Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I previously posted the fact checks by CNN, ABC News and PolitiFact in Fact Check: Romney-Ryan 'pants on fire' - the $700 billion lie that will not die.
Today the Washington Post's fact checker Glenn Kessler weighs in on the GOP's $700 billion lie that will not die. Answering readers’ questions about Medicare - The Washington Post:
Did Obama cut $700 billion from Medicare?
The current Medicare system, in place since the mid-1960s, is essentially a government-run health-care program [that's "sociaism" to you teabaggers], with hospital and doctors’ fees paid by the government, though beneficiaries also pay premiums for some services as well as deductibles and co-insurance.
During the primaries, Republicans used to claim that Obama funded his health care plan with $500 billion in cuts.
So how did it balloon to a $700 billion figure? There is a simple explanation. The Congressional Budget Office last month issued a new estimate based on a different — and later — 10-year time frame (2013-2022). Of course, Republicans decided to pick the biggest number possible.
But, as we have repeatedly explained, Medicare spending is not being reduced. It still goes up year after year.
The $700 billion figure (technically, $716 billion) 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. Moreover, the savings mostly are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries. (It is worth noting that, given past practices, the Medicare actuary has doubted whether such cuts will ever come to pass.)
The proposed reduction in spending actually strengthens the long-term health of the Medicare program, according to Medicare trustees reports. And spending on Medicare over that 10-year period would still be $7.8 trillion.
In fact, House Republicans adopted many of these same cuts in their own budget. (They argue they devote the savings to reforming Medicare, not funding a new entitlement.) Both parties agree that controls are needed on Medicare spending — that is the only way that the Medicare trust funds last longer — but they disagree over the best path forward. We have generally given Republicans Two Pinocchios for such claims.
Did Obama use Medicare savings to fund ‘Obamacare’?
All government money is fungible, but depending on how this claim is phrased, one could certainly make this rhetorical point. 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. As we have previously examined, this sort of “double-counting” accounting has been used by both parties for decades.
The Obama health care law also raised Medicare payroll taxes by $318 billion over the new 10-year time frame [on high income earners], further strengthening the program’s financial condition.
Under the concept of the unified budget, 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 sum, the health care bill 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 Republicans would repeal.
So when you hear Tea-Publican candidates repeat this GOPropoganda "big lie" that all fact checkers have rated a "pants on fire lie!," tell them that they are a liar to their face. They are not to be trusted by you and they are unworthy of the office they seek. Don't be a damn fool.