Campaign 2010

Sep 16, 2010

Fact Check: 60 Plus Association Wrong About Health Insurance Reform

In recent television ads, the 60 Plus Association makes a number of entirely false claims about health insurance reform.  In their evaluation of previous 60 Plus advertizing on health care reform, Factcheck.org found that the ads were “false” and designed to scare seniors. [Factcheck.org, 8/18/09]

FALSE CLAIM: Health insurance reform “cuts 500 billion from Medicare.”

FACT:   Health insurance reform does not allow any cuts to guaranteed benefits.

According to AARP, “The law protects any cuts to Medicare’s guaranteed benefits, which include doctor, hospital and rehabilitation services. This is true whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.” [AARP Health Care Reform Facts]

Slowing Overall Spending Does Not Mean Cuts. According to factcheck.org, “as we’ve said any number of times before, slowing down the growth of overall spending does not necessarily imply cuts in benefit levels or services. We made that point, for example, when the Republican candidate for president, John McCain, proposed to finance his own health care plan through similar reductions in future Medicare growth, and was falsely accused by then-candidate Obama of proposing cuts in benefits.” [Factcheck.org, 2/24/10]

FALSE CLAIM: Health insurance reform means “Seniors could lose their doctors”

FACT:   Health insurance reform specifically protects seniors’ access to their doctor. 

Seniors Will Not Lose Their Doctor. According to Pulitzer-prize winning Politifact: “In his speech, he said that if you are "already have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid, or the VA, nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have." That is true, there is nothing in the plan that proactively forces these kinds of changes, and the bills clearly intend to leave much of the current health care system in place. We rate Obama's statement True.” [Politifact, 9/9/09]

According to AARP, “Fact: Health care reform will protect seniors' access to their doctors and reduce the cost of preventive services so patients stay healthier.” AARP continued, “Bottom Line: For people in Medicare, health care reform is about lowering prescription drug costs for people in the "doughnut hole", keeping the doctor of your choice, improving the quality of care, and eliminating billions in waste that is causing poor care and medical errors.” [AARP Myths vs. Facts]

In March 2010, the American Medical Association, the largest group of American doctors, announced their support for passage of health insurance reform. According to the AMA, “By extending health coverage to tens of millions of uninsured, improving competition and choice in the insurance marketplace, promoting prevention and wellness, reducing administrative burdens, and promoting clinical comparative effectiveness research, this bill will help patients and the physicians who care for them. There are increased payments for primary care physicians caring for Medicaid patients and bonus payments for physicians in underserved areas.” [American Medical Association, 3/21/10]

FALSE CLAIM: The 60 Plus Association implies health insurance reform will cut Medicare. “You cut our Medicare and this November, you’re fired.”

FACT:   Health insurance reform does not allow cuts to Medicare benefits.

According to a factcheck.org analysis of a similar television spot in California, “The first charge, that Boxer voted to "cut Medicare $500 billion," mirrors the one in the ad against Sestak. As we noted above, that’s wrong. Growth in future spending of the program is being restrained to less than it would be under current law, over 10 years. But seniors’ basic Medicare benefits packages wouldn’t be cut – in fact, the law doesn’t allow it: Section 3601 says: "Nothing in the provisions of, or amendments made by, this Act shall result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits under title XVIII of the Social Security Act" (the part of the U.S. Code that establishes the Medicare program).” [Factcheck.org, 8/30/10]

Health Care Reform Doesn’t Allow Any Guaranteed Benefit Cuts. According to AARP, “The law protects any cuts to Medicare’s guaranteed benefits, which include doctor, hospital and rehabilitation services. This is true whether you have Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.” [AARP Health Care Reform Facts]


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