Both parties are casting themselves as protectors of the program, leaving voters to decide which of their plans will best slow the program's cost growth while also protecting seniors.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Can Ryan's Medicare Plan Trim Escalating Costs?
As the frenzy of contentions and attack ads shows, Medicare has emerged as a key issue in the presidential campaign with Republican candidate Mitt Romney's selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate…. The Wisconsin congressman has been the most prominent champion of reining in the program's cost by moving it from a guaranteed set of benefits to a guaranteed annual payment, an approach broadly endorsed by Romney. The idea, which dates to the 1990s, presents voters with a clear test in the ideological divide that now dominates national politics: Who can best slow the growth in the cost of Medicare -- the federal government or private insurance companies? (Boulton, 9/1).
Modern Healthcare: Blog: Lawmaker Courts AARP Hoping For Reversal On Reform
The AARP's support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was seen as a politically critical step in mollifying seniors' concerns about the legislation. Since the law's enactment, the group's support has served as a continuing bulwark against Republican charges that the law will undermine Medicare. And as Medicare has risen to prominence in the presidential campaign with the Republican vice presidential nomination of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the advocacy group for older Americans has again moved to political fore (Zigmond and Daly, 8/31).
Marketplace: Health Care Expert Changes Mind On Vouchers Program
Health care is one of the biggest issues on voters' minds this election. And health care means the Affordable Care Act and Medicare. Of course, Medicare's getting a lot of attention this convention season, because it's the one thing that both President Obama and Governor Romney want to talk about all the time. Henry J. Aaron helped write the Medicare voucher program now championed by Republicans, but has since opposed the program. He's an economist and noted health-care expert at the Brookings Institution. Aaron says that Romney and Ryan are misrepresenting facts about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act in the plan they are proposing (Lazarus, 8/31).
The New York Times: Democrats Say U.S. Is Better Off Than Four Years Ago
While Democrats pointed to polls showing that Mr. Romney appeared to get little polling "bounce" out of his convention, some Democratic strategists here conceded that Republicans had succeeded in muddying the waters on a traditional Democratic strong point, Medicare. ... Many Democrats had assumed the issue would be a major political help to them, but some Democratic strategists said Republican claims that Mr. Obama had cut $716 billion from the program had at least partly neutralized the Democratic advantage (Rutenberg, 9/3).
The Associated Press/Boston Globe: Obama Defends Health Care Law, Attacks Romney
Campaigning his way toward the Democratic National Convention, President Obama slapped a "Romney doesn't care" label on his rival's health care views Sunday and said Republicans want to repeal new protections for millions without offering a plan of their own. The president and vice president campaigned separately across three battleground states as delegates descended on Charlotte, the Democrats' convention city, for two days of partying before their first official meeting Tuesday in the Time Warner Cable Arena. A 25-foot sand sculpture of Obama stood near the arena, made of mine sand from South Carolina (Feller, 9/3).