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April 23, 2012 | By Noam N. Levey
WASHINGTON -- The nation's Social Security and Medicare programs are sliding closer to insolvency, the federal government warned Monday in a new report underscoring the fiscal challenges facing the two mammoth retirement programs as baby boomers begin to retire. Medicare, which is expected to provide health insurance to more than 50 million elderly and disabled Americans this year, is expected to start operating in the red in its largest fund in 2024, according to the annual assessment by the trustees charged with overseeing the programs.
September 13, 2012 | By Paul West
More dollars have been dumped into presidential campaign advertising in Florida ($117 million and counting) than any other state. That factoid is a reflection of both the tightness of the presidential race (a tossup) and Florida's rich pile of electoral votes (29) - more than any other battleground. For those reasons, it's worth taking a quick look at the very different messaging strategies the competing presidential campaigns are employing in the state. President Obama is redoubling his attack over the future of Medicare, which jumped to the top of the issue agenda with Mitt Romney's selection of ticket-mate Paul D. Ryan.
June 20, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- As both Democrats and Republicans try to make the November election a choice over competing economic visions for the country, not all congressional Republicans are fans of the GOP budget approach as crafted by Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and embraced by the party's presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Ten Republicans in the House voted against the blueprint earlier this year, including freshman Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.), who is now trumpeting his opposition to the Medicare changes in mailers home to voters in his northern West Virginia district.
July 15, 2011 | By Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune
A group of liberal voters who said they volunteered and donated to President Obama's 2008 campaign are threatening to pull their support if he signs off on cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security during ongoing debt negotiations with Republicans. About a dozen members from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee dropped off what they said were 200,000 petitions at Obama's downtown Chicago reelection headquarters Friday morning urging the president to protect the entitlement programs or lose donors and door-knockers who they argued were critical to his victory.
May 26, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
House Republicans unveiled a jobs plan on Thursday as they tried to steer the conversation away from their controversial overhaul of Medicare to their solutions to boost the economy. The package contains proposals aimed at business regulation, energy, tax rates, trade and patents. For the most part, the proposals already have been floated or introduced in the House but have been overshadowed by GOP efforts to cut government spending and overhaul entitlement programs. The Republican push on entitlements, however, took a major hit this week when the party lost a congressional race in western New York that was dominated by the debate over proposed changes to Medicare, the healthcare plan for seniors.
May 15, 2011 | By Katherine Skiba
Presidential contender Newt Gingrich took a potshot Sunday at Republican House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan’s proposal to reform Medicare, becoming the most prominent Republican to distance himself from the plan. Ryan's proposal, which was passed by the GOP-controlled House in April, would have people 54 and younger choose from a list of coverage options and have Medicare make “premium-support payments” to the plan they chose. “I don’t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than left-wing social engineering,” Gingrich scoffed in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press.
September 10, 2012 | By Jon Healey
On NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney deflected several requests for more specifics about his plans for taxes and Medicare. He's already revealed about as much about his tax proposal as he's going to: He's outlined his goals but is leaving many of the important details to Congress. But on Medicare, he appears to be holding back a detail that could make his proposal more palatable to voters worried about the program's future. Romney has long advocated retooling Medicare so that its beneficiaries receive a subsidy they could use to purchase coverage either from private insurers or the government.
August 15, 2012 | By Paul Whitefield
It looks like Mitt Romney, or Paul Ryan -- or both -- are already having their John Kerry moment. You may recall how George W. Bush effectively branded Kerry a flip-flopper in 2004 , helped along by Kerry's statement that "I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it" regarding his vote for an $87-billion supplemental appropriation for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Well, what's good for the goose may turn out to be not so good for our Republican ganders in 2012.
August 11, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times
For a moment last year, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's star shone brightly as he unveiled his party's bold deficit-whacking budget proposal -- that is, until seniors rebelled over his plan to dramatically change Medicare. The backlash was swift and decisive. Democrats attacked the GOP, saying the plan would destroy the Medicare safety net, and the earnest Wisconsin wunderkind slid from the spotlight. When he walked the halls of the Capitol, he popped in his iPod earbuds, tuning out the noise.
October 22, 2009 | Janet Hook and Noam N. Levey
With budget anxieties pervading the congressional healthcare debate, the Senate on Wednesday sidetracked popular legislation to increase Medicare payments to doctors by nearly $250 billion over the next decade. Voicing concern about adding that much money to the federal deficit, a coalition of 12 centrist Democrats, one independent and all the Senate's Republicans voted to block consideration of the bill, at least for now. The goal of the bill -- to overturn a scheduled 21% reduction in doctors' fees under Medicare -- enjoys broad bipartisan support.
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