Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should Medicare be amended to include a voucher system for health care?
Virgil Goode, US Representative (R-VA), was quoted as stating the following in a Sep. 29, 2012 article "What Makes Virgil Goode Run?," available at www.salon.com:
"I’m a conservative, but with a focus on average people. For instance, I support Social Security and Medicare. And I disagree with Paul Ryan about the need to turn Medicare into a voucher program." Sep. 29, 2012 Virgil Goode
Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Joe Hunter, in a Oct. 9, 2012 email to ProCon.org:
"While vouchers might be preferable to the current system, I believe Medicare funding should be provided to the states via block grants - allowing substantial cost savings and federal outlays, while allowing the states to fashion more effective ways of providing health care for those who need assistance." Oct. 9, 2012 Gary Johnson
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, stated the following during his Aug. 25, 2012 "Weekly Address: Preserving and Strengthening Medicare," available at www.whitehouse.gov:
"...[A]s part of the Affordable Care Act, we gave seniors deeper discounts on prescription drugs, and made sure preventive care like mammograms are free without a co-pay. We’ve extended the life of Medicare by almost a decade. And I’ve proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system and reining in insurance companies – reforms that won’t touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Not by a single dime.
Republicans in Congress have put forward a very different plan. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program. That means that instead of being guaranteed Medicare, seniors would get a voucher to buy insurance, but it wouldn’t keep up with costs. As a result, one plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for the same benefits they get now. And it would effectively end Medicare as we know it.
I think our seniors deserve better. I’m willing to work with anyone to keep improving the current system, but I refuse to do anything that undermines the basic idea of Medicare as a guarantee for seniors who get sick." Aug. 25, 2012 Barack Obama
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following during a Sep. 23, 2012 interview with Scott Pelley on CBS's 60 Minutes, "Campaign 2012: Obama vs. Romney," avaialble at www.cbsnews.com:
"Romney: Well, I don't want any change to Medicare for current seniors or for those that are nearing retirement...
...So what I do in my Medicare plan for younger people coming along is say this, 'We're going to have higher benefits for low income people and lower benefits for high income people. We're going to make it more means tested.' I think if we do that, we'll make sure to preserve Medicare into the indefinite future.
Pelley: The idea under your plan for future seniors would be that the federal government would write that senior a check, essentially, and say, 'Now, you can go buy a private insurance plan or you can buy Medicare from the federal government.' Is that essentially it?
Romney: Yeah. That's essentially it. People would have a choice of either traditional, government-run, fee-for-service Medicare; or a private plan, which has to offer the same benefits." Sep. 23, 2012 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, was quoted as stating the following in a June 28, 2012 article "Romneycare and Obamacare are Class Warfare and Failures, Says Stein," available at www.jillstein.org:
"[It is] time for all Americans to reject the failed Obama and Romney approach to the health crisis, and demand an improved Medicare for All system that provides health care to all at an affordable price...
We must implement a publicly administered non-profit system with no premiums, no deductibles, no co-pays and no co-insurance. This kind of system is proven. It is providing affordable health care all across the developed world, and providing better health outcomes. It's the only fiscally sound approach to health care costs because it eliminates the inefficiencies of private insurance corporations, and provides effective cost controls." June 28, 2012 Jill Stein