New Obama campaign ad uses AARP to great effect

Most of the campaign ads I’ve seen this season are no better than mediocre at achieving their presumed goals.

Granted, some ads have been very good and others very awful. But most have been middling at best.

This one, however, strikes me as pretty powerful.




  1. Yes, get the facts.

    That last snippet in the ad isn’t from the AARP it is from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. According to Wikipedia- “Although the CBPP claims to be non-partisan, some papers of record have characterized it as left of center[4][5].”

    Here are some more facts.


    Defense #4. The Romney plan for Medicare is worse, because it would shift costs to seniors

    A talking point that President Obama has repeated on the campaign trail is that the Romney Medicare plan would “shift costs to seniors.” This is plainly dishonest, and the President knows better.

    The 2011 version of the Ryan plan required that those younger than 55 enroll, upon retirement, in privately-run Medicare plans. These future retirees would be able to choose among a menu of plans, and would get a fixed amount of “premium support” with which to choose among those plans. Because the amount of premiums support would increase at the rate of inflation, whereas health-care costs have historically grown at a faster rate, critics have worried that these trends, if continued into the future, would expose seniors to higher health-care costs out-of-pocket.

    Advocates of the 2011 Ryan plan, myself included, argue that precisely because of the premium support mechanism, seniors would be incentivized to shop for value with their insurance plans, creating a market incentive that would moderate health care cost growth. But the Congressional Budget Office assumes that market competition would have no effect on spending growth, hence the argument that the 2011 Ryan plan would shift costs to seniors.

    However, Mitt Romney pointedly refused to endorse this 2011 plan. Instead, he offered his own plan, one which addressed the above critique of the 2011 Ryan reform using a mechanism called competitive bidding, whereby seniors would be guaranteed to be able to purchase a fully-subsidized plan offering Medicare’s traditional set of insurance benefits. Weeks later, Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.) produced a very similar plan, a plan that was incorporated into the 2012 GOP budget.

    APOTHEFACT CONCLUSION: President Obama is not being honest about the Romney Medicare reform plan, which was expressly designed to respond to the cost-shifting critique of the 2011 Ryan plan. The Romney plan preserves Medicare’s benefits without exposing seniors to rising health-care prices.

  2. And some more.


    Supporters of the Ryan plan, meanwhile, say that senior citizens will end up sacrificing under the president’s health reform law. That’s because many providers could stop accepting Medicare if rates are slashed too low. Even the Medicare actuary has said the cuts are unsustainable.

    “They may have traditional Medicare, but they won’t have a doctor,” said Rea Hederman, research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation

  3. If I read what you wrote correctly, doc, Romney’s current plan will provide seniors with the ablilty “to be able to purchase a fully-subsidized plan offering Medicare’s traditional set of insurance benefits.” In other words, they will get the same Medicare benefits as now with the government paying the full cost ( or at least as much as it does now. Seniors do pay a monthly premium for Medicare.), but it will be administered by private companies instead of the government.

    Sounds just like Medicare Advantage which costs about 17% more than regular Medicare. Medicare Advantage has already proven that private insurance companies cannot pay medical costs as efficiently as the government. Romney’s plan just sounds like another give away to the insurance companies. You know, do what the government is already doing, but do it more expensively.

  4. From the same link above.

    “The rationale for cutting Medicare Advantage’s rates is that, prior to Obamacare, the government paid $1.14 per retiree in an MA plan, vs. $1.00 per retiree in a traditional plan. President Obama has called these differences “unwarranted subsidies [that] pad [private insurers’] profits but don’t improve the care of seniors.”

    But the comparison between MA and government-run plans can’t be made on price alone. Due to the constraints placed on MA plans, those plans are incentivized by Congress to offer more benefits at the expense of lower prices. Imagine if you were searching airfares from New York to London, but couldn’t shop on price, only on what the planes served for food, and what movies were on board.

    However, on an apples-to-apples basis, if you take out the extra benefits, Medicare Advantage plans are 9 percent cheaper than government-run plans. That was the finding of three Harvard economists, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association this month.”

  5. If that is really the case, doc, then Medicare Advantage should do just fine without the subsides. They don’t need them. They are already providing the same Medicare benefits at a lower cost. Where’s the problem?

  6. “Due to the constraints placed on MA plans, those plans are incentivized by Congress to offer more benefits at the expense of lower prices. Imagine if you were searching airfares from New York to London, but couldn’t shop on price, only on what the planes served for food, and what movies were on board.”

  7. A prior link I provided.


    Essentially all of the criticisms of the Ryan-Wyden(-Romney) proposal ignore its innovative combination of defined-contribution and defined-benefit insurance — directing themselves instead to older versions of the premium-support idea — and ignore the fact that it would leave all current seniors and near-retirees untouched. Thus just minutes after Paul Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said in a statement that Ryan’s Medicare plan would “end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors.” Some Democrats even put a particular dollar figure on that supposed cost shift — $6,400. That figure comes from a (rather rough) CBO calculation regarding a prior version of the premium-support idea, not the Ryan-Wyden proposal that Romney has endorsed. CBO would certainly not claim that the figure applies to what is now the Romney-Ryan plan, or indeed that any such shift would occur under that plan.

    The Democrats continuing to make such charges either do not know about the difference between Ryan-Wyden and past premium-support ideas or are knowingly lying. And those who argue that “Medicare as we know it” is the alternative to the Ryan-Wyden proposal are also either ignoring or denying reality. The fact is that Obamacare cuts Medicare by $700 billion over its first ten years to fund other programs and imposes a board of price controllers — the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) — over Medicare to cut costs in ways that (particularly by driving providers out of the business of serving Medicare patients through inadequate payment rates) would reduce the access of both current and future seniors to care. And without further reforms, the Medicare program will soon run out of funds in ways that would either require dramatic benefit cuts or would drive the government bankrupt.

    Medicare as we know it is thus not an option. The choice is between, on the one hand, a reform that leaves current seniors untouched for life and offers future seniors a guaranteed comprehensive benefit and more choices about how to get it or, on the other hand, cuts that affect both current and future beneficiaries and yet are still likely to fail to avert the program’s fiscal collapse. Mitt Romney offers the first — a plan for saving Medicare without increasing the risk to seniors. Barack Obama offers the second — a plan for raiding Medicare and watching it crumble.

  8. Let’s let Mitt do the talking.

    One part about the Republican plan that I would have thought would make Jerry and all the liberals hysterically happy is that it includes means testing. Even the Commander in Chief for class warfare didn’t include this in his reform.

    Why do you think I, a 45 year old physician, would support Mitt’s plan instead of the reform that has already been put in place?

  9. Whoops, sorry, I forgot the link. Sleep deprivation gets harder as I get older.


    MITT ROMNEY: This November, America will make a choice about the direction we want to go as a country – and nowhere is that choice clearer than on the issue of Medicare.

    President Obama’s healthcare law raided $716 billion from the Medicare trust fund. And he did that to finance his takeover of the healthcare system.

    Now if that wasn’t bad enough, his healthcare law also put in place a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats and gave them the power to make additional cuts to Medicare without even having to get approval from Congress. This means they could deny elderly Americans the care they’ve worked for their entire lives – all because President Obama trusts bureaucrats more than he trusts seniors and their doctors.

    And here’s one more troubling aspect of all this: According to independent, non-partisan scorekeepers, these cuts the President’s people will take to Medicare won’t prevent it from going bankrupt: Experts estimate that Medicare’s trust funds will be exhausted just twelve short years from now.

    Now there is good news, and that is there’s a better approach. Last November, I released a plan to save and strengthen Medicare – without making any changes for those that are 55 years of age and older. And then shortly after that, my running mate, Paul Ryan, he worked in a bipartisan way to advance a nearly identical series of reforms in Congress.

    Now that he and I have teamed up, we’re going to ensure that seniors are protected from President Obama’s reckless actions. We’re going to take our solutions all the way to the White House.

    We are going to start by repealing Obamacare. That law is threatening seniors, and it is a maze of new federal mandates, and taxes, and penalties that’s hampering job creation.

    Once the partisan roadblock is removed, we can work with leaders from both parties to advance real solutions to save Medicare.

    The Romney-Ryan plan will make no changes to Medicare for those that are retired or near retirement. And if we act soon, we can reorient our policies without asking seniors to reorganize their lives.

    For younger Americans, we are going to strengthen Medicare by providing future retirees with federal financial support and letting them choose from a list of Medicare-approved coverage plans, including a traditional Medicare option.

    The amount of financial support that a person would get would be adjusted based on their income; more help would go to the poor or the sick — and less help would go to those that are financially better off. It would be based on how much the plans cost so that seniors always have access to affordable, quality coverage. And no senior could ever be denied coverage for any reason.

    The Romney-Ryan plan preserves and protects Medicare – and it guarantees the future of the program by forcing insurance companies to compete for business. Choice and competition will drive costs down and make quality better, resulting in more affordable, better care for our seniors.

    We’ve got to save this critical program. You paid into it, and you’ve earned it. I think it’s outrageous that the President took $716 billion out of the Medicare trust fund to pay for Obamacare. No President should put in jeopardy your benefits. And no board of bureaucrats should ever be empowered to make decisions that could deny you the kind of care that you deserve.

  10. Romney is a liar.

  11. Jerry is funny looking. Nah nah nah nah nah.

    Seriously, you didn’t answer my question.

    Why do you think I would support a plan that will bring me LESS benefit when I retire in 20 or 25 years?

  12. Jerry said: “Romney is a liar.”

    Of course he’s a liar. That’s why he picked Ryan for a VP. ‘Team Pinocchio!’

    Lying is the Republican modus opperanda. That’s the only way they can get elected. They lie to get the votes to win elections, but can’t govern after they get in. On top of that they turn their backs on those that elected them.

    So here comes the little man to Florida, today. Bringing his mommy along. Is he afraid to face the seniors by himself? What lies will the little man spout today? He does resemble Pinocchio, doesn’t he?

  13. “Why do you think I would support a plan that will bring me LESS benefit when I retire in 20 or 25 years?”

    I don’t think you do support a plan that will bring you less. I suspect your objection is to maximize income with wealthy patients while minimizing taxes which support more broad based health care. In other words, you want to minimize government healthcare expense (reducing your taxes), at the expense of the general welfare of the American public. You realize that the only way to bring down healthcare costs is to reduce the amount of money that people make off of it. Instead, you want to continue providing expensive healthcare to only those who can afford it. You essentially want to go back to the way it was before Medicare. Can’t afford insurance? Too bad. That in a nutshell is the republican plan. You guys are selling snake oil and advertising it as a cure all.

  14. kevind1986

    expdoc: why do you try? Jerry doesn’t want your “information”. Doesn’t fit his tunnel-vision version of the truth. He just wants to throw eggs and tomatoes like many of the unwashed and unlearned. Pplease don’t catch the items – it just irritates the beast.

  15. Well kev, I see we are in agreement with one thing. doc’s information requires quotes around it.

  16. My information comes from the real world my friend, not your fantasy world of the evil rich scheming to keep you down. Your logic doesn’t even make sense.

    Do you think Romney’s plan with maximize my income? Not only will my salary continue to go down, I will have to pay MORE for my Medicare benefits when I retire.

    This is really simple.

    Medicare is going broke. Soon. It will benefit NOBODY if it goes away or bankrupts the country. You cannot dodge the simple math facts. Isn’t it our duty to insure this program is there for multiple future generations?

    We need to increase competition to decrease cost. We need to give people a choice to choose the care that suites their needs and not the care the government deems to be appropriate. Providing health care coverage that is perceived to be “free” will never control costs. We need more competetion amongst insurance plans, amongst hospitals and amongst providers.

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