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Sun Sep 16, 2012, 12:40 AM

ProPublica - "Where the Candidates Stand on Medicare and Medicaid"

Here is a serious, sober and sometimes scary look at the positions of President Obama and Romney on Medicare and Medicaid. This just underscores how much Romney and Ryan are lying when they say they are trying to "save" Medicare and Medicaid.

http://www.propublica.org/article/where-the-candidates-stand-on-medicare-and-medicaid?google_editors_picks=true

The Obama administration has also made moves that it says would keep Medicare afloat. It says the Affordable Care Act would extend solvency by eight years, mainly by imposing tighter spending controls on Medicare payments to private insurers and hospitals.

In contrast, Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate, has proposed a more fundamental overhaul of Medicare, which he says is on an “unsustainable path.” On his campaign website, Romney says that Ryan’s proposals “almost precisely mirrors” his ideas on Medicare. But he’s been fuzzy on other aspects of the plan.

A Romney-Ryan administration would replace a defined benefits system with a defined contribution system in which seniors are given federal vouchers to purchase health insurance in a newly created private marketplace known as Medicare Exchange. In this marketplace, private health plans, along with traditional Medicare, would compete for enrollees’ business. These changes wouldn’t start until 2023, meaning current beneficiaries aren’t affected – just those under 55.

Under the Romney-Ryan, the vouchers would be valued at the second-cheapest private plan or traditional Medicare, whichever costs less. Seniors who opt for a more expensive plan would pay the difference. If they choose a cheaper plan, they keep the savings.

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