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Seniors not at risk

October 5, 2010
The Mining Journal

To the Journal Editor:

Dr. Benishek: Thousands of seniors at risk of losing their current health care? Really? A quick check shows this is a common statement among Republicans. Remember, in March not one Republican in Congress voted for President Barack Obama's controversial health care overhaul.

PolitiFact National has already debunked the notion that seniors will be hurt by changes to Medicare called for by Obama's health care reform plan.

Dan Benishek campaign statements give the impression that less money will be spent on seniors, that $500 billion will be cut from Medicare immediately, and those seniors are in danger of losing health care benefits. All that is misleading.

To back up, Medicare is the basic federal health plan for seniors 65 and older. Medicare Advantage is a more generous version that some seniors choose to buy from private providers.

It's true the federal government will reduce the growth of future spending on Medicare over the next decade. The reforms to Medicare will result in $500 billion in savings over 10 years. But the law does not eliminate $500 billion out of the current budget for Medicare. There are no cuts to guaranteed Medicare benefits.

Bill Kay




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