Friday, October 5, 2012

The debate: Still working through it

Over 5,000 words in, so far.  Let's continue.

A new segment....yay!

Barack Obama:

1. Appeal to pity.  His grandmother's story is a textbook definition of an appeal to pity.

2. "$716 billion we were able to save from the Medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies, by making sure that we weren't overpaying providers, and using that money we were actually able to lower prescription drug costs for seniors by an average of $600, and we were also able to make a significant dent in providing them the kind of preventive care that will ultimately save money throughout the system."

This is the underlying assumption of Obamacare and how it is going to save money for Medicare.   In all honesty, I cannot find an answer to the claim that it lowers prescription drug costs.  My assumption, like usual, is that it's not as good as it sounds.  It might save seniors but it might not save $600, if that makes sense.

Romney's response:

1. " So if you're 60 or around 60 or older, you don't need to listen any further."

Well, sort of.  Romney has repeatedly stated that they plan on repealing Obamacare.  He said it earlier in the debate, instead.  There's going to be changes made to seniors because of the repeal.  Until Romney announces what he would replace it with, seniors should know that changes will be made to their current health care coverage.  For instance, preventative care with no out-of-pocket costs.  Or the doughnut hole.  "The law gradually closes the so-called 'doughnut hole' for seniors on the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program over 10 years. Before the law, seniors whose annual drug costs exceeded $2,830 shouldered the entire payment without government assistance until they hit an out of pocket limit of $4,550. Once 'catastrophic coverage' is triggered, the government paid 95 percent of costs.  The health care law gives beneficiaries who reach the doughnut hole a $250 tax-free rebate. Federal subsidies will kick in, gradually reducing the patient’s share of the payment from 100 percent to 25 percent by 2020."

So, it will change.  But we just don't know how.

2. "Some 15 percent of hospitals and nursing homes say they won't take any more Medicare patients under that scenario. We also have 50 percent of doctors who say they won't take more Medicare patients."

I can't find where they studied this, either.  My assumption is that it's lower than 15% and lower than 50%. 

3. "I want to take that $716 billion you've cut and put it back into Medicare."

It's not a cut.  It's figuring out a way to solve it.  But, here's FactCheck.  But anyways, PolitiFact reports on this, too.  But, is that $716 billion going back to Medicare a good thing?  Maybe.  Quoting directly from PolitiFact's study here, "Marilyn Moon, vice president and director of the health program at the American Institutes for Research, used official data to compute how out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries might increase. We reached Moon, and she reviewed her methodology with us.
She calculated that restoring the Medicare spending would raise co-payments and premiums by by $342 a year on average over the next 10 years. By 2022, the annual increase would rise to $577."

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