Mark Meadows’ Medicare ProblemBy
Meadows shocked the district last week when he announced his support for Paul Ryan’s plan ending Medicare as we know it and instituting a voucher program. NYT:
“…one of the biggest challenges facing the Republican ticket this year: countering the Democrats’ longstanding advantage as the party more trusted to deal with Medicare.
At the heart of the conflict is the proposal backed by Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan to change the way Medicare works in an effort to drive down health care costs and keep the program solvent as the population ages. Under their plan, retirees would get a fixed annual payment from the government that they could use to buy traditional Medicare coverage or a private health insurance policy. Supporters say the change would hold expenses down by introducing more competition into the system.
Critics say the fixed payments might not keep up with rising insurance costs and could leave older Americans facing cutbacks in care or paying more out of their own pockets. Democrats contend that Medicare’s rising costs can be held down within the existing system.
Conservative Democrat Hayden Rogers has been hearing from constituents on this:
A group of seniors — Democrats and some unaffiliated voters — met with Democratic congressional candidate Hayden Rogers at the Haywood County Public Library on Friday. He is running against Republican Mark Meadows in the 11th District.
The group as a whole opposed any move to privatize Medicare through vouchers.
“It really scares us,” one lady in the crowd of about 30 people said when Rogers asked the group about proposed changes by Republicans like Mitt Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan.
This issue could be the one that decides the election. Adding complications is the Meadows campaign insistence on parroting a discredited Republican talking point about the Affordable Care Act. You’ve heard it before. Politifact:
…Obama “funneled” $716 billion out of Medicare “at the expense of the elderly.” This gives a very misleading impression.
In fact, the law limits payments to health care providers and insurers to try to reduce the rapid growth of future Medicare spending. Lawmakers said they hoped the measures would improve care and efficiency. Those savings, spread out over the next 10 years, are then used to offset costs created by the law (especially coverage for the uninsured) so that the overall law doesn’t add to the deficit. Ryan’s statement is exaggerated and we rate it Mostly False.
Mark Meadows backing the Ryan Plan is unsurprising, as Mr. Meadows has a viewpoint that embraces other fringe concepts like Agenda 21 and, for a brief time, Birtherism. The question is whether Mr. Meadows extreme views will win him a majority in November.