Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CNN's O'Brien Corrects Right-Wing Media Medicare Falsehood


MELODY JOHNSON/Media Matters for America


CNN anchor Soledad O'Brien debunked the pervasive right-wing media falsehood that President Obama "stole $700 billion" from Medicare.
Right-wing media have repeatedly claimed that the Medicare savings included in Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) "gutted" the Medicare program. However, on CNN's Starting Point, when Romney senior adviser John Sununu claimed that Obama "gutted Medicare by taking $717 billion out of it," O'Brien was quick to correct him.
O'Brien pointed out that Sununu's talking point has been debunked by the Congressional Budget Office, which found that the Medicare savings in the ACA are not cuts, but rather a reduction in the expected rate of growth of the program.
O'Brien also noted that independent fact-checkers have found that the Affordable Care Act does not cut Medicare benefits. These fact-checkers also determined that the claim that hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare is outright false.
When Sununu continued to claim that Obama had gutted Medicare, O'Brien confronted him with even more facts, citing evidence that drug providers and hospitals agreed to the Medicare savings because their "theory is that what they're going to be able to do is make up by the number of people who come into the system. It doesn't reduce or cut the benefits. 
The right-wing media either doesn't understand the ACA's effect on Medicare, or is blatantly misleading about it. Either way, O'Brien was correct to challenge this false claim, and it's time for the rest of the media to follow suit.
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