AP: "Senate votes to keep Medicare cuts in health bill" Of course they had to because otherwise there would be no funding for this "anything goes" health care bill. Just like Kirstie Alley during the holidays: she swears she'll go on a diet after the New Year.
The record in Congress on actual Medicare cuts is less than stellar:
It's that time of year again: Washington is talking about cuts to Medicare. President Obama's health-care reforms depend on them - up to $400 billion worth over 10 years. As a psychiatrist, I'll break the bad news gently: Medicare cuts are like Santa Claus and his flying reindeers - often talked about, never actually seen.These Medicare cuts will never materialize and the health care reform bill will explode the deficit. Simple as that.
The federal government has long fought to control Medicare spending. Today's Medicare program costs taxpayers twice what it did 10 years ago. But whenever lawmakers from either party agree to savings, Congress reverses course, fearing cuts will anger voters on Election Day.
Congress reversed planned cuts in 1999. And 2005. And 2004. And 2006. In fact, since 1997, when members of both parties agreed to automatic cuts if spending rose faster than population and economic growth, the program has been cut just once, in 2002.
At one point, Congress voted to postpone a 10% cut in Medicare doctors' fees fromDecember 2007 until mid-summer 2008. Just weeks later, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attacked the rescheduled savings as "exactly the wrong medicine."
So come July 2008, despite massive deficit projections, Congress voted to abandon the planned savings altogether. President George Bush vetoed that decision - only to have Congress, both parties, override him.
Extra - Ace: You can't "keep your insurance" if it's Medicare Advantage.