Democracy Has Prevailed.

August 19, 2012

Jack Kelly Sunday

Oooboy, Jack Kelly's Post-Gazette column is a confused mess this week.

He starts out with this:
Someone who looks like Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pushes an old woman in a wheelchair over a cliff as the ad claims he would leave seniors "without Medicare." It was, said PolitiFact, the 2011 Lie of the Year.
Jack doesn't point out the agita Politifact caused with that assertion.

Politifact, however, does:
Liberal bloggers and columnists contend it's accurate to say Republicans voted to end Medicare. Left-leaning websites such as Talking Points Memo, Daily Kos, and The New Republic said PolitiFact's analysis was wrong, as did New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

"According to (PolitiFact's) logic, if the FBI were replaced with a voucher program wherein citizens would receive subsidies for hiring private investigators to look into criminal activity, but the agency running the voucher program were still called the FBI, it would be unfair to say that the FBI had been ended," wrote Jed Lewison for Daily Kos. "I guess it's their right to make that argument, but it's transparently absurd."
For the record, Politifact does not rebut this charge.  It all depends, I guess, on how one defines the concept of change.  If the plan is altered into something completely different but called the same thing is that "killing" it?  In this instance, Democrats say yes and Republicans say no.

FBI vouchers anyone?

Politifact describes the Ryan Plan:
Under the current Medicare system, the government pays the health care bills for Americans over age 65. Under the Ryan plan, future beneficiaries would be given a credit and invited to shop for an approved plan on a Medicare health insurance exchange. It received overwhelming support from Republicans in a House vote on a budget blueprint.

Starting in 2022, beneficiaries would receive "premium support payments" from the government to help pay for the private insurance. People who need more health care would get a little more money, and high earners would get a little less.

The plan has some guarantees for coverage, although seniors would have to pay more to get the benefits they receive today, according to an analysis completed earlier this year by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The guarantees: Ryan's plan requires private insurers to accept all applicants and to charge the same rate for people who are the same age. The plans would comply with standards set by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which administers the health plans of federal employees. The Medicare eligibility age would rise from 65 to 67, an idea that has received some bipartisan support in the past.

The CBO found that it would save the government money. But it does so by asking future Medicare beneficiaries to pay more for the same benefits.
Ah, Jack doesn't mention that last part, does he?

But it's in the very same Politifact blog post he cites.  Did he miss it?  How?

And as long as Jack's now relying on the authority of Politifact for his analysis of the Ryan plan, one wonders tha,t when Jack uses this arguement:
It's the Democrats who plan to cut benefits for those who receive them now. Starting in October, they'll take $716 billion from Medicare to help fund Obamacare.
If he's even bothered to read this from Politifact:
Here, we’re checking whether Obama "robbed" Medicare of $716 billion dollars to pay for Obamacare.
And what did they find? Take a look:
We rate this statement Mostly False.
And this is how they describe the "robbery":
What kind of spending reductions are we talking about? They were mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not beneficiaries. The law makes significant reductions to Medicare Advantage, a subset of Medicare plans run by private insurers. Medicare Advantage was started under President George W. Bush, and the idea was that competition among the private insurers would reduce costs. But in recent years the plans have actually cost more than traditional Medicare. So the health care law scales back the payments to private insurers.

Hospitals, too, will be paid less if they have too many re-admissions, or if they fail to meet other new benchmarks for patient care.
Um, Jack? If you researched this yourself you need to do a better job.  If you're paying someone to research  this for you you need to fire them (for gross incompetence) and get a real researcher.

See?  A confused mess.


EdHeath said...

Beat me by a half hour.

Dayvoe said...


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Nation reading "Independent" Progressive logic FBI is the same as Medicare.