 billion. The L.A. Times reports....

The president’s healthcare law does reduce future spending on Medicare, but those savings are obtained by reducing federal payments to insurance companies, hospitals and other providers, and do not affect benefits for people in the Medicare program.

Obama's ACA does not cut benefits to seniors on Medicare. Instead, by negotiating savings from providers, insurance companies and hospitals, the ACA EXTENDS the solvency of Medicare for 8 years.

And for those who might be saying..."but what about Medicare Advantage? Obama is killing Medicare Advantage"......consider this...

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage has jumped by 28% since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, federal health officials said Wednesday.

Premiums have dropped by 10%, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced.

The solvency of Medicare extended by 8 years through Obamacare.....no benefits cut for seniors....AND Medicare Advantage premiums down and enrollment up. In case you are wondering.....those are all positive accomplishments for the sake of seniors.

Mitt Romney would...."on Day One".....repeal all of those accomplishments for seniors.

While those 55 and older are promised that they will still be entitled to traditional Medicare under a Romney/Ryan presidency.....those under 55 will see Medicare turned into a voucher program, with government voucher payments each year paying for less and less medical coverage.

A senior vote for Romney is a vote against those under 55. R&R are pitting the senior demographic against the "not quite senior" demographic in an egregious spectacle of class warfare. Why seniors would vote to increase the costs of medical coverage for their future-senior children and grandchildren is just one of many unexplainable mysteries in Mitt's current 10% advantage among senior voters.

The two presidential candidates plans for Medicaid should provide senior voters all the evidence they need to make an informed choice next Tuesday. Obamacare expands Medicaid to cover approximately 30 million more Americans with medical coverage who currently have little-to-no health insurance. Mr. Romney would repeal Obamacare with it's Medicaid expansion....and block grant Medicaid to the states instead.

Medicaid provides medical coverage for our poorest citizens. 31 million of those poorest citizens are children.

There’s no doubt that block-granting Medicaid would mean health care rationing and outright denials for kids,” said Lesley (First Focus analyst).

Mr. Romney's plan to block grant Medicaid.....

...would increase (Medicaid expenditures) annually at the rate of inflation, with adjustments for population growth, a rate far below that of inflation for health care costs. As a result, states, which have said that they cannot afford to keep up with the program’s costs, are likely to scale back coverage. Such a reduction, critics fear, could have a disproportionate effect on Medicaid spending for nursing home care for the elderly or disabled.

So, who would be hurt the most by block granting Medicaid?

According to the Congressional Budget Office, in the 2010 fiscal year, 77 percent of people enrolled in Medicaid were children and families, while 23 percent were elderly or disabled. But 64 percent of Medicaid spending was for older Americans and people with disabilities, while 36 percent went to children and families.

And as President Clinton recently stated....

"They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming ten years. Of course that's gonna really hurt a lot of poor kids. But that's not all. Lot of folks don't know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid.."

The elderly poor, the disabled, and children of poorer parents would suffer the most by block granting Medicaid....yet that is Romney's plan for Medicaid.

On the other hand, Obama's expansion of Medicaid in Obamacare adds millions to the eligibility rolls of the program....including millions of our poorest seniors.

Finally, Obamacare cuts the "donut hole" for seniors in half. That is no small deal for struggling seniors facing ever-increasing pharmacy prices. Mr. Romney's repeal of Obamacare would open up the donut hole, costing seniors dearly in the process.

Considering both proposals.....Obamacare....and Romney's promised repeal of Obamacare....which plan helps seniors more and which plan hurts seniors more? The data seems clear.

If you are a senior citizen, Barack Obama deserves your vote to re-elect.

 

 

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