Spots reveal Medicare politics
June 6th, 2011
10:11 AM ET
3 years ago

Spots reveal Medicare politics

(CNN) - The politics of Medicare continued Monday with two new web videos reiterating the arguments on both sides of the aisle over entitlement reform.

The minute and a half spot from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee singled out Republican representatives who voted for the budget plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, which passed in the House and failed in the Senate. The DCCC said it has a paid advertising campaign scheduled for later in the week.

One voter in the spot said Ryan's budget would "totally dismantle and destroy Medicare as we know it today," while another said Medicare is responsible for curing her cancer.

The Ryan budget included a plan to overhaul Medicare for those 55 and under by offering subsidies for seniors to use private health insurance instead of the government paying directly for medical costs. Congress returns Monday amid ongoing budget negotiations.

DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel of New York rounded out the video by urging supporters to "join our fight."

"I've been paying into Medicare all my working life," Israel said. "I voted to protect Medicare."

An ad from the conservative leaning 60 Plus Association, which posted Friday, blamed politicians for the program's demise. The group said the ad will run on TV at a later date.

"Washington politicians have broken that promise, bankrupting Medicare while telling us not to worry," the ad said. "Empty promises don't work, we must save Medicare. Make it secure and even stronger for future generations."

"Tell Congress, no more empty promises."


Filed under: Congress • DCCC • Medicare • Paul Ryan
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    The intent of RyanCare is dismantle Medicare and create a new industry of insurance companies taking a cut before the funds reach the parties providing health care to seniors. I do not see how inserting a middle man into the money stream saves money for the government. I do not see how or why a senior should have to go out and deal with insurance companies that have only their own best interests (read death panels) and profits in mind, not our seniors. Such a scheme is in the best interest of insurance companies, not our seniors at the time of the need for the greatest amount of assistance.

    June 6, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. kakaraka

    Yeah right, these republicans are waccoos. Protect medicare by eliminating it in the first place. That is not protect medicare but simply get rid of it. That's what republicans want to do. So elect democrats to protect medicare people.

    June 6, 2011 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. dan

    Medicare was never intended to support those 55 and under. People that could, no, should be working sit at home and watch TV. These same people are healthy enough to pop out serveral kids and also draw services for them as well and collect child support. What a rip off. The 55 and under needs to be fix. And that my friends is real change.

    June 6, 2011 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Jay

    That's right. Hit them back. Regain the House, hold the WH and Senate. Let sanity continue.

    June 6, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  5. kyle

    Can you imagine what the premiums would look like for some of these senior citizens if medicare was privatized.

    June 6, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The republican answer to the huge debt they created by giving tax cuts to the wealthy and unfunded wars is to make seniors and the middle class pay for republican ignorance and arrogance. They give big oil tax breaks and pay for it with money from those who can least afford it.

    June 6, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There are better ways to reform Medicare. Having a voucher system doesn't work because there are many seniors who have "pre-existing" conditions and might not be able to get care. As they get more problems, the cost goes up, and they could only afford so much with the proposed vouchers. It wouldn't work or just leave seniors without a way to pay for medical insurance.

    June 6, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    The worst part of RyanCare Plan is that it makes no attempt to balance the budget for 30-40 years. Republicans want to destroy the heart and soul the middle class jobs; the blue collar union job, the manufacturing job at a small town facility, the firemen (make every unit volunteer), the policemen (everyone is their own militia), the teachers (privatize education through voucher lotteries to attend private schools). The Ryan Plan has corporate profit written in, and middle class written out.

    June 6, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    kyle wrote:
    Can you imagine what the premiums would look like for some of these senior citizens if medicare was privatized.
    ---------
    The answer is nothing. Most seniors probably would not even be offered insurance under the Republican vision.

    June 6, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Steve in Denver

    @Dan: You should try to increase your comprehension. No one is proposing to extend medicare to those under 55. You may be confusing this with medicaid.

    The age of 55 is the threshhold for the ryan plan. Everyone 55 or older gets medicare, when they turn 65, everyone else gets thrown to the insurance companies with a voucher which, even in today's dollars, woudl be short of the expected premium. The voucher amount doesn't change. In the ten years until the ryan plan would take effect, seniors would be expected to be over $10k short of what they would need.

    June 6, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  11. Fair is Fair

    Rudy said

    "I do not see how inserting a middle man into the money stream saves money for the government."

    Typically, I would agree with you, Rudy (shock). But we're talking about a massively bloated government bureaucracy where fraud and abuse are rampant – so much so that the ACA expects to cut $500 Billion out of Medicare, right? That $500 Billion is FAR more than a "middle man" as you say are going to make "in the money stream".

    June 6, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  12. ThinkAgain

    Fair is Fair: Medicare "fraud and abuse are rampant."

    That's the fault of unscrupulous providers – like Florida Gov. Rick Scott, whose company, hospital giant Columbia/HCA, paid a record $1.7 billion in fines, penalties and damages for Medicare fraud.

    That's where a huge amount will be saved – by going after providers like Scott and others who have no problem simultaneously complaining about the government while ripping them off.

    June 6, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    dan: Medicare kicks in at 55; Medicaid is for low-income and disabled people. And if you think that not providing medical care for those covered by Medicaid is the way to go, I suggest you visit a third-world country where these kinds of social services are not available.

    If the human suffering doesn't get to you, then perhaps the logic of paying less now is better than paying more later will make some sense.

    June 6, 2011 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  14. ThinkAgain

    P.S. to my comment about Florida Gov. Rick Scott:

    When someone like Scott rips off our government by defrauding it, WE ALL PAY. Next time you go to the polls, think about the candidates and whether they hold our government in contempt – which will lead them to ripping YOU off – or as something that should serve us, THE TAXPAYERS.

    June 6, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. bb

    The GOP IS the death panel we should be watching out for.

    June 6, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    Rudy said

    "I do not see how inserting a middle man into the money stream saves money for the government."

    Typically, I would agree with you, Rudy (shock). But we're talking about a massively bloated government bureaucracy where fraud and abuse are rampant – so much so that the ACA expects to cut $500 Billion out of Medicare, right? That $500 Billion is FAR more than a "middle man" as you say are going to make "in the money stream".
    ---------------–
    I don't see your meaning or point. The Ryan Plan is actually a design to 'repeal and replace' the ACA in disguise. It would be nearly impossible for them to co-exist. The $500B bite out of Medicare is to be used to supplement an insurance pool to cover those outside of the system, who are being turned down for insurance but have some means to pay for it. There are many who are currently on Medicare for the simple reason that no one else will pick them up; people with some means to pay for some of their health insurance costs. They Ryan Plan does not apply pressure to lower the cost of actually providing health services. WE currently have a system that applies pressure to constantly raise the costs charged to customers to cover the costs of the uninsured.

    June 6, 2011 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. diridi

    GOP has ruined the nation, now your Medicare, and Social security....by privatizing....you decide, and vote any Dems.....o.k, god bless....Non of the GOP and Tea party thugs are trust worthy....believe me...a very educated....

    June 6, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  18. Poser

    Fair is Fair

    Rudy said

    "I do not see how inserting a middle man into the money stream saves money for the government."

    Typically, I would agree with you, Rudy (shock). But we're talking about a massively bloated government bureaucracy where fraud and abuse are rampant – so much so that the ACA expects to cut $500 Billion out of Medicare, right? That $500 Billion is FAR more than a "middle man" as you say are going to make "in the money stream".

    @Fair is Fair
    Do you realize the health insurance industry is a huge bureaucracy whos goal is
    to take as much money as possible from their consumers and pay out as little as
    possible?

    The $500 Billion number you cite is over ten years. That's 50 billion a year.
    It sounds like a lot until you go and look at the financial reports for the
    big health insurance companies (google finance is your friend). The Affordable
    Health Care Act requires the insurance companies pay out at least 80% of what
    they collect in premiums. That's an 'overhead by the middle man' of 20%. If
    you do the math and calculate 20% of their 2-3 trillion per year income, the
    numbers are HUGE.

    In addition to the raw numbers, if Obamacare was repealed the health insurance
    companies would be allowed to refuse coverage or drop coverage. How many
    seniors do you think would be refused or dropped because they're no longer
    profitable? All of us will eventually have costly health problems and that's
    the reason Medicare was created.

    June 6, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Phil

    I agree that Ryan was an idiot to give additional tax breaks to the rich as part of his plan. However, Medciare does need to change dramatically if we want to continue to provide government-funded health care to seniors. We simply can no longer afford Medicare in its current form. I'm open to what these changes may be, but please don't continue to think that no change is required. Benefits must decrease or taxes must increase. Our debt is barely manageable right now. What will it be like when a majority of the baby boomers retire and drain even more money from Medicare and Social Security programs?

    June 6, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |