After Paul Ryan was named as Mitt Romney's running mate last week, Medicare and its future have been thrust back into the headlines. Ryan and Romney keep repeating that under the Affordable Care Act, over $500 billion will be cut from Medicare in the next ten years, implying that services will be cut by that amount, effectively destroying Medicare. They would have you believe that only Ryan's radical Medicare plan, which would turn Medicare into a voucher program for Americans 55 and younger, will preserve benefits for future generations.
What's being added to Medicare?
What's my point?
When Republicans say that President Obama is cutting over $500 billion from Medicare, they hope that people think it means that $500 billion of benefits are being cut. On the contrary, what is being cut is waste, overpayments, duplication, and fraud. Medicare is full of bloat, as are many government agencies, and little has been done over the years to eliminate it. By forcing providers' hands with regard to increasing efficiency, billions of otherwise wasted dollars can be wrung out of Medicare, and that money will be both plowed back into the Medicare Trust Fund and invested in other aspects of the Affordable Care Act that benefit people of all ages. Medicare is not being robbed; it's being cleaned up, modernized, and prepared to serve seniors better than ever for the foreseeable future.