Wednesday, August 22, 2012
How Mitt Romney will hurt today's Seniors.
The Romney-Ryan campaign has been traveling around the country trying to assure senior citizens and those age 55 or older not to worry: no matter what they do to the rest of the country, no problem, because they won't be hurt. I will not blithely set aside the "us vs. them" -- for this is what it amounts to, more efforts at divisive politics. But on top of that, it's not even true. Because Obama's Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") eliminated the prescription donut, that period gap in coverage where Seniors all of a sudden had to start paying a lot more for their pharmaceuticals until their expenditures again rose to a threshold meriting more coverage. Obama did that for Seniors. And when the Romney-Ryan campaign say they want to repeal Obamacare, that means they will get rid of donut-hole coverage. And until they say, specifically, what they will replace Obamacare with, their claim that they will not hurt today's Seniors is unsubstantiated at best.
So yes, Seniors, you have cause to be afraid. Not to mention the whole idea of "us vs. them," and whether or not you can trust a ticket that continually plays fast and loose with the truth.
But it doesn't stop there, Seniors. The New York Times reports that under the Romney-Ryan plan, Medicare's insolvency will happen sooner. Got that? They will expose the visibility of your coverage by accelerating Medicare's insolvency to 2016. I presume most of you are planning to live longer than 2016. And if Medicare becomes insolvent, the pressure will increase to transform it from what you know to something radically different. (Remember, there is no guarantee that a plan mentioned in a won't change; look, for instance, at how Obama has kept Guantanamo open.) And that means no guarantees for you. However, Obamacare's approach is different: instead of rationing benefits, a close scrutinization of treatment will mean the funds are spent more wisely. This is not a reduction in benefits.
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(DISCLOSURE: I work for Abt SRBI. My company does polling. My opinions should not be construed as representing those of my employer.)