Today on Meet the Press RNC Chairman Reice Preibus (R-5th Ring) in a Rovian move of taking your biggest weakness (Denial of Healthcare) and converting it into your opponents weakness has just accused the President of Murder by Denial of Healthcare.
PRIEBUS: This president stole — he didn’t cut Medicare — he stole $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it’s Barack Obama. He’s the one that’s destroying Medicare.In the wake of the sad story of Joe Soptik's Wife who died of Stage 4 Cancer after her husband lost his Job at a factory owned by Bain Capital, this is an extraordinary charge.
It's also flat out wrong.
As I detailed just yesterday as I broke down the basic Republican Counter Punch over Paul Ryan, Priebus is just following their basic playbook.
He's actually reading from Talking Point #2.
2) The Democrats' non-plan does the opposite. It has already slashed more than half-a-trillion dollars from Medicare to fund Obamacare, and it has established an unaccountable and extremely powerful bureaucratic board to ration care in order to keep costs down.First of all, the ACA didn't take a dime from seniors. The primary financial change was reductions in payments to providers and Hospitals in Medicare Advantage not services that would be provided to patients through regular Medicare (Parts A & B). So that's Lie #1.
Conservatives have argued that this board has "more power than Congress and the President Combined" to take care away from our seniors and use it to - give care to someone else. By the fact is all they can do is Advise Congress and HHS.
HHS already has the authority to act within the framework of the law to take steps to improve quality of efficiencies within the delivery of Medicare Services.
But the truth is that the Board is actually very limited in it's powers.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board is essential to reducing health care costs while improving the quality of care. The board will save taxpayers money, limit the growth in Medicare spending, and reduce federal budget deficits and the federal debt. It will do so by changing the way health care is paid for and delivered—not by rationing care or cutting benefits. If the Independent Payment Advisory Board is repealed or hamstrung, the only alternative would be to ration care by privatizing Medicare, shifting costs to beneficiaries, and restricting eligibility.The Board is specifically Prohibited from Rationing Care. But much of this at this stage is moot, the first report from this Board isn't due until 2014. So far they haven't done anything.
That's Lie #2
The Affordable Care Act has saved seniors nearly $4 Billion on the cost of Prescription Drugs by beginning to close the Donut Hole - That Paul Ryan Voted For.
The Centers for Medicare And Medicaid Services (CMS) released data showing that over 5.2 million seniors and people with disabilities have already saved nearly $4 billion on prescription drugs as a direct result of the Affordable Care Act.(As I'm typing this I'm watching Candy Crawley ask Paul Ryan about What's on his iPod, not how he voted.. oh vey!)
In addition to putting cash in the hands of seniors to help them pay for their drugs, the Affordable Care Act now allows Medicare to provide all of these preventive screens without a deductible or co-payment.
.Bone mass measurementThey're claiming that Obama has taken money away from Seniors, and have made them "more vulnerable" to death or disease (blood on the hands) when they've actually been receiving Checks from the Government to help pay for their prescription drugs and now have free screenings to help keep them healthy.
.Cervical cancer screening, including Pap smear tests and pelvic exams
.Cholesterol and other cardiovascular screenings
.Colorectal cancer screening (except for barium enemas)
.Flu shot, pneumonia shot, and the hepatitis B shot
.HIV screening for people at increased risk or who ask for the test
.Medical nutrition therapy to help people manage diabetes or kidney disease
.Prostate cancer screening
These are the kinds of screenings that might have helped Joe Soptik's wife discovery her cancer far more quickly than she did and begin to treat it with a chance of success.
That's Lie #3
Then comes the big kicker, the Affordable Care Act when it was initially passed caused the Medicare Trustees to add 12 years to the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund and to predict that it would begin to generate a Surplus beginning in 2014
The financial status of the HI trust fund is substantially improved by the lower expenditures and additional tax revenues instituted by the Affordable Care Act. These changes are estimated to postpone the exhaustion of HI trust fund assets from 2017 under the prior law to 2029 under current law and to 2028 under the alternative scenario.To be fair, this rather sunny scenario has been downgraded somewhat in subsequent reports, since tax revenues, due to the continued economic difficulties, have not kept up to expectations and the savings in efficiencies have been implemented as the Payment Advisory Board has yet to recommend them.
Beginning in 2014, trust fund surpluses are estimated to occur throughout the short-range projection period and for several years thereafter.
Even with these caveats, the Affordable Care Act does not threaten the life of Medicare - it has still essentially Doubled it's solvency period from 6 years to 12 years.
So in Reice Priebus World Obama has "Blood on his Hands", but in the real world a Romney/Ryan Administration at the very least would take away the Payment Advisory Board trying to do what Ronald Reagan always said we should do, find better more efficient ways to deliver services without which they would Decrease the Solvency of the Trust Fund, they would Re-Open the Donut Hole, they would Bring Back the Deductibles & Co-Pays from Preventive Screenings, they would - if they can - create a Voucher System for Medicare that could increase out of pocket costs for Seniors by as much as $7,000 per year according to the CBO.
And you know what else they'd do?
They'd keep the $500 Billion worth of cuts to Medicare In Place (Which is what the Ryan Plan, and even the Ryan/Wyden Plan, still does)
Ryan claims he would do this to "extend it's solvency" - As If the Obama Bill Didn't already DO THAT according to the Medicare Trustees Themselves!
ABCNews' "This Week" host George Stephanopoulos asked Ryan about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's contested claim that health care reform simultaneously cuts $500 billion from Medicare, hikes taxes by $500 billion and adds trillions to the deficit over a 10-year stretch.No, his plan wouldn't "keep that money for Medicare" - his plan was to give that money over to private insurance companies - who on average are 14% more expensive than Medicare Part-A & Part-B - in the form of vouchers, and the Seniors themselves would have to pick up the difference out of their own pockets.
"By that accounting," Stephanopoulos said, "your own budget, which Gov. Romney has endorsed, would also have $500 billion in Medicare cuts."
"Well our budget keeps that money for Medicare to extend its solvency," Ryan said. "What Obamacare does is it takes that money from Medicare to spend on Obamacare."
Even though Ryan has given up on completely eliminating Medicare Part-A & Part-B for people under 55, he is still signed on to the Voucher Program.
That would be Lie #4 - Game. Set. Match.
Romney Ryan would remove the mechanism to improve efficiencies, they'd make seniors pay more for their drugs, more for their screenings, more for their coverage while reducing the amount of support that Medicare would provide - all in order to achieve improvement by forcing seniors to Go Shopping for a Better Deal with a total of 68% Less Funds to Work With.
CBO Chart on the Ryan Medicare Proposal Costs to Seniors.
The "Extended Baseline Scenario" is the retention of the Affordable Care Act, which as you can see would be 40% cheaper than the Ryan Proposal. Ryan's Voucher approach would force Seniors to pay far more out of their pocket and get far less for it.
Speaking of "Stealing and Blood on the Hands"...
There's your death panel right there. It's in the Board Rooms of Private Insurance Companies, and around the Kitchen Table of Seniors who realize They Just Can't Afford Care anymore.