The charge from the Romney camp, that Obamacare cuts $700 billion from Medicare, was bound to surface. All of us who support Obamacare should understand how this accusation arises, why it is patently false, and have an immediate and simple fact-based response that anyone can understand.
Since I am 63-years-old and very interested in the subject, and in anticipation of the GOP developing this charge, I spent some time yesterday researching the subject both on-line and talking with some very knowledgeable people. Here are the responses, which should be instantaneous any time that someone says that Obama cut Medicare:
1. Name one benefit that has been cut! Just ONE! You can't, because NO benefits HAVE been cut. Every benefit that was previously covered by Medicare is still covered! In fact:
2. Under Obamacare, there is an additional benefit in that the "donut hole", where medication costs per patient that fell between minimal amounts and very large amounts, costs that Medicare patients previously had to pay, has been substantially closed. This is an additional benefit to Medicare recipients with NO reduction in other benefits!
Well, isn't that going to greatly increase the costs of Medicare?
3. No. That $700 billion in "cuts" that Republicans are talking about? Those are cuts in COST, not benefits! It's expected that large reductions in cost will result from Medicare recipients having better coverage and being healthier, and from switching the way Medicare pays the bills so that, instead of fee-for-service that provides incentives for medical providers to do the maximum number of procedures, whether necessary and safe or not, will instead provide them with the incentive of keeping their patients healthier and needing fewer risky, uncomfortable and expensive procedures.
How much this new approach will reduce Medicare costs, no one knows for sure. But this new approach has been tested in private health insuranceand it seems to work. And apparently the GOP thinks it will work because Paul Ryan includes a savings of $700 billion in his budget based on these new approaches!