No, this is not a further expose of the the President's supposedly self-admitted use of illegal substances during his high school years. (At least -- I'm told by those who read the book -- he inhaled.)
Instead this is part of the continuing interminable boring saga of Obama vs. Romney over who cut what when relative to Medicare. According to the Washington Post, the Democratic party is now admitting it did in fact cut Medicare by over $700 billion in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). WaPo wouldn't print that well-known fact, of course, until the Democrats told them it was OK to print it. Now the new WaPo story line -- being peddled by Congressman van Hollen -- is (paraphrased) that
- The Democrats had to make those drastic cuts to Medicare they previously denied making.
- But the cuts were not made to fund healthcare insurance for non-seniors like Romney says.
- Instead the cuts went to close the Medicare Part D donut hole and fund preventive procedures for seniors.
This same official Democratic Party "storyline," posted about 2:00 pm ET August 15 on the party house organ at WaPo, almost immediately thereafter appeared on The New Republic and other lefty web sites. These lies hit the wires and other outlets today August 16 because there are some organizations that still edit journalists and do some fact checking.
Politifact, where are you?
There is no budget implication plus or minus, one way or the other (in PPACA/in RyanCare, in the Republican budget/in Obama's non-budget, etc. etc.) relative to the Medicare Part D donut hole.
The donut hole "money" comes from the manufacturers and retailers (and those mystery-meat guys in the middle), not from the government. This is the deal the drug companies cut with Obama or vice versa back in 2009 in return for millions of new addicts with insurance.
(Of course most of the money was already "spent" from the drug companies point of view because many of the drugs involved are going generic. Don't get down in the trenches with guys that know hand to hand combat.}
Furthermore If PPACA is repealed, there is no way the drug companies are going to take a PR hit over what amounts to a few tenths of a percent of their top lines. This was already widely discussed when it looked like John Roberts was going to declare PPACA unconstitutional. The drug companies will just keep giving the donut-hole discount and slightly raise the prices of some other drugs seniors don't take.
(Oh by the way, only about 5%-10% of seniors are even affected by the Part D donut hole and no low-income seniors are ever affected. Only 1% or less go all the way into it. 22 states offer additional assistance such that only high-income seniors are affected. Everyone is sorry that a few people with means have high drug costs but this is a non issue among us seniors. You would think President Obama would have figured that out already since twice a month he puts out that silly press release about a gabillion seniors saving a gazillion dollars because he closed the donut hole, journolisters faithfully print it, and then no senior -- relatively speaking -- gives a damn.)
Here's what seniors really laugh about--"free" preventive tests. Has no one in the Obama campaign noticed that all the preventive screenings that Obama brags about on one hand in his other silly bi-weekly press releases (e.g., mammograms, PSA tests) are being killed by another part of his own administration? Meanwhile tests that matter like DREs for prostate cancer still have copays (and to both have to "assume the position" and then pay is a double insult).
And some things like annual physicals are not covered by Medicare at all while 90% of the 40 gatrillion preventive screenings Obama brags about are flu shots. We always could get them for free somewhere anyhow.
What a bunch of deceitful people. But the Government Accountability Office has already determined that officially, haven't they?
-- Dennis Byron