Hmmmmmm . . . . . . .
In his convention speech in Charlotte, President Obama vowed to block the Republican Medicare reform plan because “no American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.”
But back in Washington, his Health and Human Services Department is launching a pilot program that would shift up to 2 million of the poorest and most-vulnerable seniors out of the federal Medicare program and into private health insurance plans overseen by the states.
The administration has accepted applications from 18 states to participate in the program, which would give states money to purchase managed-care plans for people who are either disabled or poor enough to qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. HHS approved the first state plan, one for Massachusetts, last month.
But why oh why would the One put a voucher plan into place when he and his side have been telling us vouchers will result in old people being pushed over a cliff to their gravity-induced deaths? (see lefty TV commercial below) Can you say 1) it will work and 2) this:
California is already counting on more than $500 million in budget savings from its own program this year. Most states are proposing to automatically enroll people. Those who don’t want to participate would need to opt out. The Massachusetts plan includes that feature.
Potential cost savings are a big incentive for states. Patients who qualify for both federal health programs are a costly population and include many who need nursing-home care or other expensive services. About 40 percent of Medicaid’s costs go toward patients who are also eligible for Medicare. Advocates of the pilot program also say it could lead to better coordination of care for patients who often struggle to navigate the two different programs.
I can already hear the lefties trying to spin this one by saying “Obama’s plan doesn’t force people into vouchers like Ryan’s!!!” Too bad they would be completely and totally wrong (via Ed Morrissey)
Bear in mind that Ryan’s plan made the vouchers optional; seniors could choose the traditional government-run Medicare plan or opt for a private insurance plan from a federal exchange of approved insurers. Ryan also allows all seniors to choose, and didn’t force the poorest seniors to take the voucher option. Not only will Obama push just the poorest seniors into this plan, in some states they’d have to know to opt back in to traditional Medicare.
Can’t wait to hear Obama and Biden trying to spin this one in the debates. I’m sure somehow they will say it’s Bush’s fault.
And as promised, the commercial. Maybe the lefties can make a new commercial with a middle age black guy pushing grandma to her death. Unless that would be RAAAAAACISSSSSSST!!!!!!