Today's headlines feature the latest reports about how the debate over Medicare cuts is shaping up on the campaign trail.
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Survey: Few ACOs Ready For Financial Risk; Don't Change Medicare, Most Republicans Say In Poll; CDC: All Baby Boomers Should Be Tested For Hepatitis C
Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Jenny Gold reports on a new survey about accountable care organizations: "Few hospitals interested in becoming accountable care organizations are ready to take on financial risk, according to a survey released Friday from The Commonwealth Fund" (Gold, 8/16).
Also on Capsules, Jay Hancock reports on the latest Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll: "As Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to overhaul Medicare makes campaign headlines, a majority of Republicans oppose changing the government program for seniors, according to a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.) That could spell trouble for presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his designated running mate Ryan as voters focus on the Wisconsin congressman's 'premium support' plan" (Hancock, 8/16).
In addition, Ankita Rao reports on new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations: "The CDC is calling for all Americans born between 1945 and 1965 to be tested for the Hepatitis C virus as part of expanded recommendations to limit related illnesses and deaths that were released today" (Rao, 8/16). Check out what else is on the blog.
The Washington Post: Mitt Romney, Obama Camp Spar On Medicare Plans
Mitt Romney wants to make the Medicare debate easy to understand. So on Thursday, he pulled out a black marker and stepped toward a trusty white board propped up on a school-room easel here to make a presentation. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee's message was simple: For current seniors under President Obama, he said, Medicare would be cut by $716 billion, and some 4 million people would be kicked off their Medicare Advantage plans. Under Romney, he said, current seniors would see "no adjustments, no changes, no savings" (Rucker, 8/16).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama And Romney Agree There Has To Be A Limit On Medicare; Worlds Apart On How To Do That
President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney agree there has to be a limit to how much seniors pay for Medicare, but they're worlds apart on how to make that happen. You wouldn't know it from the accusations they hurl on the campaign trail, but that is the real heart of the argument between the two leaders and their political parties (8/16).
Los Angeles Times: Romney Maintains Medicare Attack On Obama
Shortly after his chartered plane landed here for the last stop on a two-day fundraising swing across the Deep South, the Republican presidential hopeful stepped before news cameras outside a private air terminal to offer new evidence for how wrong Obama was to slash $716 billion in Medicare spending. "This is going to be a big issue in places where there are a lot of seniors," Romney said, using a black marker to write down a few key points on a white board mounted on an easel (Finnegan, 8/16).
Politico: Mitt Romney Tries To Explain Medicare Stance
Mitt Romney attempted on Thursday to boil down his Medicare plan to a simple explanation: "No change" and "Solvent." Those were the words he scrawled on a whiteboard at a last-minute news conference in Greer, S.C. this afternoon as he attempted to address questions about whether his plan is identical to that of Paul Ryan's. Romney chose Ryan as his running mate last weekend, and the Wisconsin lawmaker is best known for a budget-slashing effort that would convert Medicare into a voucher program for some future seniors (Gibson, 8/16).
The New York Times: Romney Says He Paid At Least 13% In Income Taxes
Now, after Mr. Romney's decision to name Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice-presidential choice, the campaign is instead waging an aggressive battle on Medicare, welfare and Mr. Obama's character. That change in focus can be seen in the campaign's ads and in Mr. Romney's speeches. And it stands in contrast to the approaches of some Republican Congressional candidates, who said Thursday that they intended to wage their own campaigns strictly on economic issues. "We are staying on our message," said Chris Collins, the Republican candidate in New York's 27th District, near Buffalo. Mr. Collins said that Republicans should welcome the Medicare debate, but that in his own campaign, "every time anything comes up, I bring it back to the economy, the economy, Obamacare" (Shear, 8/16).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Says Romney Plan On Medicare Would Raise Costs On Seniors
President Barack Obama is launching his first ad defending his record on Medicare, accusing Republican Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan of undermining the health care program critical to millions of seniors. In a new ad released Friday, Obama's campaign points to the AARP, which said in a letter to lawmakers earlier this year that Ryan's plan to transform Medicare into a voucher-like system would lead to higher costs for seniors. It says Obama's approach would strengthen the program (8/17).