The favored Medicare statistic of the ‘Comeback Team,’ marched out from campaign stop to campaign stop, pins Obama as the real Medi-killer, who plans to cut about $700 billion from the program. Obviously, this is outright manipulation, and a sad attempt to counter the growing anxiety of millions of seniors that Ryan plans to throw them off a cliff. In truth, this $700 billion comes from streamlining an over-worked and unnecessarily cumbersome system. Whereas Paul Ryan actually wishes to gut Medicare to pay for the lost revenues of his massive tax cuts for the rich, Obamacare:
puts the money back into the pockets of people who need help with their medical bills. A portion of the money is earmarked for children and non-elderly Americans, who, starting in 2014, will become eligible for Medicaid or receive tax credits to offset the cost of private insurance. A smaller, but still significant, portion of the money is for seniors.
It helps them pay for prescription drugs, by filling the “donut hole” in Medicare Par D coverage. It also eliminates out-of-pocket costs for annual wellness visits, some cancer screenings, and other preventative services.
And many of these benefits have already kicked in. If either GOP candidate is serious about debating the future and sustainability of Medicare, I suggest putting away the whiteboard and instead looking to what the damn budget in fact says.