Republicans Attempt To Scare Seniors With Health Care Lies

March 22, 2011 8:51 am ET — Meredith Kormes

Throughout the health care debate, Republicans have repeated the same negative talking points ad nauseam. Their lies and misinformation have often targeted seniors, most likely because they are a reliable voting bloc. Early on in the health care debate, Republicans created the fear amongst seniors that the new law would include "death panels." We can thank Sarah Palin, Betsy McCaughey, and others for perpetuating that lie that has since been proven false many times over.

A favorite talking point of Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and others misleads seniors into thinking that the health care law cuts $500 billion from Medicare. As with most things, the issue is more nuanced — the supposed cuts are actually savings from phasing out Medicare Advantage — but why would Republicans let details get in the way of a good sound bite?

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) also claimed that the health care law resolves the problem of the Medicare donut hole by "having the federal government take it over," which is a nonsensical argument because Medicare is already administered by the federal government. The only purpose of a remark like that is to perpetuate the idea that the Affordable Care Act is itself a "government takeover," which was recognized by PolitiFact in 2010 as the "Lie of the Year."

Since this week marks the one-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act being signed into law, it's a good time to shed light on the many new benefits for seniors the law contains. The law improves the quality and scope of health care for seniors by closing Medicare's prescription drug benefits gap; empowers seniors to stay in their homes and still receive long-term care services; guarantees comprehensive preventive care coverage; and eliminates insurance company loopholes that have been used to deny coverage.

By slashing government waste, fraud, and abuse within the Medicare and Medicaid systems, the new law not only saves taxpayer dollars but also provides seniors with better coverage. The Affordable Care Act empowers seniors to have more freedom and gives them back control over their health care decisions.

For more information on the benefits for seniors in the Affordable Care Act, click HERE.

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