President Barack Obama’s nose grows longer every time he talks about Obamacare, especially when speaking to seniors. Obama told a group of seniors in suburban Maryland last week that “what you need to know is that the guaranteed Medicare benefits that you’ve earned will not change, regardless of whether you receive them through Medicare or Medicare Advantage.”
As The Wall Street Journal archly observed last week, “nothing about that sentence is true.” Nonetheless, this claim has become the official position of the U.S. government, thanks to its repetition by the chief executive and his senior aides, and its inclusion by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in a four-color propaganda brochure mailed in May to millions of older Americans.
As Obama and HHS well know, Obamacare slashes $500 billion from Medicare over the next decade. That’s why the Congressional Budget Office projects that one of every three participants in the highly popular Medicare Advantage program will be dropped. Others, including Medicare’s own actuaries, expect as many as half of all Medicare Advantage participants to lose the benefits.
As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said last week in response to Obama’s Maryland statement, seniors have been told repeatedly by the White House and congressional Democrats “that if they liked their plan they could keep it. Yet now we hear that millions of seniors will lose the Medicare Advantage benefits they have and like as a result of the Democrat health care bill … that’s been the story all along about this bill — a lot of promises that couldn’t be kept. And that’s why the story now isn’t the bill itself, but the administration’s broken promises.”
Despite the facts, it is clear that we will be hearing the “you-can-keep-your-benefits-if-you-like-them” whopper and many more similar Obamacare prevarications in the days ahead. Obama couldn’t get Tom Daschle as his HHS Secretary because the former Senate Majority Leader-turned high-priced Washington lobbyist forgot to report all of his income to the IRS a few years ago.
But that doesn’t stop Daschle from being co-chairman of the upcoming $125 million PR campaign funded by unions and liberal nonprofits to sell Obamacare — again — to the American people, 58 percent of whom favor its repeal. Curiously, Andrew Grossman, the hyperpartisan Democratic operative overseeing this campaign, believes that “when you treat people with respect … you can move them.” Such respect starts with telling people the truth, something which Obama and his health care allies don’t often do.