In McMorris Rodgers’ July 12 article on the health care law, McMorris, echoing remarks by a number of other GOP leaders, states “The law raises taxes by over $500 billion and cuts Medicare by another $500 billion.” This oversimplified statement is a misrepresentation of the facts, is very misleading and a disservice to us all. Her statement would have us believe Medicare services are being reduced by $500 billion and senior citizens have the most to lose under Obamacare. Not so! The $500 billion “cut in Medicare” is not a reduction in services to Medicare beneficiaries. In fact benefits have been increased, such as making preventive care free and closing a gap in prescription drug coverage known as the “doughnut hole.” And in fact under the health care bill, Medicare spending continues to go up year after year, not down.
What the health care bill does do is try to identify ways to save money, and so the $500 billion “cuts” figure comes from the difference over 10 years between anticipated Medicare spending and the changes the law makes to reduce spending – good changes – projected growth of Medicare which would mainly affect hospitals and other providers of medical care, some of whom supported the health care measure nonetheless because it would extend coverage to up to 30 million uninsured Americans, raising the number of paying customers. Other savings would result from lower subsidies for private insurers selling Medicare Advantage plans.
Contrary to what McMorris Rodgers states, many of us Americans do want Obamacare and would love to see the GOP work together with the Democrats to ensure the viability of the program.