Clinton's explanation of the cuts that the healthcare law will make to Medicare was unusual because the provider cuts are usually glossed over by Democratic defenses of the cuts, despite the fact that more than one-third of the cuts will come from reductions in hospital payments.
Hospitals have pressed to varying degrees since enactment of the law for those cuts to be rescinded. And Republicans have maintained that it is impossible to cut providers by that much and not impact Medicare beneficiaries' access to care.
Clinton countered Republican criticisms of the cuts by highlighting their inclusion in the budgets Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan authored as chairman of the House Budget Committee. Republicans have said the budgets included the healthcare law's cuts only because the chamber's rules require the documents to be based on existing law.
Other provisions of the law that Clinton highlighted included the more than $1 billion in premium refunds that insurers said they returned to consumers for exceeding the law's allowable ratios of administrative spending; requiring insurers to carry adult children up to age 26 on their parents' policies; and the provision of preventive care for Medicare beneficiaries without co-pays.
“So are we all better off because President Obama fought for it and passed it?” Clinton said about the law. “You bet we are.”
Clinton also criticized the Republican ticket's call for reducing Medicaid's growth rate by transforming it from an open entitlement to a series of state block grants. Such spending reductions would most impact the two-thirds of its spending on nursing home care for seniors and on care for people with disabilities.
“I don't know how those families are going to deal with it,” he said about families with disabled children in the program. “We can't let it happen.”
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