According to virtually every political pundit, last week’s presidential debate performance by Governor Mitt Romney changed the dynamic of the campaign. The challenger scored a consensus victory over President Obama in their first of their three contests. Romney has closed the gap in national polling by pulling closer to the incumbent, however, the only thing that matters will be what happens in the electoral college, particularly the outcomes in Florida, Ohio and Virginia.
The vice-presidential debate will be this Thursday between the current Veep, Joe Biden, and fellow policy wonk, Congressman Paul Ryan. Expect a lot of the conversation to focus on Medicare. The Democrats have attacked Paul Ryan’s plan for two years, and even though it is different from what Romney is proposing, it would be wise to anticipate a significant amount of the dialogue to be focused on the popular entitlement program.
The guest of this week’s episode of America’s Healthcare Challenge was Sarah Kliff who is the health reform reporter for the Washington Post. She is a fountain of information on healthcare and writes for the Post’s “Wonk Blog.” You can follow her on twitter @SarahKliff. The conversation featured our reaction and her analysis of the debate. She was able to clarify of a couple of myths, and of some of the important components of the law which both parties often do not discuss.
One area of interest is the fact that both candidates are proposing to spend virtually the same amount on Medicare which sees future sustainability threatened by an aging population and rising healthcare costs. Both candidates sparred over the Independent Medicare Advisory Board or Section 3403 of the Affordable Care Act. Sarah astutely points out, this controversial board will only account for $15 billion out of the $718 billion taken out of the program, despite being branded as much worse.
Click here to stream the latest episode of America’s Healthcare Challenge and Click here to download the podcast. Check back to HealthReformExplained.com for the latest on this timely issue and for more, follow me on twitter @SeanMMcGuire.