Thursday, October 11, 2012

Notable and Quotable: The Stark Choice Between ObamaCare and RomneyCare
“When Americans go to the polls next month, they will cast a vote not just for president but for one of two profoundly different visions for the future of the country’s health care system. With an Obama victory on Nov. 6, the president’s signature health care law — including the contentious requirement that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty — will almost certainly come into full force, becoming the largest expansion of the safety net since President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through his Great Society programs almost half a century ago.”
“If Mr. Romney wins and Republicans capture the Senate, much of the law could be repealed — or its financing cut back — and the president’s goal of achieving near-universal coverage could take a back seat to Mr. Romney’s top priority, controlling medical costs.”
“ ‘Given the starkness of the choice, historians and policy makers believe this election could be the most significant referendum on a piece of social legislation since 1936, when the Republican Alf M. Landon ran against Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal programs. (Nearly eight decades have passed, but the debate sounds strikingly familiar: Landon described the Social Security Act, passed in 1935, as “the largest tax bill in history; and called for its repeal.)‘It is very rare for a political party to pass a social program of this magnitude and then to face the possibility of a rollback or repeal in a presidential election,’ “ said James A. Morone, a professor of political science at Brown University who has studied the history of health policy.”
“For Medicare and Medicaid, the government health programs for older Americans, low-income people and the disabled, the candidates have sharply different visions as well. Mr. Romney’s proposals call for fundamental changes in the structure of the programs, placing more emphasis on private-sector solutions and much less on government regulation. “
“Mr. Obama would expand Medicaid to cover millions more people; Mr. Romney would effectively shrink it, giving each state a fixed amount of federal money to cover its disadvantaged population with more control over eligibility and benefits. Mr. Romney would eventually give each Medicare beneficiary a fixed amount of federal money to pay premiums for either the traditional Medicare program or private insurance. Mr. Obama would preserve the structure of Medicare but try to rein in costs, in part by trimming payments to health care providers. “
Abby Goodendough and Robert Pear, “This Election: Stark Choice in Health Care, : New York Times, October 11, 2012
Tweet:  The stark choice;  expand coverage under Obama: control costs under Romney.


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