Conservatives say Dems' characterization of GOP Medicare plan is 'misleading attack'

Republican pundits dispute the description of their plans to overhaul Medicare as as a defined-contribution, rather than a defined-benefit program 'vouchercare,' and say that repealing the health law would spur innovation.

CQ HealthBeat: Is It Fair To Call The GOP Medicare Overhaul 'Vouchercare'?
Conservative health policy analysts mobilized Wednesday to counter what they called "misleading attacks" by Democrats on the use of a premium support system to overhaul Medicare -; a plan the national Republican ticket supports. The attacks "have continued unabated since Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate," Dan Holler, communications director for Heritage Action for America, said in an email Wednesday. "Over the weekend, Vice President Biden dubbed this approach 'vouchercare.'" Is it accurate to call the Medicare overhaul approach Romney and Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., favor a voucher system? Would it actually get rid of traditional Medicare? And would it water down those original Medicare benefits? The answers to all those questions appear to be no. But there's a big "if." Analysts say that to get premium support right and keep traditional Medicare affordable, Republican administrations in the future would have to be willing to abide by a rigorous regulatory approach they may not be philosophically inclined to follow (Reichard, 9/5).

Modern Healthcare: Repeal-And-Replace Key To Spurring Innovation: GOP
The innovation in care delivery that is needed throughout the healthcare system will occur only under the GOP's repeal-and-replace approach, according to conservatives who challenged Democratic criticisms unleashed this week at the Democratic National Convention regarding Republican plans to overhaul Medicare. During a Wednesday call with reporters, conservative health policy experts sought to boost the plans by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and replace it with a variety of health policy changes, including controversial plans to add a subsidized private insurance option to Medicare (Daly, 9/5).

Also in the news, California Healthline looks at what might be at stake for Medicaid -

California Healthline: Too Much Focus On Medicare – And Not Enough On Medicaid?
As the Nov. 6 election draws closer, both parties are seizing on Medicare as a key issue to win swing voters. And based on recent rhetoric, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are either trying to eviscerate the program -- or are our last hope to save it. … But the candidates, their surrogates and even the fact-checkers would agree: The parties are poles apart on their plans for the Medicaid program. Democrats have sought to protect and grow the program; as "Road to Reform" has examined, Medicaid is at the center of Democrats' health reform law. The ACA contains the most significant Medicaid changes in a generation -- new standardized requirements, additional federal payments, and an eligibility expansion that could add as many as 16 million uninsured Americans to the program. Enrollment in California's Medi-Cal program alone is projected to grow by nearly two million within the next seven years. However, Republicans plan to move the Medicaid program in the opposite direction (Diamond, 9/5).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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