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Sun., Sep. 21, 2014
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Fact checkers refute GOP Medicare claims

John Kiss Stonington

Publication: The Day


The Day should, in the public interest, correct obvious errors in the editorial letters. This periodic fiction about $716 billion being taken from Medicare and transferred to what the writers sarcastically call "Obamacare" is a case in point. The $716 billion consists of cost reductions (money saved) from (1) Medicare Advantage, a cost saving proposal that ended up costing 117 percent of Medicare costs for the same services; (2) payments to hospitals, which hospitals agreed to because the volume of patients would increase under the Affordable Care Act; and (3) Reductions to Medicare's Disproportionate Share Payments (a cost not related to service) and about a dozen other similar changes.

These are savings, not money in hand to be spent elsewhere. What the Romney/Ryan plan proposes is to pay $716 billion more than required to hospitals, insurance companies, etc. They're not moving funds back to Medicare, they're increasing the cost of Medicare by nearly $750 billion, back to where it was before the Congress approved the Affordable Care Act that President Obama signed into law.

It would be helpful if The Day used PolitiFact.com or some other fact checking service to better educate readers.


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