The Corner

Obama’s Robbery of Medicare to Fund Obamacare, in One Chart

“Both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the president for allegedly robbing Medicare of $716 billion,” former president William Jefferson Clinton told the Democratic National Convention on September 5. “Here’s what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits. None . . . President Obama and the Democrats didn’t weaken Medicare. They strengthened it.”

If Clinton were under oath in Charlotte, this would be called perjury.

Fortunately for him, this was not sworn testimony. President Obama won’t place his hand on the Bible, either, before he addresses an AARP convention in New Orleans today at 11:45 a.m. Eastern, as will GOP vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan 45 minutes later. Obama and Ryan are likely to discuss the controversial question of what, exactly, the Democrats did with Medicare’s finances when they crammed Obamacare down America’s collective throat.

Democrats claim they did not touch it. They then spring to add that, if they did touch it, they didn’t cut benefits. All they did was reduce “overpayments” to avaricious hospitals, doctors, and drug companies.

I would love to pay my local movie theater $10.00 for film tickets, rather than $14.00. That would save me the $4.00 overpayment that they demand. So far, there is no motion-picture benefit in Obamacare.  Someday, maybe, Chief Justice John Roberts will find a way to interpret one out of thin air.

Meanwhile, Republicans simply accuse Democrats of stealing $716 billion and pouring in it into Obamacare.

Democrats will find it difficult to refute the below chart by Heritage Foundation research assistant Alyene Senger. It very clearly shows the $716 billion that Democrats swiped and delineates exactly from where in Medicare they stole it. This is as close to a police report of a home burglary as one will find in public policy, a graph is based on irrefutable data from the Congressional Budget Office. Democrats can run but cannot hide from these numbers:

Between 2013 and 2022, ObamaCare swiped:

• $17 billion from hospice service

• $33 billion from all other services

• $39 billion from skilled nursing services

• $66 billion from home health services

• $145 billion from Disproportionate Share Hospital payments to medical  centers that treat many low-income patients, plus other Medicare provisions

• $156 billion in payment rates in Medicare Advantage

• $260 billion in hospital services

. . . for a total of $716 billion.

Medicare is a massive, throbbing entitlement. Cutting it in certain places surely makes sense, and modernizing it in many ways is wise and vital. However, President Obama and his co-conspirators in this fraud should have used their meat cleaver to restructure Medicare, rather than use its parts to create a brand-new health-care Frankenstein. Having failed at that, they at least should be honest about these cuts, rather than lie constantly to seniors about “strengthening” Medicare . . .by making it even more wobbly.

It is difficult to provide a precise analogy of what Democrats did to Medicare, but this may come close:

Imagine that someone yanks from your bank account an amount of your savings to equal, say, three months’ worth of home mortgage payments. He then uses that money to cover the rent on some other people’s apartments down the street. He then reassures you that he has strengthened your bank account, since the rent money for those other people would have covered “overpayments” to your greedy landlord who doesn’t deserve all of that money anyway, the rat bastard!

Anyone who pulled such a stunt would be laughed out of town, if not arrested.

Barack Obama should not be arrested for his robbery of $716 billion from Medicare. It will be suffice for him to fly home to Chicago on January 20 amid national peals of laughter.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor, a contributor to National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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