Healthcare News October 5, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Debate fallout

    President Obama’s uninspired performance in Wednesday night’s debate had Democrats in a panic Thursday, and healthcare was central to the confrontation with Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

    Many observers agreed that Obama handled the topic of healthcare — and Medicare in particular — better than the rest of the debate. The exchange unfolded much like the broader campaign attacks, with Romney making the opening charge and Obama shifting the subject back to Romney’s controversial Medicare proposal.

    Obama took a hard line against Romney’s plan to partially privatize Medicare, saying it would ultimately lead to the demise of the existing program.

    “When you move to a voucher system, you’re putting seniors at the mercy of those insurance companies, and over time, if traditional Medicare has decayed or fallen apart, then they’re stuck,” Obama said.

    Healthwatch has complete coverage of the healthcare debate.

    IPABulous: Romney sought to make his case against the Affordable Care Act by targeting the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), the 15-member expert panel tasked with slowing the growth in Medicare payments to doctors. Romney mentioned the IPAB six times, arguing that it will tell seniors what kind of healthcare they can and can’t receive.

    The liberal advocacy group Health Care for America Now was displeased.

    “What Romney said last night about this board was a bald-faced lie, and he knows it,” HCAN Executive Director Ethan Rome said.

  • DNC hits Romney on pre-existing conditions

    Democrats launched a new Web video Thursday arguing that people with pre-existing conditions would be “out of luck” under a President Romney.

    Mitt Romney said in Wednesday night’s presidential debate in Denver that he has a plan to guarantee insurance coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. But Romney did not mention important caveats to his proposal.

    The Democratic National Committee’s Web video shows media fact-checkers rating Romney’s debate rhetoric as “mostly fiction.”

  • AARP to Obama: Stop citing us

    Obama cited the nonpartisan senior lobby twice in Wednesday’s debate when arguing against Mitt Romney’s Medicare proposals.

  • HHS signs $3 million PR contract to promote federal exchange

    The Obama administration has awarded a $3-million public relations contract to highlight a central piece of President Obama’s healthcare law — the ‘fallback’ insurance exchanges the federal government will set up in some states.

    Public relations firm Weber Shandwick won the $3.1-million contract.

    Congressional Republicans have sharply criticized the administration for contracting with public relations firms to raise awareness about parts of the Affordable Care Act. Most recently, GOP lawmakers raised questions about states that have used federal grants to fund PR contracts for their insurance exchanges.

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