U.S. Senate Committee on Finance

03/15/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 03/15/2019 12:44

Two Pinocchios: “Democrats Engage in ‘Mediscare’ Spin on the Trump Budget”

March 15,2019

Glenn Kessler

March 15, 2019

'Democrats have claimed [President Trump] wants to cut $800 billion to $850 billion.'

'…it's a misleading figure. Trump is proposing to move two parts of Medicare - payments to hospitals that treat many patients without insurance and payments to hospitals that educate medical residents - to another part of the budget. So it looks like a $269 billion 'cut' to Medicare. But it reflects spending that would mostly continue, at an inflation-adjusted rate - just not within the Medicare system.'

'Moreover, most of these so-called cuts are not coming at the expense of seniors; they are intended to reduce out-of-pocket costs for seniors by making the program more efficient.'

The Pinocchio Test

'There are two problems with the Democratic 'Mediscare' spin. First, they are using a number that includes 'cuts' that are mostly paper shuffling. The $850 billion is too large when talking about the impact on Medicare.'

'…it's a simplistic way to frame the policy debate, potentially making it more difficult to restrain the growth of entitlement programs as the baby boom generation moves into retirement.

'Democrats earn Two Pinocchios…'

Two Pinocchios