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Editorial arrived at incorrect conclusion

December 11, 2012
The Leader Herald

The Leader-Herald's editorial on Nov. 19 said "it was true" when Romney said "Obamacare" would "slash $716 billion in funding from the Medicare program."

Leaving us to ask the question: What gets "slashed?" Benefits or costs? This is an important distinction. (Fact checkers such as and, which were selected to fact-check the presidential debates, have been referred to on this question.)

It implies that it would cut benefits with the obvious intent to scare seniors when, in fact, it would reduce the cost that would be reimbursed to providers of care such as doctors and hospitals.

The editorial concluded, incorrectly, this would "lessen the quality of care for our senior citizens."

The conclusion drawn by the editorial did not consider how one requirement in Obamacare, namely, the "quality of care," would achieve cost savings.

In 2015, the "fee for service" principle will be replaced by a "quality of care" requirement, which mandates the medical care must achieve a defined outcome or else the providers would be paid less. This is how other industrialized countries keep their medical costs lower.

That amounts to a reduction in the future growth of spending over 10 years while improving the quality of care, not a slashing of the current Medicare budget as the editorial maintains.

And the reduction extends the life of the Medicare trust fund as well as having the effect of improving mortality rates in the United States, which, until now, have been abysmal.





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