Regarding a recent letter continuing the Obama campaign claim that Medicare under Ryan's plan "will actually hurt seniors," I am afraid the writer has fallen for a ploy of misinformation by the Obama camp.
For the most part, Obama's allegations against Ryan's plan actually refer to an old plan, ignoring the fact that the House Budget Committee chairman rolled out a different version in 2012. The newer plan is more moderate.
The worst omission by the Obama campaign is the fact that the newer plan gives seniors a choice. The old plan called for a government payment to seniors to buy private insurance, while the new plan gives them a choice between using a payment to buy private insurance, Ore. to stay in the traditional Medicare program.
Obama said, "That means seniors would no longer have the guarantee of Medicare - they'd get a voucher to buy private insurance. And if it doesn't keep up with costs, well, that's the seniors' problem." He conveniently doesn't mention the traditional Medicare option that will be available.
Regarding the Ryan plan, a recent Obama ad touts, "And experts say his voucher plan could raise future retirees' costs more than $6,400. ... Get the facts."
I did get the facts. That figure is based on the old plan and if you look closely, the ad even attributes the figure to, "The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/8/11"
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which is non-partisan, also came to the same conclusion about the old plan.
However, this year the CBO said it "does not have the capability" to estimate the individual impact of the latest Ryan plan, though it cautioned "beneficiaries might face higher costs."
There are studies that indicate that Obamacare will result in decreasing Medicare Advantage payments to seniors by an average of $3700 per beneficiary in 2017. That translates to a 27 percent cut in what the payments would be without Obamacare and also means about a $44,000 cut in benefits over a senior's lifetime.
The writer also spoke of Obama closing the donut hole. Closing the donut hole will result in an increase in Medicare spending by about $25 billion over 10 years. At the same time, the cut in payments to Medicare Advantage plans will result in a $137 billion reduction over 10 years. Therefore, the cut exceeds the new spending on the drug benefit by more than $100 billion. Guess who will have to make up for that burden? Seniors will.
Romney's camp is not without blame in the Medicare debate. They keep talking about Obama raiding billions from Medicare to fund Obamacare. This is not completely true either, only partially true.
Both sides are guilty of trying to sway us with partial truths and/or blatant deceptions. It makes choosing a candidate difficult and, as often can be the case with politics, can make one feel like they are making a choice of the lesser of two evils.
Just my opinion, but, to me, Romney's horns look smaller than Obama's.
Steven M. Boker