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August 18, 2012

Column: Democrats ignore their own issues with Medicare

(Continued)

Another 30.2 percent of Obama’s Medicare reductions, or about $216.2 billion, is gouged out of Medicare Advantage. This highly popular program lets seniors choose among private insurers. But, since Obama knows best, this market-friendlier approach gets catapulted off a cliff.

“These cuts will force seniors to pay $3,700 more for their health care by 2017,” according to the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s James C. Capretta. “The Medicare trustees project that the cuts will drive some 4 million seniors out of Medicare Advantage plans between 2012 and 2018.”

A further 8.8 percent ($63 billion) comes from payments diverted from home health providers.

An additional 5 percent in cuts ($35.8 billion) affects Disproportionate Share Hospital adjustment payments. These subsidies assist hospitals that treat large numbers of uninsured patients.

The remaining 21.2 percent ($151.8 billion) consists of cuts to another 10 or so Medicare services, The Washington Post reports.

It would be bad enough if Obama redistributed these cuts within the Medicare system. Instead, he siphons much of this money from Medicare into ObamaCare, a brand-new entitlement, many of whose beneficiaries are not even senior citizens.

Even worse, in what would constitute criminal fraud in the private sector, Obama simultaneously applies the same funds to Medicare and Obamacare.

“So, are you using it (this money) to save Medicare or are you using it to fund health-care reform?” Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., asked Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a House hearing in March 2011. “Which one?”

“Both,” Sebelius confessed.

“So,” Shimkus replied, “you’re double-counting.”

Liberals are hammering Romney, Ryan and Republicans for something that they, in fact, already have done. This mental condition is known among psychologists as “projection.” When it comes to gutting Medicare, Obama and the left are projecting enough to fill an IMAX screen.

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace.

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