Dems on the defensive after report on Medicare cuts

Republicans have been busy using the Congressional Budget Office for harvesting ammunition against the Democratic health care reform plan, but so far it's not having much of an impact as Democrats try to push through their latest plan in the Senate Finance Committee.

The GOP Wednesday touted the revelation made by CBO Director Doug Elmendorf that cuts to Medicare Advantage would reduce benefits, despite promises to the contrary by the Obama Administration.

Later in the day, Republicans dug into a letter sent by the CBO to Democrats letting them know that the taxes they plan to impose on the insurance companies will, in fact, be passed along to policy holders to the tune of about 1 percent of premiums.
“These are new taxes,” Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “The premiums under the new bill, the new exchange, would be higher than what you're paying today.”

But the data is having little impact at the bill markup, where Senators rejected by a vote of 9-14 an amendment by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that would have restored $113 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts if the CBO finds that seniors lose benefits.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., pointed out that there would be no cuts to basic Medicare and that Medicare Advantage, which provides benefits beyond basic Medicare, was much more costly and provided uneven coverage.

“I think it's very important that we clearly indicate that in fact we are not cutting Medicare services for seniors,” Stabenow said. “I know there's a lot of political points in trying to scare seniors as we go forward on this bill, but it's not true.”

The committee also rejected by a vote of 12-11 a provision that would have delayed committee action on the bill until a formal estimate on cost could be provided to the CBO and then posted publicly for 72 hours.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

A former inmate and a sheriff’s deputy are among the first four members chosen to serve on the newly created Sheriff’s Department Oversight Board. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Years after fight club scandal, Sheriff’s oversight board takes shape

‘We want to promote law enforcement best practices’

More than a thousand people gathered in front of the California Capitol building to protest Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order and demand that the state re-open on May 1, 2020. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)
Newsom blames ‘right-wing pundits’ for COVID surge

By Emily Hoeven CalMatters Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday placed the blame… Continue reading

Strong California revenues will allow the state to commit to offering no-cost food to every student. (Amanda Mills/Pixnio)
How California plans to offer free daily meals to 6 million public school students

By Ali Tadayon EdSource With one in every six children facing hunger… Continue reading

Most Read