Truth and Lies About Medicare

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from beKool. Show beKool's posts

    Truth and Lies About Medicare

    Republican attacks on President Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances.

    Both men have also twisted themselves into knots to distance themselves from previous positions, so that voters can no longer believe anything they say. Last week, both insisted that they would save Medicare by pumping a huge amount of money into the program, a bizarre turnaround for supposed fiscal conservatives out to rein in federal spending.

    The likelihood that they would stand by that irresponsible pledge after the election is close to zero. And the likelihood that they would be better able than Democrats to preserve Medicare for the future (through a risky voucher system that may not work well for many beneficiaries) is not much better. THE ALLEGED “RAID ON MEDICARE” A Republican attack ad says that the reform law has “cut” $716 billion from Medicare, with the money used to expand coverage to low-
    income people who are currently uninsured. “So now the money you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you,” the ad warns.

    What the Republicans fail to say is that the budget resolutions crafted by Paul Ryan and approved by the Republican-controlled House retained virtually the same cut in Medicare.

    In reality, the $716 billion is not a “cut” in benefits but rather the savings in costs that the Congressional Budget Office projects over the next decade from wholly reasonable provisions in the reform law.

    One big chunk of money will be saved by reducing unjustifiably high subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans that enroll many beneficiaries at a higher average cost than traditional Medicare. Another will come from reducing the annual increases in federal reimbursements to health care providers — like hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies — to force the notoriously inefficient system to find ways to improve productivity.

    And a further chunk will come from fees or taxes imposed on drug makers, device makers and insurers — fees that they can surely afford since expanded coverage for the uninsured will increase their markets and their revenues.

    NO HARM TO SENIORS The Republicans imply that the $716 billion in cuts will harm older Americans, but almost none of the savings come from reducing the benefits available for people already on Medicare. But if Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan were able to repeal the reform law, as they have pledged to do, that would drive up costs for many seniors — namely those with high prescription drug costs, who are already receiving subsidies under the reform law, and those who are receiving preventive services, like colonoscopies, mammograms and immunizations, with no cost sharing.

    Mr. Romney argued on Friday that the $716 billion in cuts will harm beneficiaries because those who get discounts or extra benefits in the heavily subsidized Medicare Advantage plans will lose them and because reduced payments to hospitals and other providers could cause some providers to stop accepting Medicare patients.

    If he thinks that will be a major problem, Mr. Romney should leave the reform law in place: it has many provisions designed to make the delivery of health care more efficient and cheaper, so that hospitals and others will be better able to survive on smaller payments.

    NO BANKRUPTCY LOOMING The Republicans also argue that the reform law will weaken Medicare and that by preventing the cuts and ultimately turning to vouchers they will enhance the program’s solvency. But Medicare is not in danger of going “bankrupt”; the issue is whether the trust fund that pays hospital bills will run out of money in 2024, as now projected, and require the program to live on the annual payroll tax revenues it receives.

    The Affordable Care Act helped push back the insolvency date by eight years, so repealing the act would actually bring the trust fund closer to insolvency, perhaps in 2016.

    DEFICIT REDUCTION Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan said last week that they would restore the entire $716 billion in cuts by repealing the law. The Congressional Budget Office concluded that repealing the law would raise the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years.

    The Republicans gave no clue about how they would pay for restoring the Medicare cuts without increasing the deficit. It is hard to believe that, if faced with the necessity of fashioning a realistic budget, keeping Medicare spending high would be a top priority with a Romney-Ryan administration that also wants to spend very large sums on the military and on tax cuts for wealthy Americans.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/truth-and-lies-about-medicare.html?src=rechp

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: Truth and Lies About Medicare

    Even the Obama campaign admits he cut Medicare by $700 billion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCEgidipc5g

    Heck, even OBAMA admits it:

    TAPPER: One of the concerns about health care and how you pay for it: One third of the funding comes from cuts to Medicare.

    OBAMA: Right.

    TAPPER: A lot of times, as you know, what happens in Congress is somebody will do something bold; and then Congress, close to election season, will undo it.

    OBAMA: Right.

     

    TAPPER: You saw it with the doc fix.

    OBAMA: Right.

    TAPPER: Are you willing to pledge that whatever cuts in Medicare are being made to fund health insurance, one third of it, that you will veto anything that tries to undo that?

    OBAMA: Yes! I actually have said that it is important for us to make sure this thing is deficit neutral, without tricks. I said I wouldn't sign a bill that didn't meet that criteria.



    Guess you swim alone on this "mistruth".
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from beKool. Show beKool's posts

    Re: Truth and Lies About Medicare

    In Response to Re: Truth and Lies About Medicare:
    Even the Obama campaign admits he cut Medicare by $700 billion. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCEgidipc5g Heck, even OBAMA admits it: TAPPER: One of the concerns about health care and how you pay for it: One third of the funding comes from cuts to Medicare. OBAMA: Right. TAPPER: A lot of times, as you know, what happens in Congress is somebody will do something bold; and then Congress, close to election season, will undo it. OBAMA: Right.   TAPPER: You saw it with the doc fix. OBAMA: Right. TAPPER: Are you willing to pledge that whatever cuts in Medicare are being made to fund health insurance, one third of it, that you will veto anything that tries to undo that? OBAMA: Yes! I actually have said that it is important for us to make sure this thing is deficit neutral, without tricks. I said I wouldn't sign a bill that didn't meet that criteria. Guess you swim alone on this "mistruth".
    Posted by skeeter20




    $700 billion from Medicare?

    The claim that Obama cut $700 billion out of Medicare is relatively new. Not long ago, the oft-cited number was $500 billion. How did he manage to cut another $200 billion when no one was looking?

    First things first: Neither Obama nor his health care law literally cut a dollar amount from the Medicare program’s budget.

    Rather, the health care law instituted a number of changes to try to bring down future health care costs in the program. At the time the law was passed, those reductions amounted to $500 billion over the next 10 years.

    What kind of spending reductions are we talking about? They were mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries. The law makes significant reductions to Medicare Advantage, a subset of Medicare plans run by private insurers. Medicare Advantage was started under President George W. Bush, and the idea was that competition among the private insurers would reduce costs. But in recent years the plans have actually cost more than traditional Medicare. So the health care law scales back the payments to private insurers.

    Hospitals, too, will be paid less if they have too many re-admissions, or if they fail to meet other new benchmarks for patient care.

    Obama and fellow Democrats say the intention is to protect beneficiaries' coverage while forcing health care providers to become more efficient.

    Under the new law, the overall Medicare budget is projected to go up for the foreseeable future. The health care law tries to limit that growth, making it less than it would have been without the law, but not reducing its overall budget. So claims that Obama would "cut" Medicare need more explanation to be fully accurate. In the past, we’ve rated similar statements Half True or Mostly False, depending on the wording and context.

    Because Medicare spending gets bigger every year, the cost-saving mechanisms in the health care law also get bigger. Also, it takes a few years for the health care law’s savings mechanisms to kick in. In fact, the effects of time are the main reason the $500 billion number has turned into $700 billion.

    The CBO determined in 2011 that the federal health care law would reduce Medicare outlays by $507 billion between 2012 and 2021. In a more recent estimate released this year, the CBO looked at the years 2013 to 2022 and determined the health care law affected Medicare outlays by $716 billion.

    So it’s timing that’s making the cuts bigger, not changes to Medicare.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/aug/15/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-said-barack-obama-first-history-rob-me/

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: Truth and Lies About Medicare

    In Response to Re: Truth and Lies About Medicare:
    In Response to Re: Truth and Lies About Medicare : $700 billion from Medicare? The claim that Obama cut $700 billion out of Medicare is relatively new. Not long ago, the oft-cited number was $500 billion. How did he manage to cut another $200 billion when no one was looking? First things first: Neither Obama nor his health care law literally cut a dollar amount from the Medicare program’s budget. Rather, the health care law instituted a number of changes to try to bring down future health care costs in the program. At the time the law was passed, those reductions amounted to $500 billion over the next 10 years. What kind of spending reductions are we talking about? They were mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries. The law makes significant reductions to Medicare Advantage, a subset of Medicare plans run by private insurers. Medicare Advantage was started under President George W. Bush, and the idea was that competition among the private insurers would reduce costs. But in recent years the plans have actually cost more than traditional Medicare. So the health care law scales back the payments to private insurers. Hospitals, too, will be paid less if they have too many re-admissions, or if they fail to meet other new benchmarks for patient care. Obama and fellow Democrats say the intention is to protect beneficiaries' coverage while forcing health care providers to become more efficient. Under the new law, the overall Medicare budget is projected to go up for the foreseeable future. The health care law tries to limit that growth, making it less than it would have been without the law, but not reducing its overall budget. So claims that Obama would "cut" Medicare need more explanation to be fully accurate. In the past, we’ve rated similar statements Half True or Mostly False , depending on the wording and context. Because Medicare spending gets bigger every year, the cost-saving mechanisms in the health care law also get bigger. Also, it takes a few years for the health care law’s savings mechanisms to kick in. In fact, the effects of time are the main reason the $500 billion number has turned into $700 billion. The CBO determined in 2011 that the federal health care law would reduce Medicare outlays by $507 billion between 2012 and 2021. In a more recent estimate released this year, the CBO looked at the years 2013 to 2022 and determined the health care law affected Medicare outlays by $716 billion. So it’s timing that’s making the cuts bigger, not changes to Medicare. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/aug/15/mitt-romney/mitt-romney-said-barack-obama-first-history-rob-me/
    Posted by beKool


    Well, you are the one that put up the $716 billion number, I was just rounding down.


    hospitals, caregivers, and insurance companies will be paid less.  That certainly sounds like cuts to me, and anyone with a brain.

     
Sections
Shortcuts

Share