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On Jonathan Paton’s claim that Democrats cut Medicare by $700 billion:
ARIZONA DAILY SUN
Paton needs checkup on Medicare ad: (Excerpt) Here's what nonpartisan, nonprofit Factcheck.org, of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, states on the matter: Republicans claim the president's $716 billion in total "cuts" to Medicare over the next decade hurt the program's finances. But the opposite is true. These cuts in the future growth of spending prolong the life of the Medicare trust fund, stretching the program's finances out longer than they would last otherwise. The reductions come primarily in reimbursement rates to hospitals and physicians for certain kinds of cases. [Sept. 9, 2010]
KNAU – ARIZONA PUBLIC RADIO
(Excerpt) During last week’s GOP Convention, Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan repeated a charge that’s been heard many times this election cycle: “$716 billion funneled out of Medicare by President Obama -- an obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed," Ryan told the crowd. As many observers have noted, despite his outrage, Representative Ryan supports those same $716 billion savings.
But he is not the only one to make the charge. Candidates across the county have repeated it. Locally, Jonathan Paton, a candidate for Congress from Arizona’s 1st District has picked up the banner. …
Called the Claim that Democrats Cut Medicare by $700 Billion a “Pants on Fire” Lie. In a series of news releases dealing with the national health care reform law, the National Republican Congressional Committee claimed 37 House Democrats were “willing to jeopardize seniors’ access to coverage by gutting $741 billion from Medicare” to pay for a “big-government healthcare takeover.” PolitiFact wrote “There’s only one ruling for such heated and misleading claims: Pants on Fire!” [PolitiFact, 8/19/12]
NEW YORK TIMES
Paul Ryan’s Budget Retained Medicare Savings Voted on by Republican-Controlled Congress. The Republican claim that health care reform “cut” $716 from Medicare was criticized by a New York Times editorial as a mischaracterization because Paul Ryan’s budget approved by the Republican-controlled Congress retained virtually the same Medicare savings. “In reality, the $716 billion is not a “cut” in benefits but rather the savings in costs that the Congressional Budget Office projects over the next decade from wholly reasonable provisions in the reform law.” [Editorial, New York Times, 8/18/12]
The Affordable Care Act Does Not Cut Medicare Benefits. “The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that Obama pushed for doesn’t cut Medicare; it simply reduces projected future increases in costs by $700 billion over 10 years.” [Bloomberg, 8/13/12]
Called the Charge “Dubious.” CBS News called the attack “dubious” and wrote: “it's not the patients who would lose money. It's the providers.” [CBS News, 8/15/12]
The Affordable Care Act Does Not Cut Current Medicare Benefits. As PolitFact noted, “The bill doesn't take money out of the current Medicare budget but, rather, it attempts to slow the program's future growth, curtailing just over $500 billion in anticipated spending increases over the next 10 years.” [PolitiFact.com, 9/12/11]