Saturday, August 18, 2012

$716 Billion Medicare SAVINGS Not Cuts; Republicans Lie!

That $700 billion represents Medicare SAVINGS, not cuts!  It's about THRIFT not DEPRIVATION!

The RRR (Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Republican) 
attacks on Democratic Medicare savings are nothing more than bold-faced lies which reached a disturbing new height when Paul Ryan trotted out his elderly (not to mention wealthy) Mom as someone who might benefit from the Republican cat food, er, voucher plan and would be hurt by the Democratic thrifty Medicare changes.

From DonkeyHotey at Flickr. License and credit see below.

One of the pillars of the Republican attacks on Medicare is that ObamaCares (the Affordable Care Act) will "take" $718 billion (or $716 billion) from Medicare over the next ten years. 

This isn't true!

The Republicans are trying to attack a decent and necessary program, the Affordable Care Act,  a program that will result in millions MORE people having access to medical care, a program that will result in tens of thousands FEWER people dying needlessly each year from preventable or treatable illnesses, a program that will move us closer to the other developed countries in the world.  They are attacking this program by claiming that it is being funded by "cuts" to Medicare.

They are lying!

Now, most of the bright people reading here at Both Parties are NOT the Same know better, but some may not quite understand the controversy, and some of our older family members and neighbors may not see the difference.   So here's a way of looking at what is happening to Medicare under ObamaCares that older people will understand:

Let's say you want to cut your food bill by 10%... You don't want to deprive yourself, but you want to spend less on groceries so that you can do something else with that money. How might you do that and still buy as much food as you do now?  How would you guarantee the nutrients that you need while cutting your food budget? 
  1. Watch for waste. Don't buy stuff you don't eat or buy smaller sizes of things you throw away because they go bad. 
  2. Clip coupons. 
  3. Watch for sales. 
  4. Carefully compare prices and buy generics whenever possible.
  5. Keep to a list so that you don't buy stuff you really don't need or won't use.
  6. Go shopping when you aren't hungry so you aren't tempted to buy extra stuff.  
  7. If possible, go to a different grocery store or go to a couple of different stores to buy their sales. 
  8. If possible, grow some of your own food.
I can still remember my mother at the kitchen table reading through the sales, writing lists from each of the different grocery stores in the area, putting coupons and a limited amount of money into envelopes for each store.  As I got older, I was stunned at how well we ate on an absurdly small food budget.. and there was money for the occasional pizza or ice cream treat.

Unless you're already religiously doing most of the things listed above, there is no reason that you can't do some of these things and save yourself a nice chunk of change each month... and still eat well with all of the nutrients you need. We already know that most seniors are very careful with their food budgets.

And that is the same thing that the Democrats are doing with that $718 billion in Medicare SAVINGS in ObamaCares. They aren't "cuts", inferring a loss of benefits or a lower quality of care; they are SAVINGS, accomplished by addressing issues of waste and fraud, accomplished by paying less for services, accomplished by allocating less for privatized Medicare programs that don't work as well and cost more.

Medicare SAVINGS based on THRIFT:  Something we all are familiar with that helps our dollars go farther... while preserving the Medicare plan that we know, love, and depend on.

No, Both Parties Are NOT the Same!

Fact-checking links about this (some links added in 2014; some updates in 2016):

(Image licensed via Creative Commons composed by DonkeyHotey at Flickr)


  1. Wow, that's an interesting spin. So isn't not paying as much for services the same as paying a doctor $50/ office visit when he/she was previously paid $75? And then the unintended consequence ..and there always is that the doctor doesn't see Medicare patients anymore resulting in a severe shortage of accessibility to medical care. Listen to the doctors. They are saying they will pack it in. Something is needed, but it surely isn't this healthcare act!

  2. Your are listening to doctors trotted out for the conservative audience.


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