Video: Obama says we’re not proposing cuts to Medicare

posted at 4:20 pm on July 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

During Monday’s AARP town hall meeting on health care reform, Barack Obama tried to allay the fears of senior citizens by insisting that he would not cut Medicare benefits as part of his reforms. “No one is talking” about cuts to Medicare benefits, Obama insisted:

Well, no one is talking about it … except Barack Obama, apparently. Just a few weeks ago, Obama outlined cuts to Medicare that add up to over $300 billion in reductions. Obama claims that he meant to trim waste, but how exactly did he define waste, anyway?

President Barack Obama Saturday proposed an additional $313 billion in cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other programs to pay for health care reforms expected to cost about $1 trillion over the next decade. …

About $110 billion of the new cuts would come from reducing scheduled increases in Medicare payments. That would encourage health care providers to increase productivity, White House budget director Peter Orszag told reporters.

Obama also proposed cutting payments to hospitals to treat uninsured patients by $106 billion on the assumption those ranks would decline as health care reforms phase in.

An additional $75 billion would come from “better pricing of Medicare drugs,” Orszag said, adding the White House was in talks with stakeholders over the best way to do that.

The remaining $22 billion in proposed cuts would come from smaller reforms, such as adjusting payment rates for physician imaging services and cutting waste, fraud and abuse.

I’m not sure which school of economics Orszag and Obama attended, but cutting payments to providers won’t incentivize them to “increase productivity.”  It will push them to take fewer Medicare patients.  If they don’t get paid enough to provide the services, which is what the AMA has steadfastly argued and why more providers refuse to take Medicare patients, reducing the existing payments means that fewer Medicare patients can access care and will have their choices reduced.

Those who participate in the Medicare Advantage program, and who pay premiums to join, would normally have better options for seeking care, as the public-private partnership works to coordinate benefits and get better and more reliable payments to providers.  Unfortunately, the millions of people in MA will also be out of luck.  Obama’s message to seniors who use the program to get some rational coverage is this: choose between Medicare and private insurance, but you can’t have both.  And good luck in finding an insurer who will replace Medicare for seniors and the disabled, pal!

It’s a shockingly dishonest performance, and a good look into the ObamaCare future for America’s seniors and the middle-aged voters who will join them soon.


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Let me be clear, Bozo is a LIAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

txag92 on July 29, 2009 at 4:59 PM

The fact that the President can lie with such a straight face… Well-known to those of us not imbibing the tingly-leg Kool-Aid, but still frightening.

evergreen on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

He’s on tonsils again….He said doctors aren’t being reimbursed correctly…they are getting more money for removing tonsils as opposed to, say, counseling a child on changing their eating habits due to allergies….so doctors will remove more tonsils.

WTF?

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Obama lied, Grandma Died … with no dignity…

The Whistler on July 29, 2009 at 4:56 PM

Upstater85 on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Tonsils? WTF

Upstater85 on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

LimeyGeek on July 29, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Don’t shoot the messenger…

LOL

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM

He just said he would put his family on this proposed plan.

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 4:49 PM

Sure, it’s easy for him to make a show of doing that (and because he knows he can’t say he would not again without getting skewered again). But we all know that if he or Michelle or one of the girls gets sick, all he has to do is pick up the phone and he can get any specialist anywhere in the world to treat them, regardless of what kind of insurance coverage they’re on. Rank has its privileges, as Barry himself reminded us all the other night.

AZCoyote on July 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM

These are not spending reductions. It is reduced spending due to an effective End Of Life Alternatives program.

The math is simple: Fewer old people, lower costs of Medicare….

BobMbx on July 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM

roopster217 on July 29, 2009 at 4:52 PM

It was invitation only.

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, folks.”

bluelightbrigade on July 29, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Giggles looks like a stand-up comedian in front of that brick wall. Too bad the joke’s on us.

crazy_legs on July 29, 2009 at 5:02 PM

WTF?

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Let me be clear, Bozo is just repeating the same damn thing over and over and over and none of it is true.

txag92 on July 29, 2009 at 5:02 PM

He’s on tonsils again….He said doctors aren’t being reimbursed correctly…they are getting more money for removing tonsils as opposed to, say, counseling a child on changing their eating habits due to allergies….so doctors will remove more tonsils.

WTF?

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Oceania has always preferred removing tonsils.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 29, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Something in all of this has got to be Bush’s fault.

Cicero43 on July 29, 2009 at 4:58 PM

As a matter of fact, he said that when he took office, he was given a bill, and was told to “fix it”…

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:03 PM

txag92 on July 29, 2009 at 4:59 PM

He just dissed the high cost of health care in Texas.

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Bama isn’t lying, he just doesn’t know what’s in the bill and won’t remember what he said yesterday if it’s inconvenient to today.

He’s paddling through his own universe, happy as can be at all the wonderful things he promises to give everybody. What a fine fellow I am, thnks he. What is there not to like?

He won, y’know. He can say anything and never be challenged or held accountable.

Harry Schell on July 29, 2009 at 5:04 PM

Tonsils? WTF

Upstater85 on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Swear.

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:04 PM

I wonder which MSM outlet will be the first to say Obamanomics? BarryCare?

Mojave Mark on July 29, 2009 at 5:04 PM

He’s going to ‘cut costs’ by reducing the amount of money they pay for Medicare Advantage in the first place.

Medicare Advantage is the program that the government was going to use to get out of Medicare responsibilities. To do that, they used the money they had set aside to pay for Medicare benefits to give to the insurance companies who provide Medicare Advantage benefits.

By cutting the subsidies, Obama is going to force lots more back on the Medicare rolls with the government. . . thereby INCREASING costs to the government.

Medicare Advantage was really an unnecessary piece of legislation. The way it was you could get Medicare and a supplement to cover everything that Medicare doesn’t pay for about 150 bucks a month. Imagine being able to pay 150 bucks/mo and you can go to whatever doctor and hospital you want. You pay ZERO (no copayment, no coinsurance).

Medicare Advantage is ‘free’ so long as you pay part B premiums. . . but you then have to pay copayments for doctor visits AND hospital stays that you wouldn’t have had under Medicare alone.

Cutting Medicare Advantage payments to insurance companies will add to the Medicare cost, not decrease it. The point behind introducing Medicare Advantage was to relieve the government from the obligation of providing medical insurance for the senior citizens under a program that is going bankrupt.

ThackerAgency on July 29, 2009 at 5:05 PM

AZCoyote on July 29, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Oh he admitted that…but said it wouldn’t continue after he left office.

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:05 PM

Let me be clear- txag92 is absolutely correct!

bazil9 on July 29, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Omama has a website for all the Obots to tweet their senators begging for healthcare. Go there and send your own message.

califdreamnred on July 29, 2009 at 5:06 PM

By the way. . . I got into a debate with a fellow on here concerning Medicare Advantage plans before. He told me to look into the Coventry plan. I did. It’s going out of business this year – DISCONTINUED.

When they don’t make enough money (due to the government cutting the subsidy), the companies go out of business.

ThackerAgency on July 29, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Until now, I never realized we had a tonsil effing crisis in this country /

bazil9 on July 29, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Cutting Medicare Advantage payments to insurance companies will add to the Medicare cost, not decrease it. The point behind introducing Medicare Advantage was to relieve the government from the obligation of providing medical insurance for the senior citizens under a program that is going bankrupt.

ThackerAgency on July 29, 2009 at 5:05 PM

Yes, he mentioned that too.

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:07 PM

He’s on tonsils again….He said doctors aren’t being reimbursed correctly…they are getting more money for removing tonsils as opposed to, say, counseling a child on changing their eating habits due to allergies….so doctors will remove more tonsils.

WTF?

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Heh. I can’t wait to have some of our HA physician posters weigh in on this one. Remember, Barry will be judging them on the quality of their work. I hope he keeps talking. A town hall a day would be nice.

a capella on July 29, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Let me be clear- txag92 is absolutely correct!

bazil9 on July 29, 2009 at 5:06 PM

You’re so right…

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:07 PM

under medicare and a traditional medicare supplement, you pay 150 bucks/mo and go to any doctor and any hospital and pay ZERO. I wish I could get that.

Where is the ‘emergency’.

Oh yeah, it’s great because it’s too expensive and it will be bankrupt by 2017. They need to keep Medicare from going bankrupt before they decide to drive the rest of the industry into the ground.

ThackerAgency on July 29, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Until now, I never realized we had a tonsil effing crisis in this country /

bazil9 on July 29, 2009 at 5:07 PM

Obarfing says we doso we freakin’ do!

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I would accept federal dollars being used to fund abortions, with one condition:

That while the vacuum is running, the ovaries go out with everything else.

BobMbx on July 29, 2009 at 5:09 PM

I know this is OT, but I thought you all might like to know. They have just come out with an Extenze for ladies, so now both that slutty looking chick and her husband are larger.

bloggless on July 29, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Bah, people on Medicare are old anyway — they don’t need health care. /s

Dark Star on July 29, 2009 at 5:11 PM

Usually Obama is either shoveling the shat or stepping in the shat lately. Now with just a little over six months experience he can multi-task.

The new TOTUS is soon to have law of gravity moment like its predecessor. Let’s see if TOTUS jr. can last up until the congress recess.

Americannodash on July 29, 2009 at 5:11 PM

He’s done. He was there about an hour.

He said “there is a lot of misinformation out there”…yeah starting with him!

ladyingray on July 29, 2009 at 5:11 PM

He’s paddling through his own universe, happy as can be at all the wonderful things he promises to give everybody. What a fine fellow I am, thnks he. What is there not to like?

He won, y’know. He can say anything and never be challenged or held accountable.

Harry Schell on July 29, 2009 at 5:04 PM

that’s a great quote Harry–paddling through his own universe. Poorly, I might add.

ted c on July 29, 2009 at 5:13 PM

The thing that gets me is how he says that he gets calls from people not wanting to change the health care system and not to create a government health plan, but don’t touch my Medicare.

WHY IS MEDICARE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE UAW? Basically the unions negotiated the VEBA which was good for management because they got out from under the health insurance cost for the union workers. The deal was that they would pay the Union something like 150 billion dollars to provide health insurance to their union members.

As soon as they get that money, they are going to squander it and the union members won’t have any health insurance. At that time, the unions are hoping to dump their members on a government plan.

Essentially, with Obama’s help, the unions are stealing 150B from these auto companies so that they can then force their members onto a government plan.

I wish I could get into what VEBA is and where it came from and what it means. . . but it is tedious stuff. which is why they get away with the largest theft in human history.

ThackerAgency on July 29, 2009 at 5:13 PM

It is obvious that the Medicare Advantage was debated and passed before Obama got to DC. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He sees ‘money is going to insurance companies’.

He doesn’t realize that money is money that is dedicated to paying the claims for the people on Medicare. If you don’t pay the insurance companies, you pay the claims. . . the CBO won’t score that as a ‘savings’ when you are increasing liability to the government.

ThackerAgency on July 29, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Just in case anyone missed it, medicare is running a $330 billion deficit this year alone.

Vashta.Nerada on July 29, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Medicare payment to physicians are awful as they are. I’m sure that somewhere in America, this line will eventually be spoken should healthscare pass: “I’m sorry, Mrs. X, but the government won’t cover that expense. You’re out of luck.”

madmonkphotog on July 29, 2009 at 5:35 PM

And is there a single journalist out there that will ask him to explain this lie?

Midas on July 29, 2009 at 5:36 PM

Are our congresscritters selling/giving our e-mail addresses to the White House? I’ve never visited the White House website, and yet I just received the following e-mail:

Dear Friend,

If you’re like most Americans, there’s nothing more important to you about health care than peace of mind.

Given the status quo, that’s understandable. The current system often denies insurance due to pre-existing conditions, charges steep out-of-pocket fees – and sometimes isn’t there at all if you become seriously ill.

It’s time to fix our unsustainable insurance system and create a new foundation for health care security. That means guaranteeing your health care security and stability with eight basic consumer protections:

No discrimination for pre-existing conditions
No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays
No cost-sharing for preventive care
No dropping of coverage if you become seriously ill
No gender discrimination
No annual or lifetime caps on coverage
Extended coverage for young adults
Guaranteed insurance renewal so long as premiums are paid
Learn more about these consumer protections at Whitehouse.gov.

Over the next month there is going to be an avalanche of misinformation and scare tactics from those seeking to perpetuate the status quo. But we know the cost of doing nothing is too high. Health care costs will double over the next decade, millions more will become uninsured, and state and local governments will go bankrupt.

It’s time to act and reform health insurance, drive down costs and guarantee the health care security and stability of every American family. You can help by putting these core principles of reform in the hands of your friends, your family, and the rest of your social network.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

WTF? I have sent e-mails to my (D) Congressman and Senators, and am wondering if anyone else has had this experience. It’s a little disconcerting.

Fallen Sparrow on July 29, 2009 at 5:43 PM

Well, no one is talking about it … except Barack Obama, apparently.

Heh. He’s a special kind of Full-of-Sh!t.

Jaibones on July 29, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Oh My GOD! This man is sick! He is such a radical idalogue that he will say ANYTHING. This is 9 or 10 WHOPPER lies I’ve watched him tell today. He might be mentally ill. Seriously.

marklmail on July 29, 2009 at 6:22 PM

About $110 billion of the new cuts would come from reducing scheduled increases in Medicare payments. That would encourage health care providers to increase productivity, White House budget director Peter Orszag told reporters.

How exactly does cutting payments to physicians encourage increased productivity? It does the exact opposite, as physicians will be less likely to see patients, operate on them, order procedures and tests etc. That’s a reduction in productivity. These people are completely mindless douchebags.

eyedoc on July 29, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Within all that spinning that Obama is doing, there has got to be a new dance step.

Do the Obama (Spin, spin, trip, spin, let me be clear, spin, trip, spin, spin).

PappaMac on July 29, 2009 at 6:39 PM

Dr. Chicago is a reflexive, pathological liar.

Dave R. on July 29, 2009 at 7:10 PM

Is it me or is he starting to look like King Tut?

disa on July 29, 2009 at 7:58 PM

These people are completely mindless douchebags.

eyedoc on July 29, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Or they think we are.

disa on July 29, 2009 at 7:59 PM

So Obama is not only a shameless liar, he thinks the people he’s talking to have Attention Deficit Disorder and can’t remember what his own administration was proposing just last June.

manofaiki on July 29, 2009 at 9:35 PM

WTF? I have sent e-mails to my (D) Congressman and Senators, and am wondering if anyone else has had this experience. It’s a little disconcerting.
Fallen Sparrow on July 29, 2009

If you think that’s bad you should read the one he sent to the kids.

“Health care costs will double over the next decade, millions more will become uninsured, millions will die! Even your dog and cat will die! and state and local governments along with millions of Americans will go bankrupt and die!

The only thing that can save America is ME, the one!
We are the one we’ve been waiting for!

Now do your homework, eat your vegetables and make sure your parents know that if they don’t vote for me they will DIE!

Have a nice day!”

DSchoen on July 29, 2009 at 11:12 PM

Obama also proposed cutting payments to hospitals to treat uninsured patients by $106 billion on the assumption those ranks would decline as health care reforms phase in.

So illegal immigrants will be covered? Whew, that’s a relief…

MarkT on July 30, 2009 at 8:23 AM

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