The Romney/Ryan campaign is pushing the meme that their voucher proposal for Medicare doesn’t go into effect for those 55 or over so seniors and near seniors do not have to be concerned about these changes. At the same time most of the Democratic responses to Romney/Ryan focus on the voucher aspect of their plan with the label “it ends Medicare as we know it”. What this means is the Democrats seem to be giving up the argument that current seniors should not have to worry about Romney/Ryan. Even the Obama website does not provide a handout on how to answer this question although there is a good video by Stephanie Cutter that covers some of the issues.
As a senior who is helping take care of my almost 99 year old mother I am sensitive to this issue. So here is my answer to the question, are seniors impacted by Romney/Ryan budget plans? Yes, because they also want to eliminate ObamaCare. Under the Romney/Ryan budget:
- The donut hole is re-created – The elimination of ObamaCare will cost seniors thousands of dollars for prescription care in the “donut hole”
- Free Preventive care is eliminated– Elimination of ObamaCare cuts free preventive care for seniors
- Medicaid for seniors is cut – Romney/Ryan call for major cuts in Medicaid. While only 15% of seniors are on Medicaid, the majority of all nursing home residents are on Medicaid. What that says is that while they may not use it while they are healthy, once they end up in a nursing home most seniors will be dependent on Medicaid.
- Medicare is at risk in 2016 – ObamaCare extended the self-sufficiency of Medicare by 8 years by lowering costs from providers who would be compensated by additional insured payments under ObamaCare. Paul Ryan made the cuts in his budget, but doesn’t enable the providers to get whole with additionally insured. The result will be that they will not be able to afford the Medicare cuts.
Keep these four basic points in mind when you talk to seniors about why they should be worried if Romney and Ryan get elected.