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  • "Lie of the Year" - Democrats' Claims about Medicare Reform

    Politics is home to some pretty exaggerated accusations, and this year was no exception, particularly in the area of health care. Case in point: Democrats’ claim that “Republicans voted to end Medicare.” In fact, the assertion was so off the wall that PolitiFact.com named it “Lie of the Year 2011.”

    Democrats made the claim about House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) FY 2012 “Path to Prosperity” budget, which included a proposal to provide premium support to Medicare enrollees, helping them to purchase a health care plan of their choice. PolitiFact reports on the left’s response to the proposal:

    Democrats pounced. Just four days after the party-line vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released a Web ad that said seniors will have to pay $12,500 more for health care “because Republicans voted to end Medicare.”

    Rep. Steve Israel of New York, head of the DCCC, appeared on cable news shows and declared that Republicans voted to “terminate Medicare.” A Web video from the Agenda Project, a liberal group, said the plan would leave the country “without Medicare” and showed a Ryan look-alike pushing an old woman in a wheelchair off a cliff. And just last month, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a fundraising appeal that said: “House Republicans’ vote to end Medicare is a shameful act of betrayal.”

    PolitiFact debunked the Medicare charge in nine separate fact-checks rated False or Pants on Fire, most often in attacks leveled against Republican House members.

    Now, PolitiFact has chosen the Democrats’ claim as the 2011 Lie of the Year.

    What was so wrong about the claims? PolitiFact breaks it down:

    • They ignored the fact that the Ryan plan would not affect people currently in Medicare—or even those age 55–65 who would join the program in the next 10 years.
    • They used harsh terms such as end and kill when the program would still exist, although in a privatized system.
    • They used pictures and video of elderly people who clearly were too old to be affected by the Ryan plan. The DCCC video that aired four days after the vote featured an elderly man who had to take a job as a stripper to pay his medical bills.

    There were other ridiculous claims, as well. Representative Steve Rothman (D–NJ) said that the plan would impose “suffering, pain and terror” on “tens of millions of seniors.” Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, warned that the plan would lead to rationing (an ironic accusation given that he came out in support of rationing). Oh, and don’t forget the warning to preschoolers issued by House Democrats in the Committee on Education and the Workforce that they could “lose health care if you or your family is low income or has a medical condition.

    What’s the truth about the plan? As Heritage’s Robert Moffit and Kathryn Nix write, it’s modeled after the plan that federal workers and employees enjoy, and it would introduce intense competition in a consumer-driven market, which has historically slowed the growth of health care costs and increased patient satisfaction.

    While it’s good news that PolitiFact called out Democrats for their distortion of reality, the bad news is that Medicare remains in trouble, and Congress and the President must still take action to save it. The program faces a 75-year unfunded liability in excess of $30 trillion, even as it is plagued by serious gaps in coverage, an increasing number of demoralized doctors refusing to accept new Medicare patients, a sluggish and outdated system of inflexible governance, and tens of billions of dollars in annual losses to waste, fraud, and abuse.

    Ryan’s budget, like Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan, seriously addresses America’s fiscal reality—a $14.3 trillion deficit with unfunded entitlement obligations. Congress should set aside the lies and focus on the truth—that Medicare faces a problem and that it’s time to do something about it.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    11 Responses to "Lie of the Year" - Democrats' Claims about Medicare Reform

    1. steve h says:

      Nice – you are citing politifact! So i presume you agree with all the other politifact posts, like saying Obamacare will cost Americans many jobs, that people can use food stamps for anything, that the stimulus bill did not create jobs, etc…. Just glad to know that Heritage looks to politifact as the gospel of truth…since there are many times your blog has seemed to contridict politifact, but good to know going forward that you see them as complete and utter truth.

      • Frank C. says:

        I think that the lie of the year is the Obama Heath Care Plan (H.R. 3590) . It was passed by the Democrat Party even though they didn't read it. Everyone should read the plan and become aware of the cost of Obama care to everyone. For example, under Obama the medicare insurance premium will increase from the present 2011 rate of $96.40 to $104.00 in 2011, $120.20 in 2013 and a whopping $247.00 in 2014. These changes are in Obama care and are purposely being delayed. It is time that seniors wake up. Obama throws all seniors under the bus!!! Obama and the Democrat Party lied to all of us, our children and grandchildren included, about his health care plan.

      • wren says:

        slow down steve h. i believe the point here is that if a left-leaning liberal site like politifact, made up largely of left-leaning liberal journalists masquerading as objective truth evaluators can see through the democrats' shameless claims, even THEY felt some sense of obligation to call it what it was, and still is, a massive lie of epic proportions.

    2. rwells78 says:

      Steve – Those things you cited all sound accurate, as opposed to the drivel spouted by Obama/Biden and the DCCC.

    3. We all know that Obama and the democratic were lying to all the time about Obama care. The only people believe him were the media and the other voters on the receiving end. Now that we learned that they sold themselves to the devel . We need to question everything that come out there mouth. They are not longer trustable. The only station trying to tell us all the facts is Fox News. I guess that why they have the biggest listener.

    4. Bobbie says:

      Nice mindsets of these democrats. Everyone heard them! How low to use the authority to show such indecencies to threaten the most vulnerable and then blame it on Republicans when Republicans have been very protective. Cruel and inhumane to the elderly and Republicans! Everything the democrats threaten no matter where they point their fingers, will be the democrats making "certain" it happens if they don't get their corrupt way. the only democrat "certainty" we're left to be sure of, non-productive costs, crisis and corruption…

    5. TimAZ says:

      As long as I have been alive the Democrat socialists have had only one strategy and that is fear its self. The American people have awakened in sufficient numbers and are definitely scared of the democrat socialists to the point that the lies are recognized and no longer work. The 2010 was the first indication of such a turn around, and the next election will be an even greater rebuke of the socialist left and right. Have your popcorn at the ready.

    6. Sandy Caruso says:

      Steve, the fact of the matter Obama has lied about Obamacare. Pelosi, Reid, and the rest of BO's supporters joined in and continued the lie. Obamacare is nothing more than getting COMPLETE control of the healthcare system in this country not to mention unfettered govenment authority to take money out of citizen's bank accounts …etc, etc. This legislation is a complete DISASTER just like Obama's presidency.
      READ THE BILL and you will see. As far as the stimulus?…. it's nothing more than a 'FUNNEL FACTORY' for money for Obama's campaign for re-election. Obama is incompetent, out of touch, arrogant, and unqualified to be the POTUS. He is MIA when it comes to leading this country. As the rest of us pinch pennies and scramble to keep food on the table, a roof over our heads, and the utilities on…this pompous windbag takes a $4 million, 17 day vacation in Hawaii while the US taxpayers foot the bill. 2012 can't come quick enough. If BO is voted out (which he will) this country will be in complete ruin.

    7. C.Adli says:

      Without controlling the Tort system nothing substentional can be done to the health care system.Then make the individuals responsable their health unless ther incapable.Control the Waste,duplicate charges, punish severly culpables.control excessive use by the public and the pratictioner.Do not let Insurance companies charge their loss in the market to the insured These are my suggestions after practising 36 years of Orthopeadics.

    8. Ann Moore says:

      Look at the limits for patients deciding about their own health care. I've been caught in the system for years now and want change for myself that could mean chnge for others. Experience has been my teacher. A big issue of control over patients is this "non-compliance" with taking of persribed drugs. Just what are the implications for a patient relaative to this "choice". A record of such "choices" on your medical record, dismissal from a particular doctors care, an almost harassing attitude of personnel toward one trying to make such "choices"."take your medicine" usually is the attidude prevailing along with statements like that one toward a patient……………………………I only have met two doctors who have the courage to attempt to change things for their patients including consideration of "concern for the side effecdts of the drugs" and take them off them….The paternal attitude is still there, very much more so perhaps now. Control, is the word, don't fool yourself.There is more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Regards, Ann Moore

    9. Ann Moore says:

      I'm seeking to live in a "less restrictive enviroment" as a Court recommended for me. My insurance pays $302 per day to keep me here. That is $9000. per month. A small portion of that could be used to allow me to live independently, perhkaps until I could earn my own living. I pray about that possibility, for me and for many people in nursing homes and rest homes (and others who dob;t belong ord chose not to be there.Am tryihg to find independence for myself while in a nursing home. It isp olicy, both corporate and insurance that needs to be changed. Regaards, Cnn Moore

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