Friday, October 17, 2008

Just Words: Barack Obama's Medicare Malpractice And Lies

Today, in Virginia, Barack Obama committed malpractice by accusing John McCain of trying to cut Medicare services and benefits. Nothing could be further from the truth. Check out Barack Obama's top Medicare lies below:

OBAMA MEDICARE MALPRACTICE #1: The Very Same Reforms That Barack Obama Calls "Cuts" Under John McCain, He Says Will "Strengthen" Medicare Under His Program
THE MALPRACTICE: While Saying Today That John McCain's Reforms Will "Cut" Medicare Spending, Barack Obama Says He Will "Strengthen" Medicare With His Reforms. OBAMA: "So what would Senator McCain's cuts mean for Medicare at a time when more and more Americans are relying on it? It would mean a cut of more than 20 percent in Medicare benefits next year. ... I think every single American has a right to affordable accessible health care. We can strengthen Medicare by eliminating wasteful subsidies to big HMOs in Medicare, and making sure seniors can access home-based care, and letting Medicare negotiate with drug companies for better prices. That's the kind of change we need." (Barack Obama, Remarks As Prepared For Delivery, Roanoke, VA, 10/17/08)

THE TRUTH: Just Two Days Ago, Barack Obama Highlighted His Own "Cut" To Medicare Spending. OBAMA: "And some of the cuts, just to give you an example, we spend $15 billion a year on subsidies to insurance companies. It doesn't -- under the Medicare plan -- it doesn't help seniors get any better. It's not improving our health care system. It's just a giveaway." (CNN, Presidential Candidate Debate, Hempstead, NY, 10/15/08)

THE TRUTH: One Such "Cut" That John McCain Must Support Under Barack Obama's Logic Is A Reform That Today, Barack Obama Said Would "Strengthen" Medicare.

MCCAIN: "Government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid should lead the way in health care reforms that improve quality and lower costs. Medicare reimbursement now rewards institutions and clinicians who provide more and more complex services. We need to change the way providers are paid to focus their attention more on chronic disease and managing their treatment. This is the most important care for an aging population. There have been a variety of state-based experiments such as Cash and Counseling or The Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, called PACE, that are different from the inflexible approaches for delivering care to people in the home setting. Seniors are given a monthly allowance that they can use to hire workers and purchase care- related services and goods. They can get help managing their care by designating representatives, such as relatives or friends, to help make decisions. It also offers counseling and bookkeeping services to assist consumers in handling their programmatic responsibilities. In these approaches, participants were much more likely to have their needs met and be satisfied with their care. Moreover, any concerns about consumers' safety appeared to be misplaced. For every age group in every state, participants were no more likely to suffer care-related health problems." (John McCain, Remarks, Tampa, FL, 4/29/08)

OBAMA MEDICARE MALPRACTICE #2: Barack Obama Implies The Wall Street Journal Reported John McCain Plans To "Cut" Medicare By $882 Billion -- The Number Is Not Reported By The Journal But Made Up By The Obama-Supporting Center For American Progress

THE MALPRACTICE: Today, Barack Obama Implied That The Wall Street Journal Reported John McCain Plans To "Cut" Medicare By $882 Billion. OBAMA: "But the Wall Street Journal recently reported that it's actually worse than we thought. It turns out, Senator McCain would pay for part of his plan by making drastic cuts in Medicare -- $882 billion worth. $882 billion in Medicare cuts to pay for an ill-conceived health care plan, even as Medicare already faces a looming shortfall." (Barack Obama, Remarks As Prepared For Delivery, Roanoke, VA, 10/17/08)

THE TRUTH: Barack Obama Is Basically Citing His Own Campaign Because The Report Comes From The Liberal-Leaning, Obama-Supporting Center For American Progress. "Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) disclosed this week that he would cut $1.3 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid to pay for his health care plan. ...The McCain plan will cut $882 billion from the Medicare program, roughly 13 percent of Medicare's projected spending over a 10-year period." (Peter Harbage, Karen Davenport and Ellen-Marie Whelan, "McCain's Latest Health Care Strategy," Center For American Progress, 10/7/08)

OBAMA MEDICARE MALPRACTICE #3: Barack Obama Accuses John McCain Of Not Being Forthcoming About His Health Care Plan Just One Day After His Own Campaign Refused To Answer Questions About His Plan

THE MALPRACTICE: Today, Barack Obama Said That John McCain Has Not Shared All The Detail Of His Health Care Plan. OBAMA: "Senator McCain has been eager to share some details of his health care plan -- but not all. Like those ads for prescription drugs, you have to read the fine print to learn the full story." (Barack Obama, Remarks As Prepared For Delivery, Roanoke, VA, 10/17/08)

THE TRUTH: Just Yesterday, The Obama Campaign Said That It Had "No Plans" To Detail How Much Of A Fine Small Business Not Offering Health Insurance Would Have To Pay Under The Obama Health Care Plan. "As the presidential candidates push their competing health-care plans, Sen. John McCain regularly presses Sen. Barack Obama to tell voters how big a fine he would impose on companies that don't offer their workers health insurance. ... Obama officials say the campaign has no plans to answer that question before Election Day on Nov. 4. Neera Tanden, a top Obama policy adviser, said the fine is intended to discourage employers from dropping coverage, not to raise significant revenue." (Laura Meckler, "McCain Presses Obama On Health-Plan Penalties," The Wall Street Journal, 10/16/08)

THE TRUTH: Barack Obama's Plan Has "Little" To Say About The "Immediate Challenge" Of Taming The "Soaring Costs Of Medicare And Medicaid." "While Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama fight over who has the better health plan for the uninsured, they say little about a more immediate challenge that will confront the next administration, whether Democratic or Republican: how to tame the soaring costs of Medicare and Medicaid." (Robert Pear, "About Those Health Care Plans By The Democrats," The New York Times, 3/3/08)

THE TRUTH: Barack Obama Has "Not Focused On The Dour Forecast For Today's Workers Who Hope Someday To Be Enrolled In Medicare." "Clinton and Obama have also said they would raise the current income tax rates on upper-income people to help pay for offering insurance to younger and middle-aged Americans who now have none. But their health insurance rhetoric has not focused on the dour forecast for today's workers who hope someday to be enrolled in Medicare." (Tom Curry, "Next President To Inherit Medicare Morass," MSNBC News,, 3/25/08)

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