Thursday, October 18, 2012

Health Care Policy under  a President Romney: Assertions and Counter-Assertions
The partisan, when he is engaged in a dispute, cares nothing about the rights of the question, but he is anxious only to convince  his hearers of his own assertions.
Plato (c-428-c 348 B.C), Phaedo
October 18, 2012 – In today’s New England Journal of Medicine, “Health Care Policy under President Obama,” Eli Adashi MD and Kartik Venkatesh, PhD of Brown University Medical School and John McDonough, DPH MPA, of the Harvard School of publish Health, assert:
As Kaiser Family Foundation tracking polls show, public support for Medicare and Medicaid surpasses 80%, with strong support even among Republican and Tea Party–identified voters.”.Which brings us back to Romney's record. His fundamental policy proposal is to undo the ACA, the nation's most consequential health care reform law. His replacement proposals would provide no meaningful security to people who would lose the law's coverage protections. His Medicare and Medicaid proposals would irrevocably transform these programs. His budget and tax proposals would threaten the country's basic health infrastructure as few in living memory have done. One can only hope that if elected President, Romney would surprise the United States as he did Massachusetts.”
The authors are Obamacare partisans and are entitled to their opinions about the downsides of a Romney presidency (McDonough was one of the architects of Romneycare and has written a book on the subject, Inside Health Reform, which I reviewed on this blog on September 11, 2011).
For purposes of fairness,  it might be useful to present the counter-assertion to the Adashi-Venkatechy, McDonough argument.
Romney partisans will surely assert:
·         We too support Medicare and Medicaid. We want to save both programs. from bankruptcy.  Both are careening towarrds bankruptcy.

·         That is why we want to undo the ACA, the nation’s most consequential health reform care reform law. According to the Congressional Business Office,  Obamacare will cost $2.6 trillion,  will increase the national debt, and will impose an unpayable debt on future generations.  So far, the ACA has raised premiums by $2500,  cost 20 million employed Americans their health care coverage, and will cut $716 billion out of Medicare to support Obamacare.

·         We  will put that $716 billion back in to Medicare to save it, and ten years down the road,  we will put into place a premium support program. The program will give seniors the option of keeping their traditional Medicare or choosing a private Medicare plan, which may cost less.

·         On the Medicaid front,  we will  shift  management of Maedicaid back to the states, The states  know Medicaid recipients needs in their states better than the federal government.

·         President Obama’s budget proposals, which so far have added $5 trillion to the national debt with $5 trillion more to come in the next 4 years,  and his 121 Obamacare-related taxes, which would cost over $500 billion, are unaffordable. What he did in Massachusetts has resulted in higher premiums,  longer waiting times, and more crowded emergency rooms,  and on the plus side,  wider access to care in a state suffering from a growing physician shortage, but he believes states should have their own reform programs.

·         We believe a growing government with exploding federal largesse in the form of expanded entitlement programs causes unnecessary national debt distress, and an unsustainable and unbearable burden on future generations.

Tweet: Obama partisans assert a Romney election would threaten the country’s basic health infrastructure.

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