Shortly after presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney named Rep. Paul Ryan (Wisc.) as his pick for vice president, Democrat surrogates and campaign staff responded.
High level Democrats like Debbie W. Schultz (D-Fla.) claimed a plan Ryan presented would “end Medicare as we know it.”
Fact is, Democrats' own plans will ultimately end Medicare as we know it if problems with the government insurance program are not addressed.
Schultz has supported what we must now call the ObamaCare Tax Bill. President Barack Obama’s campaign deputy Stephanie Cutter’s comments should have raised eyebrows, because she confessed to more than $700 billion in cuts to Medicare made by Obama.
Appearing on a Sunday morning talk show, Cutter said:
"On top of the savings we’ve already achieved. You know I heard Mitt Romney deride the $700 billion cuts in Medicare that the president achieved through health care reform," said Cutter.
Various government reports suggest that $700 billion in cuts will not do anything to help the struggling Medicare government insurance program because the money saved will not go towards Medicare. Instead, it will be directed to other sectors specified in the ObamaCare Tax Bill.
The Heritage Foundation pointed out:
“In total, Obamacare raids Medicare by $716 billion from 2013 to 2022. Despite Medicare facing a 75-year unfunded obligation of $37 trillion, Obamacare uses the savings from the cuts to pay for other provisions in Obamacare, not to help shore up Medicare’s finances.”
A report from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services indicates the lowball financial projections of the past will eventually require changes to the programs:
“Without unprecedented changes in health care delivery systems and payment mechanisms, the prices paid by Medicare for health services are very likely to fall increasingly short of the costs of providing these services. By the end of the long-range projection period, Medicare prices for hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health, hospice, ambulatory surgical center, diagnostic laboratory, and many other services would be less than half of their level under the prior law.”
Congress knows this and every year, members pass what’s called the “doc fix”—a backdoor way of keeping the fees acceptable but preventing them from impacting current budget projections. They just lowball the costs in budget projections but then restore the fees in real life.
CMS noted why such a method causes shortages in doctors and other healthcare providers for seniors [boldface added]:
“Medicare prices would be considerably below the current relative level of Medicaid prices, which have already led to access problems for Medicaid enrollees, and far below the levels paid by private health insurance. Well before that point, Congress would have to intervene to prevent the withdrawal of providers from the Medicare market and the severe problems with beneficiary access to care that would result.”
Basically, what CMS is indicating is that future cost projections will be higher than Congress and the president admit.
Other than a doc shortage, seniors already got one unpleasant surprise via the ObamaCare Tax Bill. In 2011, many seniors headed to their doctors for a “wellness visit” touted by supporters of the bill. The US Report disclosed:
“Imagine seniors’ surprise when they learned the ‘wellness visit’ was basically a conversation with the physician—not a physical. Seniors caught by the labeling error ended up paying $70 or more because Medicare denied claims.”
In essence, the government would pay for a patient to chat with a doctor, but the doctor could provide no actual physical exam services in that “wellness visit.”
Democrats have routinely criticized plans put forth by Republicans attempting to be part of healthcare reform, with one PAC producing an ad showing an individual who looked like Ryan pushing an old woman off a cliff in a wheelchair.
Fact is, Obama would be the more likely candidate to push Granny off that cliff, at least if you’re judging by the bill he and his Democrats passed.
Most Democrats who voted for the ObamaCare Tax Bill admitted they didn’t read the thousands of pages in the legislation.
Ryan presented a plan with ideas for budget reform, but none of the plans have been passed into law.
In 2009 after Obama took office, he promised to cut the federal deficit in half.
The Washington Times said in late July:
“The federal government will flirt with its fifth-straight trillion-dollar deficit next year and is still on track to notch $25 billion in debt within a decade, the Obama administration predicted on Friday as it released an update of the country’s fiscal picture.”
The Democrat-led Senate has not produced a budget in more than 3 years; nor has that body presented an overall plan to address the government debt crisis in the U.S.
Obama is pushing for a tax hike mandating that those in the upper middle class (income of $200k for singles) pay an even larger share of taxes than they already pay. Obama’s healthcare tax bill also increases the Medicare payroll tax to 3.8 percent—all taxpayers will be affected.
The ObamaCare Tax bill contains approximately 19 tax hikes.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/August 13, 2012)
Related at The US Report