For months, Mitt Romney and Republicans have criticized Obama about his healthcare plans for seniors that has been given the name “Obamacare.” Republicans have said it would be extremely costly to Americans and that it would be more harmful than beneficial.
The president is currently in Florida campaigning and is trying to reach out to seniors for votes. The hope is to show them that the healthcare that the Democrats are offering is better and more cost effective than what the Republicans want to implement. Obama was expected to discuss a study made by a Democratic leaning group that concluded the average person who retires in 2023 at the age of 65 would end up paying $59,500 more for health coverage during the time of their retirement under Romney’s plan. So, which plan would be better for seniors; “Obamacare” or “Vouchercare?”
For those who support Obama, the frustration level must have been considered high in that Mitt Romney and the Republicans loved throwing around the word “Obamacare” that was synonymous for his healthcare insurance plans. With the latest study the president has displayed recently, Joe Biden has given a name to Romney and Ryan’s healthcare plan, which he calls “Vouchercare.”
Besides the study showing figures about those who retire in 2023, it also goes further to state that the numbers are higher for younger Americans who will plan on retiring later in life. A person who is 48-years-old and qualifies for Medicare in 2030, would see a large increase of $124,600 in costs for Medicare over their retirement period. Obama was quick to point out at a rally at the Florida Institute of Technology how the Republicans plan would be more costly than his.
He said, “One report just said that by the end of the next decade, our opponent’s plan would mean $16 billion and $26 billion for insurance companies. So basically, your costs would rise by thousands, so their profit can rise by billions.”
One issue people might have with this study is it was done by David Cutler, a Harvard professor as well as a health policy expert that served in not only the Clinton administration but was the top health care advisor for Obama during his 2008 campaign. The professor did the study for the liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund. No doubt Cutler will be looked upon as a partisan figure; however, advisers for Obama are intent on concentrating on the differences between what the president wants to do and the overhaul Romney wants to do with Medicare.
Romney’s campaign blasted Obama for fixating on the study as it shows an inaccurate picture of how Romney plans on overhauling Medicare. The actual plan, put forth by GOP vice president nominee Paul Ryan in 2011, calls for the federal government to provide for each senior with a fixed payment to begin at $8,000 in 2022 to buy health care on the open market, and the voucher payment would grow with inflation. The catch is that a Congressional Budget Office analysis of Ryan’s proposal suggests that health care costs would go up quicker than inflation, which would lead to seniors having to pay more for their health care costs. However, the Romney campaign argues that the CBO findings does not take into account potential benefits of competition between insurance providers that they feel will be spurred by the voucher process.
Both campaign’s go back and forth as to validate why their healthcare will work while their opponent’s plan will fail. As Election Day draws near, one wonders if the candidates will focus on only the fate of Medicare or will other topics be thrown in public debate. For those who are uncertain about which healthcare plan would be successful, the only solution I can offer you at the moment is to win the lottery.