Dems Try to Hide Medicare Cuts Until After the Election | October 17th, 2012

Dems Try to Hide Medicare Cuts Until After the Election

If ObamaCare’s Cuts to Medicare Are Really Just “Savings,” Then Why Are Democrats Spending Money to Try to Hide Them Until After the 2012 Election?

  • Democrats have struggled to explain away ObamaCare’s cuts to Medicare, which Democrats have tied themselves into knots insisting are actually just “savings.”

  • Even as Democrats deny their cuts to Medicare, Democrats are spending billions of taxpayer dollars to hide them until after the 2012 election.

  • The fact is that ObamaCare’s Medicare cuts mean that as many as half of all seniors could lose their Medicare advantage benefits.

Democrats have struggled to explain away ObamaCare’s cuts to Medicare, which Democrats have tied themselves into knots insisting are actually just “savings”:

BIDEN SMIRKS, CLAIMS DEMOCRATS “SAVED” $716 BILLION FROM MEDICARE: “But let’s talk about Medicare. What we did is, we saved $716 billion and put it back, applied it to Medicare.” (“Vice Presidential Debate Transcript,” ABC News, 10/12/2012)

OBAMA: “$716 BILLION WE WERE ABLE TO SAVE FROM THE MEDICARE PROGRAM”: “And in Medicare, what we did was we said we are going to have to bring down the costs if we’re going to deal with our long-term deficits, but to do that let’s look where some of the money is going — $716 billion we were able to save from the Medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies, by making sure that we weren’t overpaying providers.” (“Remarks by the President and Governor Romney in First Presidential Debate,” The White House, 10/4/2012)

OOPS: OBAMA DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER STEPHANIE CUTTER TOUTED THE CUTS AS AN “ACHIEVEMENT”: “You know I heard Mitt Romney deride the $700 billion cuts in Medicare that the president achieved through health care reform,’ said Cutter.” (Daniel Halper, “Obama Campaign Defends President’s $700 Billion Cuts to Medicare,” The Weekly Standard, 8/12/2012)

Even as Democrats deny their cuts to Medicare, Democrats are spending billions of taxpayer dollars to hide them until after the 2012 election:

SO-CALLED PILOT PROGRAM “COULD HEAD OFF [MEDICARE] SERVICE CUTS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A HEADACHE FOR OBAMA AND DEMOCRATS” THIS YEAR: “The $6.7 billion infusion could head off service cuts that would have been a headache for Obama and Democrats in next year’s elections for the White House and Congress. More than half the roughly 11 million Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans rated average.” (“Obama Administration Eases Pain of Medicare Cuts,” Associated Press, 4/20/2011)

FOUR OUT OF FIVE SENIORS IN MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS WILL BE AFFECTED BY ELECTION-YEAR MEDICARE CASH INFUSION: “The HHS decision means four out of five Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans now eligible for a bonus. Under the tougher approach Congress took in the health care law, only one in four would have been in plans getting the extra payments.” (“Obama Administration Eases Pain of Medicare Cuts,” Associated Press, 4/20/2011)

“COULD BE AN EARLY SIGN” THAT CUTS TO MEDICARE TO PAY FOR OBAMACARE ARE “POLITICALLY UNSUSTAINABLE”: “HHS’ nearly $7-billion bonus program is temporary. In 2015, the cuts called for in the health care law will kick in again. Still, the episode could be an early sign that Medicare cuts used to finance much of Obama’s coverage expansion for the uninsured will turn out to be politically unsustainable, as have other efforts to impose austerity. For example, Congress has routinely waived cuts in Medicare payments to doctors.” (“Obama Administration Eases Pain of Medicare Cuts,” Associated Press, 4/20/2011)

TRANSLATION OF GAO REPORT: DELAY TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE CUTS IS “PURELY POLITICAL”: (“Medicare’s Obama Donation,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/25/2012)

PROGRAM WILL “REVERSE 71% OF THE [MEDICARE] ADVANTAGE CUTS THAT WOULD HAVE HIT SENIORS IN THE RUNUP” TO NOV: “Lo and behold, according to a new investigation by the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, the $8.35 billion pilot program is just enough to reverse 71% of the Advantage cuts that would have hit seniors in the runup to November. And behold again, the demonstration project turns into a pumpkin in 2013.” (“Medicare’s Obama Donation,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/25/2012)

“A DEMONSTRATION PROJECT WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO DEMONSTRATE”: “The GAO auditors show a dry wit in expressing skepticism about Medicare’s ‘stated research goal’ for the test. The demonstration project’s design ‘precludes a credible evaluation of its effectiveness,’ GAO says, since all Medicare Advantage insurers get the pay-for-performance bonuses. In other words, there’s no control group to test which approaches work better. It’s a demonstration project without the ability to demonstrate.” (“Medicare’s Obama Donation,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/25/2012)

The fact is that ObamaCare’s Medicare cuts mean that as many as half of all seniors could lose their Medicare advantage benefits:

CBO: $156 BILLION IN CUTS TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE, $20 BILLION HIGHER THAN FIRST ESTIMATE: (Douglas Elmendorf, “Letter to the Honorable John Boehner,” Congressional Budget Office, 7/24/2012)

MEDICARE ACTUARY: CURRENT SENIORS—AT LEAST 7.4 MILLION OF THEM—WILL LOSE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE DUE TO OBAMACARE: “The new provisions will generally reduce MA [Medicare Advantage] rebates to plans and thereby result in less generous benefit packages. We estimate that in 2017, when MA provisions will be fully phased in, enrollment in MA plans will be lower by about 50 percent (from its projected level of 14.8 million under the prior law to 7.4 million under the new law).” (Richard S. Foster, “Estimated Financial Effects of the ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as Amended,” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 4/22/2010)

ONE-QUARTER OF SENIORS GET MEDICARE BENEFITS THROUGH MEDICARE ADVANTAGE: “Another $136 billion comes from reducing payments to private Medicare Advantage health plans, through which about one-quarter of seniors get Medicare benefits.” (Marilyn Werber Serafini, “Some Hill Races Hinge on Seniors’ Anger Over Medicare,” Kaiser Health News, 10/26/2010)

CUTS TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE WILL “CAUSE MILLIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS AND DISABLED AMERICANS TO LOSE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN HEALTH CARE SERVICES”: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)[1] will cause millions of senior citizens and disabled Americans to lose billions of dollars in health care services every year by substantially reducing payments to Medicare Advantage (MA) plans.” (Robert A. Book and James C. Capretta, “Reductions in Medicare Advantage Payments: The Impact on Seniors by Region,” The Heritage Foundation, 9/14/2010)

STUDY: CUTS WILL “FORCE SENIORS TO PAY $3,700 MORE FOR THEIR HEALTHCARE BY 2017”: (Robert A. Book and James C. Capretta, “Reductions in Medicare Advantage Payments: The Impact on Seniors by Region,” The Heritage Foundation, 9/14/2010; James Capretta, “President Obama’s $700 Billion Medicare Problem,” National Review, 8/15/2012)

Dems Try to Hide Medicare Cuts Until After the Electionhttp://ow.ly/ex6Tz