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DID the "Democrats cut Medicare"??

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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:04 AM
Original message
DID the "Democrats cut Medicare"??
I must have missed this.

I read this first on Monday trying to find Fox News coverage of he NY-26 Special Election. It was in an op-ed piece off to the side on the foxnews.com website. Then yesterday I read a brief mention of it in a David Gergen article featured on the front page of google. Gergen offers that the Democrats' cuts to Medicare were vital to the Republican wins in the 2010 midterms.

Republicans don't normally run around singing the praises of Medicare and I don't remember any such talking point before the midterms. Gergen's mention of it is one part "hey get this into your article if you want access" type politicking and one part "mention the Tea Party as little as possible now". We all know that the midterms were all about the GOTV Fox News free promotion of the Tea Baggers - Gergen is at least being dishonest about that aspect of it.... but I have not been able to find anything about there actually being cuts.

DID the Democrats cut Medicare? if so, How?
Was this part of "Obamacare" changes?


:shrug:
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. It was the pay-off to the drug companies..
That was in the Bush Medicare program. It was rolled back.
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Baalath Donating Member (90 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. Yes, "Obamacare" reduced Medicare, because
it is now under "Obamacare"
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:53 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. It is my understanding they took money which goes to Medicare
Advantage. Medicare Advantage is subsidized by the government.
Some of the subsidy moneies were taken and put into Medicare.
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Yo_Mama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. It's not just that
The scheme for health care reform limits Medicare increases based on GDP and productivity. Read some of the CBO reports and the Medicare Trustees report. This plan would cut payments for Medicare services so much over a few years that it cause many seniors not to get services. They'd still be able to go to a hospital with a major illness, because the hospitals are required by law to take them. But they wouldn't be able to get a lot of less-crucial medical care.

The actual Medicare plan in ARRA is not that different from Ryan's plan when you come down to the nitty-gritty.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:56 AM
Response to Original message
4. NO, not the medicare we're talking about! The new HC plan reduces
amounts given to ins co's for Advantage Plans. It hasn't taken effect yet, but that's what the pubbies are talking about when they say Obama reduced "medicare". All it did was level the playing field.
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JTFrog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #4
20. +1
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:59 AM
Response to Original message
5. I know they froze SS payments.
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doccraig67 Donating Member (12 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Froze SS Benefits
The rules for COLA raise have been in effect for over 25yrs. We got no raise because we had no inflation. I know that doesn't seem possible everything is higher. However the last raise we got was 5.8%, because at the time gas prices were so high and the housing market was booming. So between the housing crisis and gas dropping this affected inflation and we got no raise for the last 2 yrs. Neither Obama or the congress had anything to do with it. The rules are in place. I think we'll get a good raise this year.
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. Thanks for that info.
I haven't had an increase since I began SS and it would be novel to have one.
Welcome to DU :hi:
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. I know the "reason." I hope your opimism is borne out.
Edited on Fri May-27-11 08:20 AM by WinkyDink
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. No inflation?!?!
Edited on Fri May-27-11 09:48 AM by Mimosa
Whoa! I've been cutting back yet our grocery bill averages are up 1/3rd over the last 3 years.

LIARS in Washington!
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. Well you probably know they take out food and
energy from core inflation numbers because they're the most volatile. And the SS COLA is based on core inflation.
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JTFrog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
21. +1
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
23. It is based on a a calculation that everyone has agreed on but it does seem strange
in 2010 there was a $250 one-time payment to SS receivers that offset (for most) the lack of a COLA raise. That seems low but 1% of 25,000 is]/u] $250 and from the SS benefits that I see everyday it is pretty rare for an individual get $25,000 in a year.
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nxylas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
6. Does it matter to Fox News whether they did or not?
You should know by now that Fox News has absolutely zero concern for the truth. They will flat out lie and their sheep-like viewers will believe them without question. Then their lies become "conventional wisdom", spouted ad nauseum by the punditocracy across all media.
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nuxvomica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 07:14 AM
Response to Original message
8. There was basically a $500 billion cut in wasteful spending
Mostly subsidies to insurers for the Advantage program. More here:

http://mediamatters.org/research/201105260029



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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 07:37 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. ^^^^^
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Thanks for that info. I've been trying to find a good explanation about it.
Googling it you get page after page of right wing disinformation about it.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
24. Thanks for the link
I knew it was not as they made it appear - nothing ever is.
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
25. Medicare Advantage took Medicare money and funneled it to theinsurance cos.
I was doing some calling for the unions a few years back. People with Advantage were getting fucked badly by the insurance companies. But many people were so confused. They thought they had signed up for regular Medicare and were therefore blaming the Medicare system.
I was so thankful that they killed Medicare advantage.
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Yo_Mama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:50 AM
Response to Original message
13. yes
It was part of the health care reform bill; a big chunk of money was supposedly shifted out of Medicare to pay for some of the other increased spending.

This is why CBO and the Trustees keep writing in all their reports that their projections aren't any good, because the planned cuts to Medicare reimbursements are not practical and if actually enforced, would block a lot of lower income seniors from access to medical care.

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kenny blankenship Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
14. Caution: when you break the ice on one side of the pond
don't be surprised when the cracks start to spread to the other side.

Making cuts to Medicare OK is not OK.
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Yo_Mama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
17. Here's a March 30th CBO testimony summary.
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/121xx/doc12119/03-30-HealthCareLegislation.pdf
The major long term change in Medicare funding is that future increases in spending are limited to a degree that absolutely no one believes implementable.

The calculations of longer-term effects are based on the assumption that the provisions
of PPACA and the Reconciliation Act will remain unchanged throughout the
next two decades. However, those laws put into effect a number of policies that may
be difficult to sustain over a long period of time.

Specifically, last years legislation restrains the rate of increase in payment rates for
many providers of Medicare services to less than the expected rate of increase in the
cost of the providers inputs, in expectation of ongoing productivity improvements in
the delivery of health care. If providers do not improve their productivity sufficiently
rapidly to offset the reductions in payment rates, those rates will fall over time relative
to the cost of providing services. By holding the rate of increase in payment rates
below what would have prevailed under prior law, PPACA will generate savings that
are projected to increase considerably during the next 10 years and in the decade
beyond that. However, it is unclear the extent to which providers will achieve greater
efficiencies in the delivery of health care and the extent to which cost pressures will
instead reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care (relative to the situation
under prior law) outcomes that might increase pressure on the Congress to increase
payments to providers. It is also unclear whether and how the Congress would
respond to such pressure if it arose and what effects the response would have on total
federal health care spending, revenues, and deficits.

Last years legislation will restrain the increases in Medicare payment rates for many
providers other than physicians. At the same time, the so-called sustainable growth
rate mechanismwhich has been in effect since 1997is projected to cause Medicares
payment rates for physicians services to be reduced sharply during the next few
years. That mechanism has frequently been modified (either through legislation or
administrative action) to avoid an abrupt and large reduction in those payment rates
that might have reduced Medicare beneficiaries access to physicians services.
On the basis of the cuts in payment rates under PPACA and the Reconciliation Act,
along with the effects of the sustainable growth rate mechanism, CBO projects that
Medicare spending per beneficiary (adjusted for inflation) will increase at an average
annual rate of less than 2 percent during the next two decadescompared with the
rate of roughly 4 percent that has occurred over the past two decades (a figure that
excludes the effect of establishing the Medicare prescription drug benefit).
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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 10:13 AM
Response to Original message
19. OK since we're talking about Medicare "reform" now
What's the deal about paying retail price for proscriptions filled as part of Medicare?

As I understand it, the government doesn't get to try and bargain for a "bulk buying" discount? I mean, if we're going to be under a market based system, why the hell NOT bargain for a discount? Any capitalist insurance company would do so.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Unlike all insurance providers and the VA the Med D plan rules out negotiating
It was a sell out to pharma and it was the one thing the Repubs refused to give up in the legislation (passed in 2005) that the Republicans didn't want.

As you point it not only makes no sense to NOT to get an economy of scale but it isn't capitalism. Typical they like the capitalism parts that suit them and not the ones that don't. It is nice to have "friends" who make the laws that affect you directly huh?

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socialist_n_TN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. If only the people had friends like that
nm
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