Friday, September 17, 2010


The Administration Spent $20 Million of Taxpayer Money to Mislead American Seniors on the New Health Care Reform Law

Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (an independent and nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress) issued a report finding that the Administration’s Medicare mailer, which cost American taxpayers almost $20 million, inaccurately claimed that the new health care law would not negatively impact seniors’ benefits. Specifically, the GAO found that "[T]he brochure overstates some of [health care reforms’] benefits” (emphasis added).

For example, the mailer promises seniors that the new health care reform “will provide you and your family greater savings and increased quality health care.”

Instead, the GAO found:

•“In our view, the brochure presents a picture of [the new reform law] that is not universally shared. For example, two government analyses have determined that [the health care reform law] reductions in funding for Medicare Advantage may decrease enrollment and result in less generous benefit packages,” and “…significant increases in premiums for some beneficiaries may be necessary” [emphasis added].

The GAO found other, similar promises equally questionable:

•“The brochure does not provide beneficiaries with a comprehensive summary of changes to Medicare that will be implemented as a result of [the health care reform], and in several instances it provides abbreviated information that leaves out details about [the health care reform].” [emphasis added]

•“We noticed, also, that the brochure overstates some of [the reform law’s] benefits. For example, it states [it] "increases the number of primary care doctors, nurses, and physician assistants," when [the health care reform law], in fact, only provides incentives for such increases.”

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: After having spent nearly $20 million of your tax dollars on this mailing, seniors continue to view the law negatively, and I couldn't agree more. The administration’s assertions fly in the face of the analysis done by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and the Medicare Actuaries which have both documented that the law will cut Medicare by over one-half trillion dollars, cause millions of Americans to lose the plan they have and like, jeopardize seniors’ access to health care and increase the shortage of physicians.

THE DOCTOR'S DIAGNOSIS: American seniors have been asked to pay for a huge chunk of Obamacare. From raiding the social security trust fund to cutting Medicare by one-half trillion dollars, this administration and the liberal majority in Congress have done little to protect seniors or our economy. It’s time for new leadership in Washington.
(9-17-10: John Fleming, M.D., member of Congress)