I am a proponent of the Affordable Health Care Act. After working as an RN for many years I had first hand experience about just how broke the system is or was. The following was posted in the Huffington Post and I want to repost it to try and help people to understand some of the misrepresentation of facts. I am breaking the article up because it is so long and contains a lot of information. This will give everyone time to read and consider what it is saying. I am sorry to say that due to circumstances I will be unable to post the second part for a week or so. Let me know if you find this interesting. Blessings to all.
The Affordable Care Act Would Add To The Deficit
The only thing more important than painting the Affordable Care Act as a certain killer of jobs was to paint it as a certain murderer of America’s fiscal future. Surely this big government program was going to push indebtedness to such a height that our servitude to our future Chinese overlords was a fait accompli. As Ryan Grim reported in May of 2010, the CBO disagreed:
Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $138 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period.
The source said it also extends Medicare’s solvency by at least nine years and reduces the rate of its growth by 1.4 percent, while closing the doughnut hole for seniors, meaning there will no longer be a gap in coverage of medication.
Recently, the CBO updated its ten-year estimate by dropping off the first two years of the law (where there was little to no implementation) and adding two years at the back end (during which time there would be full implementation). As you might imagine, replacing two years of low numbers with two years of higher numbers increased the ten-year estimate. But opponents of the bill immediately freaked out and declared the costs to have skyrocketed. As Jonathan Chait reported:
The outcry was so widespread that the CBO took the unusual step of releasing a second update to explain to outraged conservatives that they were completely misreading the whole thing:
“Some of the commentary on those reports has suggested that CBO and JCT have changed their estimates of the effects of the ACA to a significant degree. That’s not our perspective. …
Although the latest projections extend the original ones by three years (corresponding to the shift in the regular ten-year projection period since the ACA was first being developed), the projections for each given year have changed little, on net, since March 2010.”
That is CBO-speak for: “Go home. You people are all crazy.”
As Chait goes on to note, the CBO now projects that “the law would reduce the deficit by slightly more than had originally forecast.”
The Affordable Care Act $500 Billion Cut From Medicare
Normally, if you tell Republicans that you’re going to cut $500 billion from Medicare, they will respond by saying, “Hooray, but could we make it $700 billion?” But the moment they got it into their heads that the Affordable Care Act would make that cut from Medicare, suddenly everyone from the party of ending Medicare As We Know It, Forever got all hot with concern about what would happen to these longstanding recipients of government health care.
In fairness, as Factcheck pointed out, the GOP opponents of Obama’s plan were simply picking up a cudgel that had recently been wielded by the president himself:
Whether these are “cuts” or much-needed “savings” depends on the political expedience of the moment, it seems. When Republican Sen. John McCain, then a presidential candidate, proposed similar reductions to pay for his health care plan, it was the Obama camp that attacked the Republican for cutting benefits.
Whatever you want to call them, it’s a $500 billion reduction in the growth of future spending over 10 years, not a slashing of the current Medicare budget or benefits. It’s true that those who get their coverage through Medicare Advantage’s private plans (about 22 percent of Medicare enrollees) would see fewer add-on benefits; the bill aims to reduce the heftier payments made by the government to Medicare Advantage plans, compared with regular fee-for-service Medicare.
A phased elimination of the substantial overpayments to Medicare Advantage plans, which now enroll nearly 25% of Medicare beneficiaries, will produce an estimated $132 billion in savings over 10 years.
The ACA also produces nearly $200 billion in savings by assuming that providers can improve their productivity as firms in other industries have done. On the basis of this presumed improvement, the law reduces Medicare’s annual “market basket” updates for most types of providers – a provision that has generated controversy.
The law doesn’t cut any customer benefits, just the amount that providers get paid. Hospitals and drug companies agreed to these cuts based on the calculation that more people with insurance meant more people consuming what they sell and, more importantly for the hospitals, fewer people getting treated and simply not paying for it.