Another day, another Romney-Ryan Medicare lie debunked. (Here's some previous lies.)
Now we know that if Romney is able to do away with the Affordable Care Act's $716 billion in Medicare savings, Medicare recipients would pay hundreds of dollars more each year. So says "Patients Would Pay More if Romney Restores Medicare Savings, Analysts Say."
The 2010 health care law cut Medicare reimbursements to hospitals and insurers, not benefits for older Americans, by that amount over the coming decade. But repealing the savings, policy analysts say, would hasten the insolvency of Medicare by eight years — to 2016, the final year of the next presidential term, from 2024.
While Republicans have raised legitimate questions about the long-term feasibility of the reimbursement cuts, analysts say, to restore them in the short term would immediately add hundreds of dollars a year to out-of-pocket Medicare expenses for beneficiaries. That would violate Mr. Romney’s vow that neither current beneficiaries nor Americans within 10 years of eligibility would be affected by his proposal to shift Medicare to a voucherlike system in which recipients are given a lump sum to buy coverage from competing insurers.
No big surprise.
It's obvious to anyone with common sense that if the Affordable Care Act reduces the cost of Medicare (without cutting benefits), and Romney reverses this and increases the cost of Medicare, enrollees are going to pay more, because they're partially responsible for Medicare costs through copayments and premiums.
This shows that even though Romney likes to tout his business experience, he really has a very poor grasp of basic economics. Or, he's a willful liar. Or, both.
For those reasons, Henry J. Aaron, an economist and a longtime health policy analyst at the Brookings Institution and the Institute of Medicine, called Mr. Romney’s vow to repeal the savings “both puzzling and bogus at the same time.”
...“One can only wonder what’s going on inside their headquarters in Boston and among their policy people,” said John McDonough, the director of the Center for Public Health Leadership at Harvard. “But there are only two explanations: Either they don’t understand how the program works, which is hard to imagine, or there is some deliberate misrepresentation here because they know how politically potent this charge is.”
Romney must be hoping that voters don't take the time to think through the obvious absurdity of his "Obama robbed Medicare to pay for Obamacare" charges.
First, Romney and Ryan say Medicare costs have to be restrained to make the program viable, long-term. The Affordable Care Act's $716 billion in savings does just that, without affecting benefits. Obama extends the fiscally healthy life of Medicare by eight years.
Romney wants to shrink that life by eight years, causing shortfalls to occur in 2016 rather than 2024 because of the extra spending he wants to lavish on health care providers. Romney and Ryan want the burden of "saving Medicare" to fall on seniors, not providers.
What Mr. Romney proposes to restore to Medicare, however, is not money but additional costs, for higher payments to hospitals, insurers and other care providers. Lobbying groups representing some care providers accepted those reductions during the health care debate, and in exchange they got the law’s mandate for nearly all individuals to have insurance, which meant that providers and insurers would have millions of new paying patients and policyholders.
...And those costs would be on top of the costs involved with a full repeal of the health care law, which would eliminate expanded coverage of prescription drugs, free wellness care and preventive checkups [for Medicare recipients].
By contrast, Obama seeks efficiencies in our hugely wasteful health care system, where many medical services are unnecessary, ineffective, or even unwanted. So here's another example of how this November is a choice election:
A choice between Republican policies tilted way toward the richest people in this country -- including insurance company executives -- or Democratic policies aimed at benefiting the middle class, senior citizens, and other members of the "99%."
Nice wrap-up. Polls show that voters by a 2-1 margin fear the Ryan voucher system. Unfortunately, the 2 is 30% and the 1 is 15%. That means there's another huge group of voters who are just plain confused about the two campaigns' plans for Medicare.
The Administration needs to keep plugging away at educating the public about what's at stake here. $700 Billion+ taken away from Medicare Advantage providers is not a punishment for seniors. It's a much needed check on corporate welfare and reasonable step toward strengthening Medicare benefits for ALL beneficiaries ... and not just MA plan holders.
Ryan's voucher plan is the monster under the bed for seniors. http://www.healthinsurance.org/blog/2012/08/16/paul-ryans-medicare-plan-would-pave-paradise/
Keep up the good work!
Posted by: Steve | August 24, 2012 at 11:18 AM