Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have called for curbing the growing costs of Medicare by making major changes to the program. Their plan would change Medicare for people who are now under 55 so that when they are eligible for coverage they would no longer receive a government-guaranteed, fee-for-service health plan but rather a fixed amount of money each year that they would use to purchase private health insurance or buy into a version of the existing Medicare program. But they have not provided enough details of their plan to assess how much it might increase out-of-pocket costs for future beneficiaries. Mr. Obama has pledged to preserve Medicare in its current form, but has spoken less about its rising costs.
Video: Vice President Joe Biden on Medicare – Blacksburg, VA
Virginia Senate Candidates Face Tough Issues Beyond Medicare, While Key California House Races Are Shaped By It
Politico (Video): Baldwin Raises $4.6M In Third Quarter, Attacks Thompson For HHS Role Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin took in just under $4.6 million for her campaign during the third quarter of 2012, a campaign source tells POLITICO… Baldwin’s Republican opponent, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, hasn’t yet released his most recent fundraising information, though his campaign told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he has raised between $2 million and $3 million since the primary. Balwin is putting some of her cash toward attacking the Republican on the airwaves for his role in the Bush-era Medicare Part D law. In an ad set for release today, Baldwin says that as secretary of health and human services, Thompson “cut a sweetheart deal with drug companies while working for George Bush, making it illegal for Medicare to negotiate lower prices. Then Tommy made millions at a DC lobbying firm working for drug companies.” That’s of a piece with the messaging Democrats have used to tear down Thompson since he entered the general election as a perceived front-runner over the summer (Burns, 10/15).
Romney University 103: What Mitt Romney’s Medicare changes mean for Virginia
In Virginia more than 559,753 seniors who rely on their Medicare benefits receive one or more preventive services–such as cancer screenings, diabetes testing, and bone density scans–free of charge through their Medicare plan. This is saving Virginia seniors money each year and also providing them with the care needed to protect their health.
Workers can’t be silent about the “fiscal showdown”
For the Dec. 10 Day of Action, we sang holiday carols with lyrics changed to be about our “Jobs, Not Cuts” message. It was hard for us to walk and sing at first — we were like the seven dwarfs at the beginning of “Snow White” when they’re falling all over each other. Eventually we got the hang of it and I think people enjoyed watching and listening to us.
Hospitals facing financial hit
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Obama Would Better Handle Medicare, Swing State Voters Say in Polls
According to “The Caucus,” the challenge for Obama is that Medicare is a stronger motivator for older voters than for younger voters. Medicare was chosen as the top campaign issue by 20% of Florida voters over age 65, compared with just 3% of voters under age 55 (Cooper/Kopicki, “The Caucus,” New York Times, 11/1).
Medicare Eligibility Switch Could Cost W.Va. Dearly
“Absolutely … it would impact the plan, and we would have to do something to offset that cost,” Cheatham said of delaying Medicare eligibility. Cheatham said any such increase would have to be offset in one of three ways, or some combination of them: increased funding from the Legislature; higher premiums for beneficiaries; and/or a decrease in benefits in the form of higher deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket maximums.
Aging & Law in West Virginia: Medicare Premiums and Deductibles 2013
Part A generally pays inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health. Most beneficiaries do not pay a premium for Part A since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. Part B generally pays a portion of the cost of physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. Here below are the premiums, deductibles, and copays for Medicare Parts A and B for 2013:
Chip Cravaack for Congress
Democrat Plan Means An “Immediate 17-Percent Reduction” In Benefits Or “Immediate 24-Percent Increase” In Taxes: “The long-range financial imbalance could be addressed in several different ways. In theory, the standard 2.90-percent payroll tax and the additional tax 0.9-percent tax on high-income earners could be immediately increased by the amount of the actuarial deficit to 3.69 percent, or expenditures could be reduced by a corresponding amount. Note, however, that these changes would require an immediate 24-percent increase in the tax rate or an immediate 17-percent reduction in expenditures.” (pp. 28-29, “2011 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds,” The Boards of Trustees of the Federal Hospital Insurance and Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds, 5/13/2011)