Democrats' Medicare Claims Named 2011 'Lie of the Year'

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The fact-checking website PolitiFact has conferred its annual "Lie of the Year" for 2011 to Democrats for suggesting that a House GOP Medicare reform proposal would "end" the program. The proposal -- which House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled in April and the House approved as part of the GOP fiscal year 2012 budget resolution (H Con Res 34) -- would have altered Medicare from a fee-for-service program to one that would have beneficiaries purchase coverage on the private market. According to PolitiFact, Democrats' claim that the Ryan plan would "end Medicare" overlooks the fact that the proposed changes would not affect current beneficiaries or seniors ages 55 and older who would enter the program in the next decade.

Barbara Hanson
In the interest of political fairness(?), Politifact parsed the meaning of the word END. Just because folks 55 and up are not affected, and the vouchers are called Medicare, END does not seem to apply in their definition. Today we have a program where Medicare Part A is automatic, provided at no charge at age 65. The proposed vouchers would buy private health insurance in Paul Ryan's plan, but not keep up with inflation, thereby causing a higher cost at a time most retired folks are not getting increased income. Don't know about them, but that looks like the END of Medicare to me! We definitely need to do something about Medicare, as the silver tsunami is upon us, but Ryan's plan is not the answer.

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