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O.M.G. $700 Billion In Cuts To Medicare! Everyone Panic! (Not.)

August 13, 2012

Oh noes!Have you been wondering how a $500 billion cut to Medicare has morphed into a $700 billion cut? — As soon as Romney’s pick for VP was announced, the GOP knew that they were going to be slammed over Paul Ryan’s plan to end Medicare as we know it.

Their answer, oddly, has been to scream as loudly as possible about “Obama’s $700 billion cut to Medicare!” (Just take a look at National Review’s Rich Lowry clinging to that line like a petulant 4 year old, as he tried to debate Rachel Maddow on Sunday.)

Why is this an odd line of defense? Um…maybe because the Ryan plan would keep those same cuts in place? Yes, I’m afraid that’s true. Hmm…

But if you’ve been paying attention ever since the ACA was passed, you may be wondering about that number. Wasn’t it just $500 billion in cuts they were screaming about during the midterm elections? Are we suddenly slashing deeper? No. It’s simply that the CBO has recalculated. Those cuts are not actually cuts to services, they are cost savings through the elimination of waste and inefficiency. As the CBO notes the skyrocketing costs of care, the number associated with ACA savings has increased. You would think that would be something deficit hawks would support, wouldn’t you?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 14, 2012 5:36 am

    Sandi, I have to agree with the following comment posted on the Alternet site:

    Much as I like Rachel, she needed to say something more about the $700 B ‘cuts’ the repugs are talking about. The demo line is that these are savings in pmts to providers. However, demo spokes Stephanie Cutter blew it all over the place by describing the ‘savings’ as ‘cuts.’ Rachel dropped the ball on this one.

    I also think Rachel is one of the smartest folks on TV but she is not a journalist, she is a politically biased commentator (same as Lowry). When he asks her to defend the $700 billion cut in Medicare under ACA she ought to be able to answer the question and not respond “I’m not running for President” or “my opinion doesn’t matter”. She makes big money off her opinion. This is a cop-out that I’ve seen her use before (in fact I think it happened on MTP then too) and I’m getting tired of it.

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