Mitt Romney is still lying about Medicare — no surprise there. Also it is no surprise that Romney is now dog whistlin’ while he does it. It’s the southern strategy updated for the twenty-first century:
“What Paul Ryan and I have talked about is saving Medicare, is providing people greater choice in Medicare, making sure it’s there for current seniors. No changes, by the way, for current seniors, or those nearing retirement. But looking for young people down the road and saying, “We’re going to give you a bigger choice.” In America, the nature of this country has been giving people more freedom, more choices. That’s how we make Medicare work down the road.”
Get it? He is “robbing” Medicare. The black guy is stealing money from seniors! He is coming for your wallet!
Loath as I am to cite Politifact, they clearly explain why the current talking point about Obama cutting $500 billion from Medicare is a steaming pile of horseshit:
There’s a small bit of truth here. The Affordable Care Act does reduce Medicare spending by $500 billion over the next 10 years. But here’s the catch: Those dollars aren’t taken out of the current budget, they are not actual cuts, and nowhere does the bill actually eliminate any current benefits.
The $500 billion is all in future spending reductions and come through the law’s attempts to slow projected growth, not cut spending.
PolitiFact National has highlighted the biggest bits of savings: About $220 billion comes from reducing annual increases in Medicare payments to health care providers. Another $36 billion comes from increasing premiums for higher-income beneficiaries. Administrative changes land another $12 billion in savings. A new national board is set to come up with $15.5 billion in savings — but can’t get those savings from a reduction in benefits. The last big chunk of $136 billion comes in changes to the Medicare Advantage program, which has become more expensive than initially anticipated.
If all those numbers make your eyes glaze over like they do mine, the bottom line is this:
The $500 billion in cuts is not “robbing Medicare.” The cuts make an effort to end corporate welfare, which Republicans should like because Republicans hate welfare. (Oh wait… Republicans hate welfare only when Cadillac-driving baby-mamas are sticking their ashy hands into the white man’s pocket. When it comes to subsidies for insurance companies, Republicans look the other way. Typical.) The cuts also increase premiums for people who can afford it.
Contrary to Romney’s lies, the ACA does not steal money from seniors. In fact, there are no cuts to Medicare benefits. The cuts are on the provider side. So, for example, Michele Bachmann’s husband can no longer bill Medicare to cure people of The Gay.
The ACA ends unnecessary subsidies to insurance companies through a program called Medicare Advantage. Moreover, it wasn’t even an idea that just popped up during the Obama Administration. Democrats, specifically Henry Waxman, have been trying to expose this waste for years — since the Bush days. And at the time, Republicans complained that it would end up costing seniors through higher Medicare Advantage premiums, but it hasn’t. In fact Medicare Advantage premiums have gone down, as Ezra Klein explained last year.
[full-post at ABLC]