Republicans blasted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) at their national convention in Tampa, Fla., and Democrats have been celebrating the existence of PPACA at their convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Thoughts about the need for long-term care (LTC) services have also dribbled in.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney referred to provisions in PPACA that call for the federal government to reduce support for Medicare Advantage plan providers and to cut Medicare provider reimbursement levels.
"His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today's seniors, and depress innovation – and jobs – in medicine." Romney said.
To strengthen the economy and give small businesses a chance to grow, "we must rein in the skyrocketing cost of health care by repealing and replacing Obamacare," Romney said.
Romney did not mention LTC services or the need for LTC services directly, but he seemed to imply that he supports the premise that older people and people with disabilities should get help from society as a whole.
"That united America" that people who have given their lives for the country loved "will care for the poor and the sick, will honor and respect the elderly, and will give a helping hand to those in need," Romney said.
Paul Ryan, Romney's running mate, spent more talking both about PPACA and the need for LTC services.
"The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over," Ryan said. "That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare."
Like Romney, Ryan talked about the Obama administration and PPACA reducing funding for Medicare Advantage programs and Medicare provider reimbursement programs.
"The biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly," Ryan said. "You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. $716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for."
Ryan then talked his experience with someone who needed LTC services: His grandmother, Janet, who had Alzheimer's disease.
Janet moved in with his family, Ryan said.
"Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved," Ryan said. "We had help from Medicare, and it was there, just like it’s there for my mom today. Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours."
At the Democratic convention, Sister Simone Campbell gave several examples of people that she believes would be helped by Obama administration policies and not by Romney administration policies. She talked about a center she was affiliated with helping 10-year-old twin boys who turned out to be the only source of care for a bedridden mother who had multiple sclerosis.
Later at the Democratic convention, former President Bill Clinton said the Obama had administration had not actually cut any support for Medicare benefits and had only reduced unnecessary subsidies for Medicare Advantage insurance companies and Medicare providers.
PPACA shifts that money into helping Medicare enrollees pay for prescription drugs, Clinton said.
Romney "actually wants to repeal those savings and give the money back to the insurance company," Clinton said.
Clinton also criticized Republican proposals to give each state a block of Medicaid funding that the state could use to run its Medicaid plan however the state wanted. The block grant approach would cut Medicaid funding by "a third over the coming 10 years," he said. "A lot of folks don’t know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid.... And a lot of that money is also spent to help people with disabilities, including a lot of middle-class families whose kids have Down’s syndrome or autism or other severe conditions."