Democrats’ Medicare Chutzpah
One little-noticed element in the “fiscal cliff” debate hasn’t attracted much attention – the glaring hypocrisy of Democrats when it comes to the Medicare program. Last Thursday, Democrats in the House offered a motion to recommit spending reduction legislation (full text available here) that would have required HHS to disclose:
- The number of Medicare beneficiaries in such district…who, at any time during the ten-year period beginning on the first day of the first fiscal year that begins after the date of the enactment of this Act, will A) lose coverage under the Medicare program… or B) experience an increase in premiums, cost-sharing, or other out-of-pocket costs under such respective program as a result of the implementation of this Act; and
- The name and location of each hospital and nursing facility that would experience a reduction in payments under the Medicare program…as a result of the implementation of this Act.
It’s more than a bit rich for the Democrat leadership to offer such a motion, given that Obamacare:
- Takes “half a trillion dollars out of Medicare” to pay for Obamacare’s new programs, according to none other than Nancy Pelosi;
- Raises Part D premiums, according to the Congressional Budget Office, so that Big Pharma can benefit from its “rock-solid deal” struck behind closed doors with President Obama and Congressional Democrats;
- Cuts Medicare Advantage by more than $300 billion, which will reduce the program’s enrollment by half and plan choices by two-thirds, causing millions of seniors to lose their current health insurance; and
- Makes up to 40 percent of providers unprofitable over the long-term, according to the non-partisan Medicare actuary, potentially forcing providers “to withdraw from providing services to Medicare beneficiaries.”
The Medicare program is in dire need of reform to make it fiscally sustainable. But no one should take lessons on entitlement “reform” from the crowd that – by its own admission – raided the Medicare program to pay for yet more irresponsible entitlement spending.