Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The National Republican Campaign Committee believes voters are just plain stupid. They continue to repeat the $500 billion lie that will not die even after it has beem debunked repeatedly by every media fact checker since 2010.
Voters should be offended by the NRCC insulting your intelligence with such lazy repetition of lies.
The Tucson Weekly correctly points out in CD8: The Surrogates Battle in Race To Finish Giffords' Term that:
The NRCC ad makes two claims that have been declared "false" by Politifact.
The first is the question of whether Obamacare cuts Medicare by $500 billion. This is a frequent GOP attack line that Politifact has repeatedly rated as false:
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.
Still, given all these changes, Medicare spending is expected to increase — something we pointed out in our fact check on Bruun a year ago. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects Medicare spending will reach $929 billion in 2020, up from $499 billion in actual spending in 2009.
The claim that Democrats voted to cut $500 billion from Medicare is especially amusing when you consider that the Ryan budget that GOP members in the House overwhelmingly supported earlier this year includes those same reductions in spending growth. (Kelly, who is far more cautious about what he says to the press in this year's campaign, declined to say whether he'd support the Ryan budget when we asked him about it during the GOP primary.)
FWIW, Barber said last week that he would not support cuts to Medicare benefits.
The second claim is that Obamacare "puts a board of unelected bureaucrats in charge." That's a reference to the Patient Advisory Board, which has been a frequent target of attack by Republicans. Politifact has rated those attacks "False".
Video below the fold.
The Washington Post's fact checker Glenn Kessler similarly destroyed the NRCC's $500 billion lie that will not die. Fact Checking the GOP debate: $500 billion in cuts to Medicare? - The Washington Post:
[These] comments are an echo of the politically effective — but misleading — charge the GOP made against Democrats in 2010 midterm elections — that the health care law “cut” $500 billion from Medicare. In this case, the candidates are suggesting President Obama is robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Several readers have also asked us to explain why the House Republicans retained these $500 billion in “savings” in their Medicare reform bill, and how that would be different than Obama’s plan.
Essentially, the federal budget is like a funhouse mirror so it looks completely different depending on where you stand. We will try to make this all clear without getting too much in the budgetary weeds.
First of all, under the health care bill, Medicare spending continues to go up year after year. The health care bill tries to identify ways to save money, and so the $500 billion figure comes from the difference over 10 years between anticipated Medicare spending (what is known as “the baseline”) and the changes the law makes to reduce spending. (Look at slide 15 of this nifty tutorial on the law’s impact on Medicare by the Kaiser Family Foundation to see a chart of the year by year savings.)
The savings actually are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries. These spending reductions presumably would be a good thing, since virtually everyone agrees that Medicare spending is out of control. In the House Republican budget, lawmakers repealed the Obama health care law but retained all but $10 billion of the nearly $500 billion in Medicare savings, suggesting the actual policies enacted to achieve these spending reductions were not that objectionable to GOP lawmakers.
The Obama health care law also raised Medicare payroll taxes by $113 billion over 10 years, further strengthening the program’s financial condition, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Since about half of the $500 billion stems from reduced outlays for Medicare hospitalization expenses, the payroll taxes and those reductions would add about $358 billion to Medicare trust fund balances.
(Lay aside, for the moment, any suspicion that the trust funds are fictitious. On paper, at least, the program would be strengthened. We have previously examined whether this apparent double-counting makes sense.)
Under the concept of the unified budget, however, money that is collected by the federal government for whatever purpose (such as Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes) is spent on whatever bills are coming due at that time. Social Security and Medicare will get a credit for taxes collected that are not immediately spent on Social Security, but those taxes are quickly devoted to other federal spending.
In the health care bill, the anticipated savings from Medicare were used to help offset some of the anticipated costs of expanding health care for all Americans. In reality, the money is all fungible [.]
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The health care bill, as mentioned, actually puts Medicare on a more solid financial footing. Also, the health care law improved some benefits for seniors, such as making preventive care free and closing a gap in prescription drug coverage known as the “doughnut hole” — improvements that the House Republican bill actually would repeal.
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This brings us to the House Republican budget and its use of virtually the same $500 billion in Medicare savings.
Spokesmen for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the chief architect, insist there is a difference because Obama was using the savings for a new entitlement program (universal health care) and instead Ryan would use the money to help fund reforms in Medicare.
“The defenders of the new law explicitly say that the law reduces Medicare spending (and raises taxes) so that the government may spend an equivalent amount of money on something else,” said House Budget Committee spokesman Stephen Spruiell. “By contrast, we think that any current-law Medicare savings should actually go toward preserving the program and putting the government in a better position to fund Medicare for today’s seniors and to save it for future generations.”
Under the unified budget, this line of argument doesn’t make much sense. The Medicare savings will be spent however the government deems to use it; it will not be earmarked for Medicare.
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In fact, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) recently had the audacity to claim that “the only people in Washington, D.C., who have voted to cut Medicare have been the Democrats when they voted to cut $500 billion in Medicare during Obamacare.”
This is surely an example of having your cake and eating it too. The Republicans had a chance to repeal those cuts when they voted to repeal the health care law, but instead they adopted “current law” (ie, the Medicare cuts) in their budget. Technically, we guess, that means they did not vote for them but, as we have documented, Republicans in the past have voted for similar Medicare cuts.
[T]the Congressional Budget Office, when it analyzed the Ryan plan, concluded that it would put significant pressure on people younger than 55, who would have no choice but to accept it. (The traditional fee-for-service plan of Medicare eventually would fade away as people now older than 55 die off.)
Medicare beneficiaries “would bear a much larger share of their health care costs than they would under the current program,” payments to doctors would shrink dramatically, states would have to pay substantially more for Medicaid and spending for programs other than Social Security and health programs “would be reduced far below historical levels relative to GDP [Gross Domestic Product],” the CBO said.
In other words, the young would potentially lose under the Ryan plan.
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It’s rather rich for Republicans to complain about $500 billion in supposed cuts to Medicare that they themselves would retain, even under the cover of helping Medicare.
UPDATE: This is essentially the same "big lie" propaganda campaign that is running in other congressional districts across the country. Here is a press release from the DCCC in March addressing the numerous media fact checks of the $500 billion lie that will not die. NRCC Lies Again About Democrats & Medicare | DCCC.