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Biden on Ryan VoucherCare: We Can Do Better for Mom

Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan wants to turn Medicare into a private voucher program. Kristi Noem has supported Ryan's Medicare privatization since 2010, even though she'll deny the facts of the plan to your face. Vice President Joe Biden says privatizing Medicare is a rotten way to treat your mom:

My mom was a smart woman.... But, my mom, I can't picture handing her a voucher at age 80 and saying — you go out in the insurance market and you figure out what's best for you [Vice President Joe Biden, quoted by Seung Min Kim, "Joe Biden Takes Aim at 'Vouchercare'," Politico, September 2, 2012].

We established Medicare in the 1960s because we recognized that the private market wasn't going to take care of Mom and Dad and that a nationwide community effort was the best way to meet our parents' needs. Neither Ryan nor Noem nor any other advocate of dismantling this great American program has shown that the free-market tooth fairy will work any better now for our elderly parents than it did in the years before Medicare.

Dump Ryan, Noem, and the other folks who want to take away the Medicare guarantee. Stick with VP Biden and other leaders who are strengthening Medicare for our parents and for us.


  1. A. Johnson 2012.09.05

    Ryan wants to turn Medicare into a private voucher program? Really?

    Can you provide a credible source for this claim? I don't mind talking about the Ryan plan but we really should be truthful about what it is and is not.

  2. Bill Fleming 2012.09.05

    Bottom line from link above:

    "Our ruling

    We agree that in the world of policy wonks, there are distinctions between "vouchers" and "premium support," having to do with the type of inflation adjustment used and the degree of marketplace regulation imposed. Compared with his original plan, Ryan’s most recent plan does move closer to fitting the definition of pure premium support. But substantively, it’s still somewhere in between the two approaches.

    But the Romney-Ryan approach pretty much matches the dictionary definition of "a form or check indicating a credit against future purchases or expenditures." We think that describes the general way Ryan's plan would work. For a political discussion aimed at voters rather than policy wonks, we think Obama’s use of the term "voucher" is close enough to earn it a rating of Mostly True."

    In other words, Johnson, "a rose by any other name..."

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.05

    Well done, Bill. Ryan's plan is what it is: vouchers. Privatization.

  4. Bill Fleming 2012.09.05

    Libertarians with good sense should vote for Obama this time around, Larry. This isn't a good year to be pissing away a valuable vote. Not with the GOP trying to disenfranchise poor and minority voters.

    Tell your idealogue buddies like Newland that it's time to be practical for a change. Obama's got their social agenda covered. And their fiscal polices are... well... pretty much smokin' dope.

    Know what I mean?

  5. Bill Fleming 2012.09.05

    Johnson, either address the argument or skeedaddle, cowboy. Your question has been answered.

  6. larry kurtz 2012.09.05

    Gary Johnson is expected to take 5 votes from Willard for every 3 votes from the President.

  7. Justin 2012.09.05

    Politifact is not biased except against liars. If your entire strategy is lying, they probably seem biased.

    The fact is fact checkers are a thorn in the GOP's side because their entire platform is built on lies.

  8. larry kurtz 2012.09.05

    Woster expected to throw 'Johnson' out of Blogmore.

  9. Bill Fleming 2012.09.05

    Johnson, my sentiments exactly. As far as having a discussion with you, why bother? The distinction between "voucher" and "premium support" is on the table. Call it whatever you want to, it is the end of Medicare as we know it.

    80 year old people who are sick aren't going to want to be out shopping for the best health insurance policy. They and their families are going to want to know that their health care needs are covered. Period.

  10. Justin 2012.09.05

    I don't think its hard to agree on what it is, it is in black and white and was passed by the House. If his supporters want to deny what it is, it still doesnt change the facts.

  11. Michael Black 2012.09.05

    If your parents live in SD, you are financially responsible for their care if the nursing home can't collect enough from the gov't. In Pennsylvania, the lawyers are starting to file cases. Our law is very similar.

    "Pennsylvania, South Dakota and North Dakota have filial-responsibility laws that specifically allow third parties -- such as nursing homes -- to pursue support cases, Pearson said. Without such language, the presumption had been that third parties couldn't sue. But now, attorneys for nursing homes are testing the laws in other states by filing lawsuits "on behalf of" the indigent parents, Pearson said."

  12. Vincent Gormley 2012.09.05

    Johnson wants a discussion but appears incapable of having one. Disrespecting someone's name is that because only one letter repeated follows his initial. If Politifact has a bias it is not a liberal one. So he provides a biased link? Not surprising.

  13. Rorschach 2012.09.05

    Obviously the goal of Ryan's plan is to shift costs away from government and onto the backs of elderly people. Forcing elderly people to make complicated insurance decisions and to spend for healthcare whatever money they may have saved over a lifetime. Is that what the Republican Party is for? Eroding the savings of the elderly middle class to finance tax breaks for billionaires. Are there no Republicans with enough cojones to speak out against Ryan's vouchercare? Newt Gingrich called it right-wing social engineering before falling silent.

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.09.05

    Agreed. Johnson avoids addressing the issue and tries to mire us in some vague agnosticism and denial of any evidence. Ryan ends Medicare as we know it. He hands seniors vouchers and says, "Good luck buying insurance on the private market." As R says, the main goal is to shift costs from government to individuals, most of whom will be crushed by the burden.

    And a vague statement about Politifact's alleged bias does not indict the facts they have laid out. It's a weak debater's tactic to avoid discussing the issue and try to funnel the discussion into a pre-fab brief of liberal media bias. Boring.

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