What happens to seniors under the Romney/Ryan plan for Medicare?

John Calhoun

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:

  1. The donut hole is re-created – The elimination of ObamaCare will cost seniors thousands of dollars for prescription care in the “donut hole”
  2. Free Preventive care is eliminated– Elimination of ObamaCare cuts free preventive care for seniors
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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    My mother is in Medicaid funded Alzheimer's care like many, many seniors. Under Romney Ryan the federal mandate for these seniors is ended and states will be free to kick them to curb if they can't find the money to replace the loss of Fed. Medicaid funds.

    As for all you 55 and under. Ryan Romney are coming for your Medicare Card. They are going to replace it with a partial voucher. So try to feel good about paying for todays seniors care, while knowing you are never going to have it and with it the federal guarantee of medical coverage. Out of pocket expenses will start at $6500 and counting so that Ryan's tax plan can be implemented and Romney's tax rate can to to below 1%. That knowledge should make you feel more than compensated.

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    Addendum: Under Ryan Romney if you are a senior needing nursing care and qualify for Medicaid, and are lucky enough to receive it after everything has been rationed, you can feel good knowing that the spousal survival provision protecting your home is gone and your surviving spouse will be totally impoverished because Ryan Romney are getting rid of that protection.

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    Oh, and for those of you between 55 and 65 Romney wants to raise the start date for Medicare until 67, as if you can get other insurance in your 60's so make sure you don't lose your job between now and age 67.

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    Romney advisors admit he would cut benefits to current seniors: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/08/surrogates-admit-romney-will-cut-medicare-benefits-for-current-seniors.php

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    Millions of low-income seniors are duel-elgibles who rely on Medicare and Medicaid. These folks are the sickest and poorest of the Medicare and Medicaid population. These folks are homebound disabled and elderly nursing home patients. Thankfully Obama believes in helping the most impoverished in our country.

    If Romney/Ryan are elected one of their first acts will be repealing Obamacare and dumping healthcare costs on the states in the form of block grants, with a 34% reduction in federal support for Medicaid.

    This is not the year to sit out a presidential election. We need extreme voting not the extreme social positions of the Right.

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    Thanks for the clarity of this John, & commenters.

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