This something the Republicans do NOT want you to know
A report from the trustees of the Medicare system this week has created a major kerfuffle in the mediasphere. While Democrats point to the fact that there has been no change in the insolvency date of Medicare from last year’s report, Republicans are spinning it to suggest that President Obama is a failure because he didn’t miraculously solve all the problems in the system in a single year.
Here’s something the Republicans do NOT want you to know, however: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), taxpayers will save over $200 Billion through 2016.
It’s true (pdf).
That’s a link to the report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the group that oversees Medicare & Medicaid in the United States. Here are some highlights about the impact of the ACA:
- Achieves short-term savings of over $200 billion in Medicare through 2016 according to the independent CMS Actuary (see breakdown below), resulting in immediate benefit to the Medicare Trust Fund
A number of critical Medicare policies in place now are achieving huge savings for beneficiaries and taxpayers while laying the foundation for long-term success and sustainability of the program. These steps reward quality, get better value for beneficiaries and promote savings through innovation.
- Lowers costs for beneficiaries in traditional Medicare by $59.4 billion through 2016, and $208 billion through 2021, through lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs, according to the HHS Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation
- Ensures long-term savings by encouraging improvement in the quality and safety of care in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and other settings
The savings we will achieve in the years ahead will lead to better care, better health, and more affordable health care. These savings will be the result of sustained efforts undertaken in cooperation with the private sector. The Affordable Care Act provides the tools to achieve this ambitious goal.
Here is the breakdown on the $200 billion in savings:
The Romney campaign issued this dire assessment:
[This report] reminds us that President Obama continues to play shell games with the health care of our seniors, taking hundreds of billions from Medicare to spend on “Obamacare” and now using a bogus experiment to conceal the damage until after the election. President Obama has offered no serious plan of his own, preferring instead to attack and point fingers over problems he refuses to address.
Except that this is decidedly NOT true. Under President Obama’s leadership, the Affordable Care Act is actually having a tangible, measurable, positive impact on the solvency of Medicare. Last year, thanks to inaction by his predecessor and previous Congresses, the solvency date was actually worsened by five years. The ACA has reversed that trend and is helping to save money, reduce the deficit and improve the quality of care of people in the program.
Mitt Romney and his Republican colleagues cannot abide this. If the ACA is seen as a success, their goose is cooked. They know this so, just as they have done with their lies about the economy, the cost of petroleum and a whole host of other things, they are painting a picture of gloom, doom and despair. They are the Party of Pessimism. Everything must be on a downward spiral for them to even have a chance at defeating President Obama.
It’s incumbent on us to not allow that to happen.
The beauty of it is, all we need to do is to tell the truth.
Adding… Just as a reminder: if Republicans had their way, they’d simply issue seniors coupons for health care and let them fend for themselves. This allows them to continue giving Mitt Romney and his super-wealthy friends massive, budget-busting tax breaks.
That’s not a plan to reduce health care costs or to “save Medicare”. It’s a plan to END Medicare, shift the burden to a vulnerable population and betray a promise made to them generations ago. Again, all we need to do is tell the truth.