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.
Pryor spokesman Erik Dorey said last month that "Congressman Cotton will need to answer for why he recklessly voted to undermine Arkansas seniors’ hard-earned retirement and make them wait for Medicare and Social Security until they’re 70."
Meanwhile, the Democrat-affiliated Senate Majority PAC has a new ad that says Cotton voted to "deny Social Security to seniors until they're 70." Watch the ad below:
What the ad and the criticism from the Pryor campaign fail to note is that the Republican Study Committee budget proposal supported by Cotton would not have implemented raising the age of retirement until 2022. Furthermore, the plan would have only begun raising the retirement age by two months each year, meaning it would have only been in 2052 that the retirement age would reach 70. By then the "seniors" Cotton voted to "deny" benefits until age 70 would have been born in 1982.
Is it an extreme position to raise the retirement age for future generations in order to keep entitlement programs solvent? Maybe, but it's a position Pryor has held before. In 2011, Pryor touted raising the retirement age for those not yet on the program as a good fix to Social Security's insolvency. Speaking with local broadcaster KTSS in June 2011, Pryor said Social Security is "very, very fixable" and changes ought to be implemented sooner rather than later.
"We could fix Social Security next week, if we wanted to. It's not that hard to do," Pryor said. "Probably the biggest change would be, you would take my kids' generation, teenagers today, and life expectancy's longer, et cetera, and probably say that they couldn't get Social Security until they turn 68 or 69. If you just did that one change, you fix about 80 percent of it right there." Watch the video below (the exchange begins at 1:43):
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.
10:00 PM, Mar 18, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Robert Samuelson's fine column in the Washington Post, “America the retirement home,” argues that “The budget debate’s central reality is that federal retirement programs, led by Social Security and Medicare, are crowding out most other government spending,” and that this is endangering the other important functions of government, including defense: