But the Louisiana Democrat supported similar changes to federal programs.3:14 PM, Jul 15, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Mary Landrieu campaign is out with a new hit against the Louisiana Democrat's Republican opponent, Congressman Bill Cassidy. The 30-second ad focuses on Cassidy's support for policies that supposedly hurt senior citizens. Watch the video below:
"It was Congressman Bill Cassidy who voted to raise the Social Security retirement age to 70, cut Social Security benefits for retirees, and raise Medicare costs by $6,000," says the voiceover.
The first two charges come from budget proposals Cassidy has supported, which called for phasing in a gradual increase in the retirement age and changing how the program factors in cost-of-living adjustments, all for future, not current, beneficiaries. (And at least one of those budgets proposed raising the retirement age to 67, not 70.) The last claim arises from a Democratic report on the Paul Ryan-authored budget, for which Cassidy voted. The Ryan budget proposed to institute similarly gradual changes to Medicare for future beneficiaries.
In his time in the House, particularly since Republicans took control in 2011, Bill Cassidy has voted for conservative budgets that would have made significant reforms to these programs. The merit of those reforms is certainly up for debate, but what about Mary Landrieu's own rhetoric on reforming costly social programs?
In 2011, Landrieu raised the possibility in an interview with Politico that Medicare and Social Security would need to be "structurally" changed, though she didn't get into many specifics. “Something has to be done in the long-term programs of Social Security, Medicare, particularly," she said.
And the year before, Landrieu signed a letter adding her support to the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission's plan, which itself proposed raising the retirement age to 69 for Social Security. Landrieu and the other signatories specifically said they "commend" the proposal's Social Security reforms.
There are likely plenty of distinctions between Republican proposals to change Social Security and Medicare and those Landrieu has spoken fondly of. But what's the difference, in spirit, between those supported by Cassidy and those Landrieu has suggested might be necessary to save these programs?
4:03 PM, Jun 4, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Senator Mark Pryor is making entitlements an issue in the Arkansas Senate race. Both Pryor and his Democratic allies are hitting Republican nominee and House member Tom Cotton over his support for a budget proposal that would have, starting in 2022, gradually raised the retirement age for receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits.
11:02 AM, May 13, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
On Sunday, the White House blog declared that Obamacare made this Mother's Day "particularly special." On Monday, the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov got into the act, suggesting that "Health insurance with Medicaid is the perfect Mother’s Day gift":
What LBJ wroughtMay 19, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 34 • By NICHOLAS EBERSTADT
May 22, 2014, marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s “Great Society” address, delivered at the spring commencement for the University of Michigan. That speech remains the most ambitious call to date by any president (our current commander in chief included) to use the awesome powers of the American state to effect a far-reaching transformation of the society that state was established to serve. It also stands as the high-water mark for Washington’s confidence in the broad meliorative properties of government social policy, scientifically applied.
'No One Likes to Watch the Daily Show Make Fun of HHS'
9:01 AM, May 1, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In October 2013, as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), was launching Healthcare.gov, CMS also launched a quieter initiative. As part of Ignite, an internal HHS program designed to spur innovation, a team within CMS's press office designed a system to help CMS communicate more quickly and efficiently with the press.
7:06 AM, Apr 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Four years after Obamacare became law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is notifying Medicare providers and suppliers of new fingerprint-based background checks. Eventually, all individuals who hold a five percent or greater stake in a Medicare supplier or provider that is categorized as "high risk" will be subject to the requirement.
7:39 AM, Jan 2, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The contractor building the financial management system for Healthcare.gov is being blamed by a Houston hospital for delayed Medicare reimbursements that have caused the hospital to miss payrolls for weeks. Novitas Solutions is the federal government's new Medicare payment processor for the south-central region of the country hired by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS.) ABC-KTRK in Houston reports:
8:36 AM, Dec 19, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
As the October 1 launch of Healthcare.gov drew closer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) realized it was in trouble.
2:21 PM, Oct 25, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The Obamacare website Healthcare.gov has been grabbing all the headlines lately, but another aspect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may come under increased scrutiny in the weeks and months ahead: Electronic Health Records (EHR).
2:48 PM, Aug 29, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Department of Health and Human Services released a statement today saying that gay spouses are now eligible for key Medicare benefits. The announcement is presented as "guidance" for "implementing Supreme Court’s decision on the Defense of Marriage Act."
3:29 PM, Aug 8, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
A recent audit by the Office of the Inspector General for Health and Human Services found that in four out of five cases when elective surgeries were cancelled for one reason or another, Medicare still paid even though the claims submitted by the hospitals failed the "reasonable and necessary" standard.
Unintended consequences.8:01 AM, Jul 29, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The bankrupt city of Detroit may have found a way out of its health care woes for its retired city workers: shifting the costs to taxpayers nationwide via Obamacare. If Detroit and other struggling municipalities follow through, the result could be a "huge cost" to taxpayers. The New York Times has the story:
5:04 PM, Jun 18, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
At least for now (although a statewide referendum may be pending), Arizona governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, has succeeded in her efforts to implement a key part of Obamacare in her state.
12:17 PM, Jun 1, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The recent news on the economy, in general, and deficits, in particular, has been encouraging. Seems the clumsy blend of tax increases and reduced spending – aka the sequester – brought in more revenue and reduced spending. Funny how that works.
Obama’s deceptive budget. Apr 29, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 31 • By JAY COST
Earlier this month, President Obama released his fiscal year 2014 budget, which calls for $1.1 trillion in higher taxes over the next decade, cuts of $400 billion from Medicare and Medicaid, and alterations to Social Security’s benefit rate worth about $130 billion.