With less than a hundred days to go until the presidential election takes place in November, both sides of the political aisle are clamoring to attack their opponents on all sorts of issues, including one that’s very important to seniors and the senior care industry: Medicare.
On the one hand, Democrats argue that Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) budget proposal transforms the Medicare program by turning it into a “premium support,” or voucher, system where enrollees are given a set amount of money to purchase their own private health insurance plans.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is firing back, pointing out that President Barack Obama’s comprehensive healthcare reform bill, the Affordable Care Act, gets a significant portion of funding through cuts to Medicare—to the tune of $716 billion.
“That $716 billion figure is one you’ll probably be hearing a lot about during this election cycle,” writes the Washington Post. “It’s worth understanding where it comes from and what the spending reductions mean for the Medicare program.”
Chart Credit: Washington Post, 2012
The largest chunk of cuts comes from reducing reimbursements to hospitals and private health insurance companies, notes the Washington Post. That’s followed by a reduction in how much Medicare reimburses private Medicare Advantage plans, while the remaining cuts are a combination of reductions to Medicare’s Disproportionate Share Payments (additional reimbursements given to hospitals who care for more uninsured patients than average), lower payments to home health providers, and others.
Check out the Washington Post article here.
Written by Alyssa Gerace