Medicare and Medicaid refresher for tonight’s debate

My gchat with Austin Frakt.

In time for tonight’s debate, the Incidental Economist‘s Austin Frakt and I had a nice gchat conversation about Medicare and Medicaid issues likely to arise in tonight’s debate. Check it out here, including the very nice HIO artwork shown below. The picture below, used in one of my previous pieces, communicates in one picture so much of what I found missing at this year’s GOP convention.

(During the debate, I will be live-chatting with staff at The Nation here. For those who need more, here are my comments on Morning Edition and All Things Considered on related issues. Oh yeah. my Medicaid political spot has attracted 10,321 views. That seemed OK until the #1 recommended related video was some cat thing that has attracted 1.75 million….)

Here’s Austin’s concluding thought in our gchat.

Austin: I’d end with this: This election offers the starkest choice on health care we’ve ever had. The choice is more clear than it was in 2008, because ACA is now law. Therefore, we know almost exactly what will happen if Obama wins. In 2008, we had only his plan to go on. The law is far more detailed. Similarly, since Romney has pledged repeal, we know very well what he’d do. He’s been less than clear on some other reforms, but we can see the thrust quite well, and it is the opposite direction – in terms of coverage expansion – than Obama.

So, we have a clear choice on election day, don’t we?

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.