Obama Says Health-Care Reform Won't Cut Medicare Benefits. CBO Disagrees.


At an AARP-hosted forum earlier this summer, Obama reassured seniors that "nobody is talking about reducing Medicare benefits."


Does that mean the president thinks Congressional Budget Office head Doug Elmendorf is a nobody? Because, contra Obama, Elmendorf says that the plan put forward by the Senate Finance Committee, "would reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries through Medicare Advantage plans."

I'm not sure it's worth defending Medicare against cuts (even if they are probably imaginary), but this sort of direct contradiction from an agency as respected as the CBO isn't going to do much to calm seniors' fears.

NEXT: An ACORN in the Media's _____

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Seriously, can this incompetent douchebag go even one fucking day without telling a lie?

  2. You know, these folks at the Congressional Budget Office need to get in line. Don’t they know that the Democrats control Congress and that they’re supposed to come up with facts that support the party line? (Yeah, it’s OK, and perhaps even preferable, if they maintain an appearance of objectivity, but they need to know they’re getting their paychecks from Pelosi and Reid now.)

  3. That’s racist, B.

  4. No, what’s racist is the CBO.

  5. Nancy Pelosi said no one should listen to the CBO.

  6. B is the racist in the middle of CBO.

  7. Someone shoudl ask Obama if the plan doesn’t cut medicare benefits, how it’s supposed to be paid for by cutting medicare benefits.

  8. Coincidentally, AARP runs a program that would be the likely first destination for fleeing Medicare Advantage users who find themselves suddenly dissatisfied after “reform” hits it.


  9. Balancing the budget is racist.

  10. “National Bocialist Healthcare”

    He’s right, you know!

  11. More weasely truth from Obamessiah. Benefits aren’t being cut. It’s the reimbursement to the providers that is being cut. So if you only get 5 minutes with your doc instead of ten, because he needs to increase his volume to make a living, then it is your quality of care that is being cut not your “benefits.”
    People need to listen to Obamessiah more closely. Little of this takes effect until 2013, which – I’m sure – has absolutely nothing to do with 2012 being an election year.

  12. My econ teacher says that Obama’s plan will save money. And, even conservative news papers like the New York Times agree.

    You guys just don’t get it, obv Obama’s plan is good and saves money!

  13. http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/105xx/doc10572/09-16-Proposal_SFC_Chairman.pdf

    Starting on page 5 “Specifications Affecting Medicare and Medicaid”

    Apparently, the proposal will prohibit changes in eligibility or benefits but will reduce spending. I guess the government is going to try to be efficient or something.

    “Policies purchased through
    those exchanges (or directly from insurers) would have to meet several
    requirements: In particular, insurers would have to accept all applicants, could not limit coverage for preexisting medical conditions, and could not vary premiums to reflect differences in enrollees’ health.”

    So what exactly is going to be driving the cost of premiums? This plan is supposed to be paid for, mostly, by an excise tax on “Cadillac” health insurance plans. If plans that provide excellent medical coverage are being taxed, there has to be an incentive to purchase those plans in the first place. Why pay a higher premium or get a “better” health plan when you can get the same level of care on a cheaper one?

    “Although it would
    not explicitly require employers to offer health insurance, firms with more
    than 50 workers that did not offer coverage would be subject to a penalty
    for any workers who obtained subsidized coverage through the insurance

    Call me crazy, but wouldn’t that make it incredibly difficult for anyone who purchases a government health plan to find a job?

    I’m not that familiar with the insurance system, but several things don’t seem to add up quite right…

  14. @Hottie16

    Got a facebook page?

  15. Hazel-

    No, no, no, my dear…the government will squeeze every last dollar of waste and corruption out, and leave a robust program as clean as the driven snow.

    Also, I am a 25 year old Antonio Banderas (or whatever male or female you find attractive) look alike who is fabulously wealthy, urbane, and intelligent. And I love kids…and whatever pets you own…

  16. Coincidentally, AARP runs a program that would be the likely first destination for fleeing Medicare Advantage users who find themselves suddenly dissatisfied after “reform” hits it.

    Yes, the AARP runs a Medigap insurance program. The reform bill would hold Medicare Advantage (private insurance coverage replacing all of Medicare) to much higher standards and more regulation than Medigap (private insurance coverage supplementing Medicare). They certainly have a conflict there.

    The Democratic majority is probably going to fire Doug Elmendorf at some point; at least, if they could get away with it. “Will no one rid me of this troublesome Elmendorf?” I’m sure President Obama will say.


    He keeps saying “my plan.” But he hasn’t advanced a plan. Congresscritters, OTOH, have advanced several plans. So which plan is Obama talking about? Whichever one ultimately passes?

  18. this sort of direct contradiction from an agency as respected as the CBO isn’t going to do much to calm seniors’ fears

    I’m coming to join you, honey!

  19. When Medicare is cut and people are calling Obama out for lying, his flying monkeys will scream, “Not a lie! He didn’t say benefits wouldn’t be cut! He said nobody was talking about it!”

  20. I’m talking about reducing Medicare benefits by a lot.

  21. What a lying piece of shit.

    And yes, that’s an insult to pieces of shit.

  22. Does he lie to himself first, such that he actually believes what he says, or is he calculating and manipulative? (OK, he’s a politician, so he IS calculating and manipulative, so I’m asking in this limited sense.)

    Is he intentionally misleading citizens, or does he convince himself first?

  23. I need help concerning supplemental medicare policies.. comparisons between medigap and medivantage plans.


  24. A benefit is a health care service or supply that is paid for in part or in full by Medicare.
    Medicare Part A

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.