Everyone Has An Opinion About Dems’ NY Victory Impact On Medicare, Politics
The New York Times: Running On Medicare The Right Way
Sooner or later, Democrats will have to admit that Medicare cannot keep running as it is - its medical costs are out of control ... not all Medicare cuts are the same. Democrats don't like to admit this, but President Obama's health care law reduces Medicare spending by more than $500 billion through 2019. ... The subject is so confusing to voters that Republicans have used these cuts to suggest that everyone wants to cut Medicare. That's why Nancy Pelosi prefers a more simplistic pitch: "We have a plan. It's called Medicare" (5/25).
The Wall Street Journal: The GOP's New York Spanking
[Republicans] need a better explanation for the Ryan plan, but more than that they need a strategy to go on offense. One place to start is by attacking the Democratic plan to cut Medicare via political rationing. ... reformers can't let Democrats separate Medicare from the larger issue of exploding debt and economic prosperity. Republicans will lose an entitlement debate every time if it's only about austerity. They need to link Medicare reform, and spending cuts generally, to faster growth and rising incomes (5/26).
The Miami Herald: Looking For Medicare Solutions, Not Politics As Usual
For me, Medicare is not a political talking point. My parents immigrated to the United States in the late 1950s. ... But they never made much money. As a result, they retired with precious little in savings. Medicare was and is the only way they could access healthcare. . But Medicare is going bankrupt. ... the sooner we begin to deal with it, the better off we are all going to be (Sen. Marco Rubio, 5/25).
USA Today: Our View: 'Mediscare' Won't Save Medicare
Surely Republicans can no longer be confident that the health care issue they exploited last year will carry them to victory in 2012. ... Just as surely, Democrats know that the simple math of health care will eventually shred the social safety net they seek to protect. Demonization of the Ryan plan might be a short-term political winner, but unless the Democrats propose a viable money-saving alternative, the future of Medicare might be the least of their problems (5/25).
USA Today: Opposing View: Don't Touch Medicare
Members of Congress have a choice: Keep our promise to seniors or cut the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil and tax breaks for multimillionaires and billionaires. Democrats choose seniors. ... Democrats offered to engage with Republicans in a constructive and responsible negotiation to strengthen, improve and reform Medicare. But the Republican plan to end Medicare is non-negotiable (Rep. Steve Israel, 5/25).
Los Angeles Times: Despite Kathy Hochul's Win In New York, Medicare Can't Be Ignored
It's risky to read too much into Kathy Hochul's upset victory in a special congressional election in western New York on Tuesday - it was, after all, just one race. ... If the election prompts Republicans to rethink that plan, that would be a welcome development. But it shouldn't persuade lawmakers to abandon efforts to rein in Medicare costs (5/26).
Kaiser Health News: Not All Medicare Cuts Are Created Equal (Guest Opinion)
But the question for voters isn't whether the Democrats are cutting Medicare spending. The question is what effects those cuts would have -- and how they would compare to cuts that Republicans propose in their budget. Medicare cuts come in all shapes and sizes, after all (Jonathan Cohn, 5/26).
The Washington Post: Paul Ryan Gets A Taste Of His Own Shameless Demagoguery
Demagoguery is just one way in which the fight over Ryan's Medicare reform has followed the rhythm of President Obama's health-care reform. In both cases, the proponents decided to act without bipartisan support. ... Ryan might be worthy of more sympathy if he hadn't been one of the people clubbing Democrats with slogans about trampled liberty as they labored to explain exchanges and cost curves. ... [Ryan] cast aside bipartisan solutions and said he wanted to take the issue to voters. Democrats gave him exactly what he asked for (Dana Milbank, 5/25).
The New York Times: Democratic Happy Dance
There is no escaping our fate. We are going to spend the next 17 months hearing about how the Republicans want to kill off Medicare. ... Anybody who is hoping the two sides can come together and work out a plan to control health care costs should plan a lengthy visit to some other country. I hear Finland is nice (Gail Collins, 5/25).
The Washington Post: Wait! Paul Ryan Has A Point
As can never be said often enough, the United States spends 17 percent of GDP on health care, while every other advanced nation spends 10 or 11 percent. ... Observers of all stripes agree that these facts mean our system is radically inefficient. ... farsighted Democrats shouldn't trash the idea of seeking serious savings from Medicare, because, like it or not, the future of liberal achievement in an aging America depends on it. I know Democrats don't want to hear this now that there's blood in the water after the upset in New York. But someone has to say it (Matt Miller, 5/25).
The Wall Street Journal: Why The Republican Lost In NY-26
Next year, Republicans must describe their Medicare reforms plainly, set the record straight vigorously when Democrats demagogue, and go on the attack. Congressional Republicans-especially in the House-need a political war college that schools incumbents and challengers in the best way to explain, defend and attack on the issue of Medicare reform (Karl Rove, 5/26).
The New York Times: Squandering Medicare's Money
Of course, doctors, with the consent of their patients, should be free to provide whatever care they agree is appropriate. But when the procedure arising from that judgment, however well intentioned, is not supported by evidence, the nation's taxpayers should have no obligation to pay for it (Dr. Rita F. Redbert, 5/25).
New England Journal of Medicine: Spending to Save - ACOs And The Medicare Shared Savings Program
As the country's single largest purchaser of care, Medicare has the potential to push care delivery in a new direction. Interest in ACOs is so high that many would-be ACOs probably aren't ready for prime time. CMS is right to set the bar relatively high to keep its management challenge within its abilities (could the agency really manage 1000 ACO contracts?)... But getting too few participants is also a risk, and CMS clearly already recognizes that substantial changes are needed. Sometimes in Washington you only get one chance (Paul B. Ginsburg, 5/25).
New England Journal of Medicine: Bending the Cost Curve in Cancer Care
Annual direct costs for cancer care are projected to rise - from $104 billion in 20061 to over $173 billion in 2020 and beyond. ... Medical oncologists directly or indirectly control or influence the majority of cancer care costs, including the use and choice of drugs, the types of supportive care, the frequency of imaging, and the number and extent of hospitalizations. Here, we respond to Brody's challenge by suggesting five changes in medical oncologists' behavior and five changes in their attitudes and practice that will bend the cancer-cost curve downward (Drs. Thomas J. Smith and Bruce E. Hillner, 5/26).
Des Moines Register: Our Government Benefits Are Totally Out Of Control
You really don't need to be a tea party supporter to conclude that our social safety net is ripped and no longer financially sound. Nor, by the way, is drugging kids to get $700 a month from SSI a morally and ethically acceptable practice (Steffen Schmidt, 5/25).
The Connecticut Mirror: A Growing Asian-American Population Faces Health Challenges
The Asian-American community is too often as the "model minority," a myth that has contributed to the perception that Asian Americans suffer from few health issues. Considerable health disparities, however, persist in the Asian-American community, and barriers in obtaining coverage and in finding culturally and linguistically appropriate health care contribute to and intensify these disparities (Nakul M. Havnurkar, 5/25).