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Friday, December 2, 2016

The Big Lie: President Obama cut $716 billion from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare.

The Truth: President Obama made Medicare stronger by eliminating subsidies that had no effect on the benefits seniors enjoy.

By picking a running mate best known for his plan to dramatically reshape Medicare into a voucher program, Mitt Romney has made Medicare the most important issue of this election.

Historically Medicare has been a losing issue for Republicans, who opposed it from the beginning four decades ago. In 1995, Newt Gingrich’s plan to encourage seniors to leave Medicare voluntarily by letting the program “wither on the vine” became a driving force in President Bill Clinton’s successful reelection campaign.

In 2010, however, the GOP used its own Medicare attack to win the House of Representatives. Republicans accused President Obama of cutting hundreds of billions from the program in the Affordable Cart Act, and Democrats struggled to rebut the charge — even though they’d actually added benefits to Medicare, including a $250 credit for prescription medicine and free preventive care.

But there’s a big difference between 2010 and 2012: They Ryan budget. Passed twice by the House of Representatives, the Ryan budget transforms Medicare into a voucher program that would give seniors a fixed amount of financial support to purchase from a variety of plans offered by private insurance companies. Experts estimate that seniors would pay upwards of $6,000 annually to receive the same benefits they have now.

Sounds great, right? That’s probably why the plan wouldn’t take effect until ten years after it passes.

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