Truth about Obamacare, Medicare

11/03/2012 6:27 PM

11/03/2012 6:28 PM

Some policy-makers, candidates and pundits claim that the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, cuts $700 billion from Medicare. These claims are simply untrue.

The nonpartisan Medicare Advisory Payment Commission advised Congress for five consecutive years to pay Medicare Advantage plans at the same rate as traditional Medicare plans, because Medicare Advantage was costing the government about 14 percent more than traditional Medicare. The ACA now gets this done, saving at least $170 billion over the next decade.

And the Medicare Trust Fund is now expected to remain solvent for at least eight more years. The Medicare Trustees' report states that there is still a lot of work ahead; but the administrator wrote, "The Affordable Care Act is giving CMS the ability to do this work, with tools to lower costs, fight fraud, and change incentives."

The ACA is not relying on Medicare recipients to pay its way. There are many ACA provisions that generate revenues. Most importantly, the CBO predicts that the ACA will reduce deficits over the next decade, by slowing down the meteoric rise in health care spending. Nonpartisan reviews agree: Obamacare will promote a healthier America and a healthier economy.

KAY BARGMANN

Sonora

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