In spite of years and years of doom-and-gloom predictions from conservatives that Obamacare will hurt Medicare, the facts just continue to tell another, very different story. Earlier in the month the annual Medicare Trustees report showed how the ACA continues to extend the program’s solvency. Now, the Congressional Budget Office has even more to say:
“You’re looking at the biggest story involving the federal budget and a crucial one for the future of the American economy. Every year for the last six years in a row, the Congressional Budget Office has reduced its estimate for how much the federal government will need to spend on Medicare in coming years. The latest reduction came in a report from the budget office on Wednesday morning.
The changes are big. The difference between the current estimate for Medicare’s 2019 budget and the estimate for the 2019 budget four years ago is about $95 billion. That sum is greater than the government is expected to spend that year on unemployment insurance, welfare and Amtrak — combined. It’s equal to about one-fifth of the expected Pentagon budget in 2019. Widely discussed policy changes, like raising the estate tax, would generate just a tiny fraction of the budget savings relative to the recent changes in Medicare’s spending estimates.”
Unfortunately, these fiscal facts will be ignored by those in Washington determined to cut Medicare benefits. Even though he’s on a nationwide book tour, Rep. Paul Ryan is doing everything possible to ignore talking about his plan which would turn Medicare into CouponCare while also repealing the ACA — stealing years from Medicare’s solvency, eliminating free screenings for seniors, preserving massive subsidies for private insurers in Medicare Advantage and bringing back the costly prescription drug donut hole.