A great blogger who calls himself BooMan NAILS IT:
[T]he Medicare savings in ObamaCare come in three roughly-equal parts. About 35% of the savings comes from paying lower reimbursements to hospitals, which accepted this deal because they know they will have a lot more insured customers who will make up for any loss in profits. About 30% of the savings came from tightening up the private insurance known as Medicare Advantage.
And the remaining 35% of savings comes from an assortment of changes, including less compensatory money for hospitals who treat a high level of the uninsured (because there will be a lot fewer uninsured people soon).
In other words, the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act made Medicare a lot more efficient, but it didn’t do anything to reduce anyone’s Medicare benefits.
So, does it make sense to say that Obama cutMedicare by $716 billion?
But, it gets worse.
When Paul Ryan put his budget proposal together, he didn’t want to have to find another $716 billion in the budget, so he left all those cost savings from ObamaCare in place. And then all but four Republicans voted for those cost savings. But now they want to call those cost savings “cuts” and pretend that they didn’t vote for them. And they want to use these “cuts” that they claim only the Democrats are responsible for as a kind of magic shield to protect them from the charge that they want to take a huge bite out of people’s Medicare benefits.
And then there’s THIS:
The Romney campaign is still working out the kinks in its messaging on Medicare in the days since Rep. Paul Ryan joined the Republican ticket.
The Romney campaign is charging that President Obama has cut $700 billion from Medicare. It has been less vocal about the fact that the Ryan plan, too, takes $700 billion from Medicare.
But one Romney surrogate admitted Tuesday morning that Ryan’s plan does make those same cuts.
John Sununu, the former governor of New Hampshire, said the $700 billion in cuts is one of the big differences between the Romney and Ryan plans.
Romney’s plan is “very different,” Sununu said. “When Obama gutted Medicare by taking $717 billion out of it, the Romney plan does not do that,” Sununu said on CNN’s “Starting Point” Tuesday. “The Ryan plan mimicked part of the Obama package there. The Romney plan does not. That’s a big difference.”
The distinction embodies the tough road ahead for Romney: Romney has said he would have signed the Ryan budget, which would have contained the same cuts over which he is currently attacking Obama.
UPDATE: There’s more about this stuff in this nifty video: