Since the passage of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, healthcare has been one of the most important, and contentious, issues for politicians and voters.
Mitt Romney has been fighting “Obamacare” for some time, mainly from his Republican rivals during the primary season, as his healthcare plan in Massachusetts served as the basic model for Barack Obama’s. If that weren’t enough, Democrats then got up in arms after Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. That’s because Ryan’s proposed budget plan would dramatically change the way Medicare for seniors is managed and funded through the introduction of insurance vouchers, which could end up costing seniors $6,400 more on average.
Democrats are pounding Republicans, Romney and Ryan on these numbers, but they are being attacked for Obama’s proposed $716 billion in cuts as part of the Affordable Care Act.
And then there’s Medicaid coverage, which would grow under Obama’s plan, and likely decrease under the Romney/Ryan model, as Ryan’s proposal converts federal payments to fixed-dollar block grants to be doled out according to the discretion of individual states.
Are the two parties fairly or unfairly characterizing the healthcare proposals of one another? What would happen to Obamacare if Romney is elected? How will these nuanced issues play out and affect the rest of the campaign? Which side has the winning argument? Florida has quite a good deal of seniors and elderly on Medicare, will the issue be covered in depth at the convention?
Tammy Frisby, Advisor to Mitt Romney; Hoover Institution Fellow specializing in health care and tax policy; Professor of American Politics, Stanford University
Dan Adcock, director of government relations and policy, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare