In an attempt to address perhaps his greatest political vulnerability, likely 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday said there are clear differences between the health care law he signed into law as Massachusetts governor and the "Obamacare" federal health care law disdained by Republicans.
Romney said that while pundits have been pushing him to simply admit his decision to sign the Massachusetts law was a "boneheaded" mistake, he would not do so. That's because, he said, "it wouldn't be honest."
Signing the law, Romney said, "was right for the people of my state."Continue »
Although the full court is evenly split between Republican and Democratic appointees, the three-judge panel that will hear the case today (chosen randomly by computer) is entirely Democratic. Two of the judges are Obama appointees, and one is a Clinton appointee.Va. appeals court hears health care challenge
That means it's highly likely this court will uphold the health care law, because the rulings in the lower courts have closely tracked the judges' judicial ideology. Conservatives have struck down the law; liberal judges have upheld it.Continue »
At a town hall Wednesday, President Obama said that one of the biggest questions he has had about his leadership as president was the slow pace of health care reform. Given how complicated the issue was, though, he added that he's not sure it could've moved any faster.
"Health care, obviously, was a huge battle," the president said at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. "I've asked myself sometimes is there a way we could've gotten it done more quickly and in a way that the American people hadn't gotten frustrated by."Continue »
An additional Democrat joined Republicans on Friday in calling for the repeal of a critical component of President Obama's health care reforms, signaling that Mr. Obama will have to battle not only Republicans but members of his own party as he attempts to strengthen those reforms as part of his deficit reduction plan.
Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) on Friday released a statement announcing her support for the Medicare Decisions Accountability Act, a Republican bill that repeals the portion of the health reform package that creates the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). Schwartz is the fourth Democrat to come out in support of the legislation, the Hill reports.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is set to take action in 2018, is intended to be an independent, non-partisan commission of doctors and other health experts to oversee the costs of Medicare. The Obama administration has argued that the board will play a critical role in keeping health care costs down. Critics of the new board such as Sarah Palin have said the board will use "'death panel'-like rationing."
In her statement today, Schwartz said she condones repealing the IPAB because it is the role of Congress to determine Medicare policies.Continue »
Updated 9:10 a.m. ET
In what he thought was a private chat with campaign donors Thursday evening, President Obama offered the most revealing behind-the-scenes account to date of his budget negotiations with GOP leaders last week.
CBS Radio News White House correspondent Mark Knoller listened in to an audio feed of Mr. Obama's conversation with donors after other reporters traveling with the president had left the room.
In the candid remarks, Mr. Obama complains of Republican attempts to attach measures to the budget bill which would have effectively killed parts of his hard-won health care reform program.Continue »
Oklahoma's Republican governor announced Thursday that her state is rejecting a $54.6 million grant to set up its state-based health care exchange system.
Gov. Mary Fallin said the move "accomplishes my goal from the very beginning: stopping the implementation of the president's federal health care exchange in Oklahoma," Politico reports. Just two months ago, however, Fallin had said the federal assistance was "consistent with our [health care] mission" and a "step in the right direction."Continue »
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney jumped into the 2012 presidential race today with a video that reminds voters of one of his greatest strengths as a candidate: his economic credentials. Democrats, meanwhile, are busy reminding voters of one of his biggest weaknesses as a candidate in the Republican presidential primary: his association with health care reform.
Democratic officials in key primary states are holding "celebrations" this week to mark the fifth-year anniversary of the health care plan Romney implemented in Massachusetts.Continue »
The proposed 2012 budget that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan put forward today seemingly plays right into Democrats' hands by proposing massive changes to Medicare -- Ryan acknowledged as much this week on Fox News Sunday.
The Republican party launched aggressive attacks against Democrats in the midterm elections for voting for President Obama's health care reforms, which also included significant changes to the program. With that in mind, it should be evident enough to Ryan and other Republicans that proposing changes to Medicare is politically risky -- and now Democrats are launching their own attacks.
Ryan's plan would dramatically transform the health care plan for seniors. Instead of providing those over 65 with government-run health care, seniors starting in 2022 would receive "premium support" (subsidies given directly to insurance providers) to get the health care of their choice from private insurers. The congressman contends his plan would save $389 billion in Medicare expenses over the next decade, compared with President Obama's budget. The plan would not effect those who are currently 55 and above.Continue »
Updated 6:09 p.m. Eastern Time
The Republican budget plan released Tuesday proposes to make dramatic changes to the Medicare program which provides health care for older Americans. Under the current system, the government reimburses doctors and hospitals for certain medical services; under the House GOP plan, seniors would purchase a private health care plan among numerous options on an exchange. The government would then pay the private insurer in the form of a subsidy up to a specified amount.
Republicans say this means lower costs through increased competition and better-used resources; Democrats (as well as the AARP) complain it amounts to deep cuts to Medicare recipients. "Under the House plan, seniors' coverage would be cut drastically, benefits would no longer be guaranteed and seniors' costs would skyrocket," Sen. Max Baucus said Tuesday. "We can't allow the House to balance the budget on the backs of seniors and we won't - not on my watch."
But today's seniors are actually not directly affected by the House GOP's plan. As GOP budget guru Paul Ryan said on CBS' "The Early Show" Tuesday morning, "we're proposing no changes for people 55 and above."
That means that under the proposal most of the post-World War Two "baby boomers" - Americans born between about 1946 and 1964 - would get the benefits promised them, while the rest of Americans would have to accept cuts. Not only that, but Ryan's House GOP wants to reverse the cuts to Medicare included in the health care overhaul law.Continue »
The reforms and cuts already have Democrats accusing Republicans of trying to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and will surely be a hot topic for GOP presidential contenders in 2012.
The House Budget Committee will begin amending the plan tomorrow. The House budget with spending targets could be on the floor as early as next week, but could be delayed by the ongoing fight over this year's budget. Once the House passes a budget resolution, it is up to the regular committees to decide how to implement the Ryan plan and what specifically to cut to reach his targets.
Here are some of the most controversial elements of the House GOP's 2012 budget titled "The Path to Prosperity:"Continue »
Updated at 12:35 p.m. ET
Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is knowingly taking a big political gamble by introducing a 2012 federal budget today that proposes to dramatically transform Medicare and Medicaid -- two government programs that provide health care for a significant portion of the country.
As the GOP readies for the political attacks they'll surely suffer in the coming days, the party is framing their budget as a moral imperative.
"We believe we have a moral responsibility to step in and provide the leadership the president has not been providing," Ryan said at a press conference today, where he officially unveiled the budget. "We ought to have a social safety net to help people who are down on their luck and people who cannot help themselves... The problem is, our social safety net is fraying at the seams."Continue »
One year after President Obama signed his landmark health care reform package into law, his administration is still working to make sure the public understands the sweeping changes, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday.
Recent polls, including last month's CBS News poll, have shown that more Americans disapprove of the legislation than approve of it. In a conference call with reporters, Sebelius said that the reforms can be hard to understand because they phase in over time - and because its detractors are distorting the truth.Continue »
One year after President Obama's landmark health care reforms became law, Republicans are standing in opposition to the changes as ferociously as ever.
GOP leaders, in addition to enthusiastic freshmen Republicans swept into office on a wave of health care opposition, are promising to continue to pull the reforms apart. But the larger message from Republican leaders is clear: Vote for us again in 2012, and we'll be sure to get the job done and repeal it once and for all.Continue »
The waivers, which are typically granted to "mini-med" organizations that provide limited coverage and cannot meet the annual coverage limits mandated by the health care reform law, were meant as a stopgap measure to prevent a disruption in the insurance market upon implementation of the new legislation.
But many Republican lawmakers are pouncing on waivers as evidence of the argument that the law, which Obama signed into law in March 2010, is fundamentally flawed.Continue »
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour hit Mitt Romney's so-called "RomneyCare" health care plan on Tuesday, arguing that the legislation - which Romney enacted while serving as the governor of Massachusetts - might work for some states, but it wouldn't work for his.
"Massachusetts has a state health insurance program that they're happy with," said Barbour, a Republican, at a hearing on health care reform before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday. "And that's their right."
Barbour continued, "We don't want that. That's not good for us...We don't want community rating. We don't want extremely high mandatory standard benefits packages."
"Different states have different problems," he said. "We have different ideas."Continue »