THE SERIAL FLIP-FLOPPER
JOHN KERRY DOES IT, AGAIN!
THE MEDICARE FORMULA HE IS
NOW TRASHING IS THE SAME
FORMULA THAT HE VOTED FOR!
The Medicare premiums that John Kerry is attacking are mandated by a formula that John Kerry voted for. This formula is set in law and based on the cost of healthcare. That is why the President is focused on reducing the underlying costs of our healthcare system. John Kerry is focused on transferring those costs to taxpayers. – Steve Schmidt
· The formula increase announced last week for Medicare Part B is the product of a legislatively mandated formula passed by Congress and was supported by Sen. John Kerry in The Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
· Since the early 1980s, Congress regularly voted to set the Part B premium equal to 25% of program costs and The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 made the formula permanent.
· Based on this law, each year the Medicare Actuary makes a preliminary estimate of the following year’s monthly premium which is included in the Medicare Trustees report issued in March. The final number is statutorily required to be released in September, and this is the number that was released on September 3.
· The new premiums include enhanced Medicare benefits that are providing seniors and people with disabilities with strengthened access to physician services and new preventive benefits, such as the new 'Welcome to Medicare' physical and screening exams, as well as improved Medicare Advantage plan choices that reduce beneficiaries' health care costs.
· The new premiums reflect increased health care costs, and the best way to reduce the rate of increase in Medicare premiums is to reduce the cost of health care.
· The President is attacking the root causes of rising health care costs by proposing a broad health care technology initiative, common sense medical liability reform, and providing consumer-driven health care to put the patient and the doctor back in control of health care decisions through Health Savings Accounts. The President's proposals for Association Health Plans would also allow small businesses to pool their resources to receive the discounts normally available to large companies.
· John Kerry does nothing to reduce health care costs – he simply shifts the costs to the Federal government – and none of his proposals would reduce Medicare premiums.