... For all the talk of fresh thinking and new solutions, what they really want to do is simple: They want to stop spending money on poor people.
But that's not all. In this case, there's more than ideology at work: Romney doesn't want to spend as much on Medicaid as Obama does. In fact, he wants to take a chainsaw to it. Aaron Carroll and Austin Frakt took a look at the Romney and Obama plans in the Journal of the American Medical Association this week, and the chart above shows their conclusions. On Medicare, the two candidates want to spend roughly similar amounts of money. On Medicaid, Romney wants to spend way, way less. And not just on poor people. As Jon Cohn points out, cuts of this size will have a huge impact on "dual eligibles," elderly patients who rely on Medicaid to pay their nursing home bills.
This is not a minor point of technocratic disagreement. It represents a massive change in our commitment to providing decent medical care for those who can least afford it. Medicaid, much more than Medicare, demonstrates what's really at stake in November's election. ...Kevin Drum, MoJo
Which takes the election out of the box with the flat screen and puts it squarely in your hands. Do you want to stop spending money on poor people? Sorry, you have to have a yes or no answer to that question or you bow out of the privilege of being a responsible American and become just a mouthy tag-along.