Medicare Moves Into Spotlight of Presidential Race;
Poll Finds Obama More Trusted
AARP upset that Medicare, Social Security or not on
agenda for first presidential debate on Oct. 3; Medicare topic today at
AARP meeting in New Orleans
Sept. 21, 2012 – Just as both presidential
campaigns are shifting more of their focus to Medicare, the Commission
on Presidential Debates has announced that this hot issue for senior
citizens is not listed as a topic for the first presidential debate.
AARP has issued a statement urging that “retirement security issues be
directly addressed.” A new USA Today /Gallup Poll shows President Barack
Obama is more trusted to address Medicare issues than Mitt Romney.
The Republicans are fighting back and vice
presidential nominee Paul Ryan, noted for proposing Medicare shift to a
voucher system, speaks today to an AARP meeting in New Orleans. But,
Medicare is not getting a lot of attention in the senate and house
campaigns outside of Washington, according to the
Jim Lehrer, the moderator of the first 2012
presidential debate, is allowed to select the topics under the umbrella
theme set for the debate, which is “domestic policy.”
Although the CPD notes the it retains the right to
make changes “because of news development.
Here are the topics
selected by Lehrer for the October 3 debate, not necessarily to be
brought up in this order:
● The Economy - I
● The Economy - II
● The Economy - III
● Health Care
● The Role of Government
AARP: Presidential Debates Must Address Social Security,
Washington, DC – Reacting to the announcement of topics for the
first 2012 Presidential candidate debate, AARP Executive Vice
President Nancy LeaMond today issued the following statement
urging that retirement security issues be directly addressed:
“We are dismayed that the outline for the October 3rd
debate omits any mention of Social Security and Medicare. Any
meaningful discussion of the economy and this year’s election
has to include the future of these critical retirement security
“Our research shows that voters age 50-plus are driven by
economic anxieties that extend well beyond the single issue of
jobs. For these voters, ‘retirement security’ and ‘financial
security’ are largely the same thing.
“They overwhelmingly think the candidates have not done a good
job of explaining their plans on Social Security and Medicare,
and say that learning the candidates’ plans to strengthen these
programs will help their presidential voting decision.
“Remember that millions of American families are counting on
Social Security and Medicare to be there for them, today and for
decades to come. A critical opportunity to address their
concerns is missed if the debates fail to explicitly address
retirement security issues.
“The next President and Congress could determine the future of
Medicare and Social Security, and Americans want and deserve to
know the candidates plans’ for strengthening retirement security
in this country.”
The debate will be held on Wednesday, October 3 at
the University of Denver in Denver, CO. The format calls for six
15-minute time segments, each of which will focus on one of the issues
Below is a summary by Kaiser Health News of some of
the reports from around the U.S. today on Medicare and the presidential
USA Today: Romney Fights
On Medicare But Obama Retains Advantage President Obama remains more trusted to address Medicare's
challenges, the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll of Swing States shows, even
as Mitt Romney challenged him over the issue Thursday in retiree-rich
Florida (Page, 9/20).
The Wall Street Journal:
Headwinds For Romney In Latest Poll Results The three state surveys come amid a broader set of challenges for
Mr. Romney, among them the release of his videotaped comments at a
Florida fundraiser. The Romney campaign moved Thursday to shift its
focus to federal spending and its proposal to overhaul Medicare, the
popular health-care program for seniors and the disabled. Rep. Ryan
speaks to seniors' lobby AARP in New Orleans on Friday. Mr. Obama will
address the group by satellite (O'Connor and Hook, 9/20).
Politico: Paul Ryan To
Hit 'Obamacare' At AARP In a speech Friday to a powerful senior citizens' interest group,
Paul Ryan will again go on the offense on Medicare, addressing an issue
that many say is among his biggest liabilities on the GOP ticket.
According to excerpts provided by the campaign ahead of his speech to
the AARP national conference in New Orleans, Ryan will attack in detail
President Barack Obama's health care plan, and argue that "the first
step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare" (Summers, 9/21).
CBS: Ryan To Challenge
Obama On Medicare At AARP Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, whose plans for
Medicare are under attack by President Obama and other Democrats, will
promise an honest conversation on entitlements in a speech at an AARP
conference Friday in New Orleans, just after Obama addresses the group
"You're right to worry that years of empty promises
by both political parties are threatening the security of your golden
years. And you're right to demand honest answers from those asking for
your vote. Mitt Romney and I share your concerns," Ryan will say.
"And we respect you enough to level with you. We
respect all the people of this country enough to talk about the clear
choices we face on Medicare, Social Security, the economy, and the kind
of country our children will inherit" (Kaplan, 9/21).
CNN: Paul Ryan To
Seniors: Obamacare Threatens Medicare In a speech to seniors on Friday, Republican vice presidential
candidate Rep. Paul Ryan will warn them about the threat of Obamacare
when he appears at the AARP conference after President Barack Obama
addresses the group via satellite. Mitt Romney’s running mate will speak
at the AARP Life@50+ conference, held in New Orleans, at 12:30 p.m. ET.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak live, via satellite, at
11:45 a.m. ET. Members of AARP – a nonprofit organization and a powerful
lobbying group that boasts of having more than 37 million members – were
encouraged to submit questions to the nominees on their website (Shepard,
The Associated Press:
Obama Medicare Plan: No Voucher But Maybe A Bill He'll never turn Medicare into a voucher, but if you are lucky
enough to be financially comfortable in retirement, odds are you'll pay
higher premiums under President Barack Obama's plan. It's not just the 1
percent who'll feel the pinch. And take note, baby boomers: The Medicare
you get won't be quite as generous as what your parents' generation
enjoys. A higher deductible here, a new co-payment there, and the tweaks
add up (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/20).
This news summary is part of
Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage
from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's
news can be found
here and you can sign up
for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report
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