As the candidates continue to compare and contrast their respective plans for Medicare reform on the campaign trail, we're joined by two experts who will sort out fact from fiction. The federal program provides health insurance to 50 million seniors and disabled Americans.
What will each plan really mean for current and future Medicare recipients? How much will the plans cost?
President Obama's plan fundamentally relies on slowing Medicare spending gradually.
Romney, meanwhile, would dramatically remake the program. He'd change it from one that's largely run by the federal government to one that's largely run by private insurers.
"I know my own view is I'd rather have a private plan," he said in the debate. "I'd just as soon not have the government telling me what kind of health care I get. I'd rather be able to have an insurance company. If I don't like them, I can get rid of them and find a different insurance company."
Stephen Parente, professor of health finance at the University of Minnesota and a former adviser to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, will join The Daily Circuit Thursday.
"What they ideally want to do, if they were to win, is to say, 'OK, let's take a timeout here and see what we have proposed that would make more sense,'" Parente said in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
David Kendall, senior fellow for health and fiscal policy at Third Way, will also join the discussion.
LIVE CHAT: Medicare on the campaign trail
As the candidates continue to compare and contrast their respective plans for Medicare reform on the campaign trail, we're joined on The Daily Circuit by two experts who will sort fact from fiction. Click LISTEN NOW to the right to hear the discussion.
This morning in the 9:00 hour, Stephen Parente, a professor of health finance at the University of Minnesota and a former adviser to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign, will join The Daily Circuit.
David Kendall, a senior fellow for health and fiscal policy at Third Way, will also join the discussion.
"Medicare: Where Presidential Politics And Policy Collide" by NPR's Julie Rovner
Fact: Medicare serves about 50 million senior and disabled Americans
NPR's Julie Rovner: "President Obama's plan ... relies on slowing Medicare spending gradually. Romney ... would dramatically remake the program. He'd change it from one that's largely run by the federal government to one that's largely run by private insurers."
Daily Circuit guest Stephen Parente
Daily Circuit guest David Kendall
@KerriMPR At double the per capita spending on healthcare, can we deal with medicare and deficits without true reform & Universal care?
Parente: Under the Romeny-Ryan plan, only people 55 and younger will be affected
Kendall: If we move away from traditional Medicare, seniors will have fewer choices of providers
@kerrimpr I am in my 40s. I am deathly afraid of the Rom/Ryan plan. Haven't had a raise in 3 years. What happens when healthcare $ rise?!?
@KerriMPR I don't think older seniors want as much choice. They are more interested in knowing they are fully covered.
We welcome your comments on this discussion.
@Kerrimpr how will 40 yr olds afford this plan after they retire and are in a fixed income? What if we live until we're 90+?
I live in Rochester MN and I want you to know that Mayo Clinic is in full support of Obama care because it is based on best practices and outcome based health results and that those savings will be brought into the reducing of current health care and medicare reform.
Who has the best plan for Medicare?
@KerriMPR Are there examples of a free market/voucher approach that deliverer Quality healthcare at ½ the cost like the Universal systems?
@KerriMPR Iam 30, self-employed. I agree w/ caller Jo. We already have no faith in any fed healthcare.
@KerriMPR If Dr. take less Medicare, will that mean more offices being less jake of trades. Meaning less money in overhead? Reduce costs?
If the politicians go back to the table, if they toss out the ACA - Obama Care - there will be nothing. Keep the ACA and tweek it over the years just like Medicare. Medicare works. I have no trust in the politicians, but at least, finally, there has been some progress to addressing the problem. Don't go backwards. Ryan and Romney and the Repubs can put off doing anything forever = the wealthy will be able to afford health care, the 99% will serve them.
Kerri, I get frustrated because this debate focuses only on the delivery mechanism for health insurance. But the deeper problem seems to be that health care costs are exploding because of a huge increase in self-caused obesity-related diseases. What are the incentives for all of us to take better care of ourselves so we won't become huge "consumers" of health care in the future?
My concern is for senior citizens being able to understand the different options that are offered....and make the best choice. Insurance coverage is intimidating and I know my elderly parents needed a lot of help trying to figure out what their coverage was. Purchasing a voucher would require a great deal of navigation through confusing information.
Because healthcare is tied to employment for so many of us, if we go to a voucher system that won't cover rising costs, I won't be able to retire. I'll be working just to pay for healthcare.
We have worked in long term care for 35 years and are told these Medicare cuts will shut the door on many "nursing care " centers in rural communities. How will the voucher system help
I'm curious about the logic that Doctors and Hospitals would get paid less if everyone who isn't covered with private health insurance, is covered under a National Healthcare plan. If the people that are not covered at all cannot pay the Doctors and Hospitals in an emergency or long term care shouldn't the healthcare providers be concerned about that?
The bigger more far reaching issue is not how medicare is going to look in the future but how Medicaid is going to look. The baby boomers are going to need to be taken care of , our social structure does not keep them with their families so they go to facilities based on their ability to pay. Much of that is covered by Medicaid and then there is a choice to sign over you SS payment and savings or to not be accepted into a facility unless you have private insurance. This is a major issue and it get very little coverage.
Two points , Electronic records - Because for the last ten years all insurance payments have been coded there is a very extensive existing database of treatments, outcomes, drug effectiveness , etc.. This is owned mostly by one company UHG as they do almost all of the processing for all of their UHC and other.. This exists and could help today if it was tapped into.