The last couple of days, we’ve seen a real engagement in the NY21 race on the issue of Medicare. Our Julie Grant went in first, with a story focusing on the national Republican Party’s ad campaign on the issue.
Her piece lays out clearly some of the broad philosophical and policy differences that surround this complex debate.
The story advanced when the Doheny camp put out a statement laying out their their idea about reforming Medicare, which prompted stories like this one from Brian Amaral in the Watertown Daily Times.
The back and forth on the entitlement that is both popular and costly highlighted a basic philosophical difference between the candidates on the senior health insurance program: Mr. Doheny believes in increasing the role of private insurers, while Mr. Owens does not.
Chris Morris at the Adirondack Daily Enterprise also weighed in, responding to Doheny’s position statement.
In his commentary, Doheny said he wasn’t putting forth a plan. “Instead, these are some ideas I’d like to see incorporated in any bipartisan effort put before Congress,” he said.
Doheny said patient choice is important. He said recipients who like the current “fee-for-service system” should be able to keep using it, but he added that Medicare should also welcome competition. He said it’s been proven that market forces keep costs from escalating.
This is clearly an issue that the Owens camp wanted to have raised in this campaign — they’ve been sending out press releases regularly accusing Doheny of wanting to “privatize” Medicare. I expect this will come up again in next week’s debates.
In the meantime, these stories will give you a clearer sense of what the politicians are talking about, and what they really mean. Check them out and then chime in with your views on Medicare and reform efforts below.