Rove continues to mislead

Posted on August 14, 2012 by

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Former top adviser to Pres. George W. Bush Karl Rove is still distorting the facts, as are many on both sides.

Appearing on the newly national Geraldo Rivera radio program broadcast from WABC in New York City, Rove misled on some statements and actions once again today, as many do from both parties.

Rove said benefits would be cut “from (somewhere between) 1/4 to 1/3 overnight” if nothing is done to reform Medicare.

We’d love to know where those percentages come from. It also seems meaningless to talk about nothing being done by some point. We think the strong likelihood is that some action would be taken to at least reduce any benefit cut, if one is even considered.

He also referred inaccurately to the mission of the new independent Payment Advisory Board under Obamacare. He said the panel consists of bureaucrats (obviously meant to be a negative term though there’s no evidence that we’re aware of that most bureaucrats don’t do the best they can) who “get to decide how much every doctor in every part of the country and every health care provider gets paid for services or if they can even be paid for those services.”

Rove’s take doesn’t jive with that of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Here’s part of their summary:

The board is prohibited from submitting proposals that would ration care, increase taxes, change Medicare benefits or eligibility, increase beneficiary premiums and cost-sharing requirements, or reduce low-income subsidies under Part D. Prior to 2019, the Board is also prohibited from recommending changes in payments to providers and suppliers that are scheduled to receive a reduction in their payment updates in excess of a reduction due to productivity adjustments, as specified in the health reform law. The law establishes specific rules and deadlines for Congressional consideration of the Board’s recommendations, and specific timelines and procedures for Congressional action on alternative proposals to achieve equivalent savings.

More manipulation of the facts by the supposed top-level strategist. Can you be considered a top analyst when you sidestep the facts or don’t tell the whole truth$

Rove repeated the well debunked theory that President Obama cut more than $700 billion from Medicare.

Multiple independent fact-checking groups have pointed out that the funds aren’t a reduction at all. They come out of future increases in spending and have nothing to do with benefits, which would remain the same for at least the next 10 years. And the Ryan plan does the exact same thing.

Rove also said Ryan’s plan makes no changes “for people 55 years or older but if you’re less than 55, when you turn 65, you get a choice. You get to either take traditional Medicare exactly as it is or the government will take the same amount of money that it now puts out, $11,000 a year, and help you purchase health insurance and you get more money if you’re poor or if you’re wealthy like Geraldo Rivera and Warren Buffet.” (Rivera interrupts and Rove doesn’t complete the sentence.)

Rove’s statement is mostly true as far as it goes. (There are other factors than financial status that determine the benefit amount.) But he doesn’t say that increases due to inflation called for in Ryan’s plan would be based on the gross domestic product, not the health care price index which rises much faster. That means the voucher plan wouldn’t keep up with rising health costs.

We call Rove an unreliable source of accurate information.

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