How the 2012 Presidential Election Will Affect Seniors [Infographic]

The 2012 presidential election will have a significant impact on senior citizens. With all the information (and misinformation) swirling around about the Obama and Romney camp’s respective stances on issues that matter to seniors, sorting it all out can be confusing and frustrating.

To help seniors better understand their options, we’ve created this infographic, “How the 2012 Presidential Election Will Affect Seniors,” which contains need-to-know facts, debunks myths and examines the candidates stances on important issues that affect senior citizens and the elderly.

We encourage you to share the infographic on social media, and you also can embed it on your website using the HTML code below. We ask only that you credit us, Assisted Living Today the leader in finding top top assisted living homes and communities, as the source.

2012 presidential election and seniors, the elderly and Baby Boomers infograpic

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HOW ELECTIONS COULD AFFECT SENIOR CITIZENS

United States National Candidates with Senior Citizen Related Platforms

 

  • Republican Party
    • Mitt Romney – President
    • Paul Ryan – Vice President
      • Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick
      • Seven-term congressman from Wisconsin
      • Best known as chairman of the House Budget Committee
        • Authored two budgets noted for:
          • Deep spending cuts
          • Changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare
      • Proposed Medicare to turn into a voucher program
        • Current Medicare Program
          • Eligible US citizens receive equal health benefits funded by public taxes
          • 50-year old government program
        • Proposed Medicare Program
          • Provide senior citizens with a set amount of money to buy health insurance from private companies
  • Platform
    • Three accounts with over 40% of total spending
      • Medicare
      • Medicaid
      • Social Security
    • Reigning in Out-of-Control Spending, Balancing the Budget, and Ensuring Sound Monetary Policy
      • Saving Medicare for Future Generations
      • Strengthening Medicaid in the States
      • Ensuring Retirement Security

 

Link:  presidential-candidates.org/data/images/2012_republican_party_national_platform.pdf and chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-08/16/content_15681449.htm

 

  • Democratic Party
    • President Barack Obama – President
    • Vice-President Joe Biden – Vice-President
    • Elderly-related platform:
      • Health Care
        • Current health care plus landmark reforms
          • Accessible, affordable, high quality health care as part of the “American promise”
            • Americans should have the security that comes with good health care
            • No one should go broke because they get sick
        • Landmark reforms are helping millions of Americans
          • More benefits to come soon
    • Social Security
      • Preserve and find solutions to protect the Social Security system for the future generations

 

Link:  presidential-candidates.org/data/images/2012_democratic_party_national_platform.pdf

 

The Rationale behind the Republican’s Proposal on Health Care

 

  • Goal for Medicare and Medicaid
    • Assure that every participant receives the amount of care they need at the time they need it
    • Curb the US deficit
      • Cutting spending is not enough
        • Must have the following:
          • Major structural reforms
          • Increased productivity
          • Use of technology
          • Long-term government downsizing that:
            • Reduce debt
            • Reduce deficits
            • Ignite economic growth
  • Medicare is the largest driver of future debt
  • Ensure consumer choice in healthcare
    • Empowerment to millions of seniors to control their personal healthcare decisions
    • Increase choice and reduce cost
    • Unlike Obamacare
      • Empowers a handful of bureaucrats to cut Medicare in ways
        • Will deny care for the elderly
  • Portability of insurance coverage
    • Coverage should not be dictated where families live and work
  • End tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance
  • Allow consumers to purchase insurance across State lines
  • Government promotion on: (for insurance premiums)
    • Health Savings Accounts
    • Health Reimbursement Accounts
  • Government to ensure the aging population has access to safe and affordable care
  • Prioritize home care in public policy since seniors prefer to age at home
    • Exercise the right of individual choice in senior care
  • Implement programs to protect against elder abuse
  • Ensure quality care is provided across the care continuum from home to nursing home to hospice
  • Maintain a strong economy
    • Prevent inflation increase
      • Inflation
        • Diminishes the purchasing power of the dollar at home and abroad
        • Hidden tax on the American people
        • Inflation tax is regressive
          • Punishes those who save
          • Transfers wealth from Main Street to Wall Street
          • Grave implications for seniors living on fixed incomes
  • Look for ways to set a fixed value for a dollar
  • Save Medicare and Medicaid for Future Generations
    • Both cannot be sustained to protect individuals
      • Medicare Enrollees:
        • 1970: More than 20 million
        • Current: More than 47 million
        • 2030: More than 80 million
    • Medicaid Enrollees:
      • 1990: Almost 30 million
      • Current: About 54 million
        • Add: 11 million from Obamacare
      • 2030: More than 80 million
    • Medicare Spending
      • 2010
        • $520 billion
        • Unfunded obligations: $37 trillions
    • Medicaid Spending
      • 2019: More than double
      • Growing faster than most other budget lines in many States
  • No reforms on both will lead to bankruptcy that will endanger:
    • Seniors
    • Poor
  • Consequences when the “fiscalship” is not righted
    • Hurt individuals
    • Worst to come to those who depend on Medicare and Medicaid
  • Modernize Medicare
    • Empower participants
    • Put it a secure financial footing
    • Move to a defined Medicare contribution model
      • Limits cost
      • Restores consumer choice for patients and introduce competition
        • Genuine competition is the best guarantee of better care at lower cost
      • Best guard against the fraud and abuse
        • Fraud and abuse have plagued Medicare in its isolation from free market forces
        • Costs the taxpayers billions of dollars every year
      • No changes for those 55 and older
      • Transition to a premium-support model for Medicare
        • Retain the option of traditional Medicare in competition with private plans
        • Income adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice
          • Include private health insurance plans that provide catastrophic protection
          • Ensure continuation of doctor-patient relationships
        • Age eligibility for Medicare must be made realistic in terms of today’s longer life span
    • Strengthen Medicaid
      • Medicaid
        • Too big and flawed to be managed in its current condition from Washington
        • Excessive mandates on coverage
      • Proposals from Republican Governors to make the program:
        • More flexible
        • More innovative
        • More accountable
      • Alternatives to hospitalization for chronic health problems
      • Rewards patients for participating in disease prevention activities
      • Eliminates excessive mandates on coverage
      • Separates designed program for patients with long-term needs
      • Allows the States to design programs that meet the needs of their low income citizens
        • Way to achieve this: premium supports or a refundable tax credit
          • Non-disable adults and children
            • Can be moved into a private health insurance of their choice
            • Their needs can be met on the same basis as those of more affluent Americans
            • Aged and disabled
              • States have the flexibility to improve the quality of care
              • States can avoid the inappropriate institutional placing of patients who prefer home care

 

Link:  presidential-candidates.org/data/images/2012_republican_party_national_platform.pdf

 

The Rationale behind the Republican’s Proposal on Retirement Security

 

  • Ensuring Retirement Security
    • No changes should adversely affect any current or near-retirees
    • Comprehensive reform
      • To address the society’s remarkable medical advances in longevity
      • Allow younger workers the option of creating their own personal investment accounts as supplements to the system
        • Younger Americans lost faith in the Social Security system
          • Nonpartisan actuary’s reports about its future funding
    • Restore public trust in the system
    • Set the system on a sound fiscal basis to give:
      • Workers control over their investment
      • Sound return on the workers’ investment
  • Current bottom line
    • Increasing underfunded plans
      • Overestimated rates of return on investments
      • Endangers the integrity of the Pension Guaranty Benefit Corporation
      • Taxpayers are expected to pay for a bailout
      • Cities face bankruptcy because of:
        • Excessive outlays for early retirement
        • Extravagant health plans
        • Overly generous pension benefits
  • Corrective action
    • Call for a presidential panel to review the private pension system in the country
      • For private pensions backed by the Pension Guaranty Benefit Corporation
    • Publicize its findings

 

Link:  presidential-candidates.org/data/images/2012_republican_party_national_platform.pdf

 

Issues on the Republican’s Proposal

 

  • Health Care
    • Leave the elderly to make up any of the additional costs on their own
      • Heavy burden on low-income senior citizens, or those with chronic health problems
      • Force seniors to pay extra $6,400 per year in additional healthcare cost

 

Link:  chinadaily.com.cn/world/2012-08/16/content_15681449.htm

 

  • Value of Medicare benefits will evaporate

 

Link:  presidential-candidates.org/data/images/2012_democratic_party_national_platform.pdf

 

  • Retirement Security
    • Privatization of Americans’ guaranteed retirement income
      • By stock market
  • Benefits cut

 

Link:  presidential-candidates.org/data/images/2012_democratic_party_national_platform.pdf

 

Strategy of the Democratic Party to Address Health Care & Social Security Issues

 

  • Health Care
    • Reduce the cost of Medicare
      • Crack down fraud, waste and subsidies to insurance companies
      • Build on the new health care law and preserve Medicare’s guarantees
        • Nearly 50 million older Americans and Americans with disabilities rely on Medicare each year
        • New health care law makes Medicare stronger by:
          • Adding new benefits
          • Fighting fraud
          • Improving care for patients
      • Will save the average Medicare beneficiary $4,200 (Over 10 years)
      • Address health care fraud
        • Recovered $10 billion from health care scams
      • Close the gap in prescription drug coverage known as the “doughnut hole.”
        • More than five million seniors have already saved money
          • Average of $600 last year
          • Doughnut hole will be closed for good by 2020
          • Social Security
            • Preserve and find solutions to protect the Social Security system for the future generations

 

Link:  presidential-candidates.org/data/images/2012_democratic_party_national_platform.pdf

 

Issues against the Democratic Party’s Health Care Program

 

  • $716 billion of cuts made on the Medicare to implement Obama’s Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare”
    • Obamacare
      • Refers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
      • U.S. Federal statute signed into law on March 23, 2010
      • Obama’s health care reform legislation
        • Along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
    • Mandates of the law:
      • All individuals must have some type of insurance
        • Anyone not covered by the following are required to purchase insurance or pay a penalty:
          • An employer sponsored health plan
          • Medicaid
          • Medicare
          • Other insurance program
      • Insurance programs must cover pre-existing health conditions
    • Inclusions:
      • Medicaid expansion to include individuals and families
        • With household incomes up to but not exceeding 133% of the poverty level
      • Requirement to States:
        • Offer a marketplace exchange where people have choices in policies and premiums
          • Government subsidy to low-income families with incomes up to 400% of the poverty level
            • To purchase insurance coverage from the state exchange
    • Other important aspects:
      • Employer’s share on financial responsibility for employees who receive federal subsidies
        • For companies with 50 or more employees who do not offer health insurance
      • Eliminate insurance caps, both yearly and lifetime
      • Fee-for-service to bundled payments for Medicare reimbursement
    • Rationale on its creation
      • Decrease healthcare costs
        • Presence of “continual” rising
          • Puts more pressure on the strained federal budget (according to the Congressional Budget Office or CBO)
        • How
          • Ensure all Americans have healthcare insurance
            • Absence of healthcare insurance for an estimate of 47 million people
            • Approval of generic biologic drugs by Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
              • Generally less expensive than branded drugs
            • Establish a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
              • A non-government, non-profit organization
              • Conduct research on the effectiveness and suitableness of various medical treatments
              • Initiate more preventative health efforts
                • Information drive on community and prevention services
                  • Through task forces
      • Reduce the national deficit
        • Partly through tax
          • Some of the tax provisions in the PPACA
            • Broaden Medicare tax on incomes over $200,000 and $250,000
            • Charge an annual fee to insurance providers
            • Charge an annual fee to:
              • Manufacturers of branded drugs
              • Importers of branded drugs
              • Impose a 2.3% excise tax on:
                • Manufacturers of certain medical devices
                • Importers of certain medical devices
                • Increase the Adjusted Gross Income on medical expenses deductions
            • Expected result
              • Billions of dollars to the U.S. Government in generated taxes
    • Controversies
      • Mandate on requiring all Americans to buy healthcare insurance
        • More than half of Americans polled are opposed
          • Americans feel that the new law will increase the amount of money they have to spend on healthcare
      • Cost of implementation
        • $930 billion (2014 to 2022) for the federal government to absorb the medical coverage of uninsured people
          • Until 2019: Federal government to absorb all the financial responsibility
          • 2020: Share to drop at 90%
          • Estimated at 17 million uninsured individuals
          • Current law on Medicaid
            • Shared financial responsibility with the federal government paying more than 50%
      • Flexibility of the law to alter the amount of costs to be absorbed by the federal government
        • New law inclusion:
          • Extending Medicaid to the uninsured is left up to the States whether to comply or not
            • Without federal penalties
      • 56% of Americans are against

 

Link: affordablehealthinsurance.org/what_is_obamacare.html

 

  • Increase in tax and raid of Medicare to fund Obamacare  (Congressional Budget Office report)
    • $1 trillion tax increase
    • $700 billion funding from Medicare for $1.7 trillion open-ended entitlement
    • No programs to address the health care costs for families and businesses

 

Link:  paulryan.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=304468

 

  • Health insurance premiums to increase (Congressional Budget Office report)

 

Link:  paulryan.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=304468

 

Summary

 

How Elections Could Affect Senior Citizens

US National Candidates with Senior Citizen Related Platforms Republican Party
  • Mitt Romney – President
  • Paul Ryan – Vice President

Democratic Party

  • President Barack Obama – President
  • Vice-President Joe Biden – Vice-President

Republican PlatformReigning in Out-of-Control Spending, Balancing the Budget, and Ensuring Sound Monetary Policy

  • Saving Medicare for Future Generations
  • Strengthening Medicaid in the States
  • Ensuring Retirement Security

Democratic Platform

  • Preserve Medicare by reducing cost
  • Preserve and find solutions to protect the Social Security system for the future generations

 

Rationale of PlatformsRepublican

 

  • Save Medicare and Medicaid for future generations
  • Cut excessive spending
  • Prevent tax payment from skyrocketing
  • Provide the proper health care
  • Properly fund retirement security

 

Democratic

  • Preserve the American tradition by building on the new health care law
  • Preserve and protect the Social Security system by finding solutions