The $716 Billion Lie: Did Obama Steal From Medicare?

This is the start of a new series on The Left Call called Right-Wing Lies. It will debunk the mountain of conservative and Republican lies, one-at-a-time. It’s a monumental task for sure, but it’s going to be done with clear and concise language. No need for thousand-word articles, or complex analysis. This series will present the cold hard facts and nothing else.


President Obama stole $716 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare (Affordable Care Act).


Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and it seems nearly every Republican have repeated this lie recently. The cuts to Medicare they are talking about are cuts to waste, which means they are actually savings. The Medicare reforms in the Affordable Care Act are about making Medicare more efficient and putting it on a path to solvency. These reforms are not cuts to benefits, they are savings on administrative costs and payments.

More specifically, the savings come in the form of reduced payments to hospitals (something the hospitals agreed to because the ACA will mean more insured Americans which means more business for hospitals), as well as ending over-payments to private insurance companies.

The Affordable Care Act achieves savings in the Medicare program through a series of payment reforms, service delivery innovations, and increased efforts to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse. – Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc.

There are no cuts to Medicare benefits. Let me repeat that. Senior citizens who are on Medicare will see no loss of benefits from the Medicare reforms in the Affordable Care Act.

It turns out $716 billion isn’t the only number Republicans have cited when telling this lie. Just a few months ago they were citing $500 billion, but it was still the same lie. Sometimes when you lie it’s hard to remember the specifics. Oh, and the little detail Republicans usually leave out (to make the lie have more impact) is that the $716 billion in savings is over 10 years.

– Beat that with a stick –


photo by Dave Lawrence

GovernmentHealth CarePoliticsRight-Wing Lies

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