Some campaign clarifications on medicare

I thought it was worth making a couple of suggestions and clarifications about Medicare:

1) When we discuss reducing Medicare spending, that doesn’t have to mean actually spending less next year than this year. It can mean spending less next year than we planned to otherwise.

2) When you believe that if we don’t reduce Medicare spending right now the trust fund will go bankrupt, then repealing laws that will reduce that spending will make it go bankrupt sooner.

3) When you campaign on the other guy not being serious about Medicare, you then can’t attack him for reducing spending more than you.

4) Unless you plan to stop passing the doc fix, don’t just say the other guy won’t and then use it to bash his plan.

5) If you use a certain study to claim that too few docs will take new patients with Medicaid, and that same study shows that more docs take new patients with Medicare than private insurance, you can’t suddenly forget about that study and claim that doctors won’t take patients with Medicare.

6) If you are afraid to cut Medicare for seniors right now, or for anyone 55-65, then maybe you’re afraid to cut Medicare, period Medicare spending isn’t the immediate crisis that you say it is.

7) If you plan to cut Medicaid in the next few years, and millions of seniors benefit from Medicaid, then maybe your health care reforms will affect current seniors.

8) If you plan to repeal a law that has closed the donut hole, reduced payments for some visits, and increased payments to docs for some types of visits for seniors, then you are for cutting Medicare right now.

As I said before, I think it would be great to have a debate over (a) how much we can cut from Medicare, (b) the best way to do it, and (c) how much of those cuts should be borne by different stakeholders. None of the above has anything to do with that.

If you think I’m missing any, let me know in comments. I’m sure some of you can suggest some I’ve missed. I’m sure my more conservative friends will have their own lists, too.


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