The cuts come from two big sources, in roughly equal amounts, and a bunch of smaller sources:
1. Ending overpayments to Medicare Advantage insurers: We currently pay private insurers 17% more to insure a Medicare beneficiary than the public program does. These overpayments were done to encourage start ups. But like many things, they were never repealed. It is time for private Medicare Advantage programs to do what they promised: provide insurance more efficiently than the government. These cuts have already been made, and in the first year we saw lower premiums and higher enrollment for Medicare Advantage.
2. Lower hospital reimbursement rates: Hospitals agreed to this because they will see less unreimbursed care in their emergency rooms. We currently subsidize unreimbursed hospital care through Medicare overpayments. This was a key part of Romneycare.
3. Everything else: Fraud enforcement. Lower payments to less efficient programs. Savings from Accountable Care Organizations. Savings from better prevention.
The things to remember are:
1. There is no cut to benefits--your benefits are the same and guaranteed.
2. There is no increase in Medicare premiums.
3. Savings are used to close the prescription drug doughnut hole and fund free preventive visits, among other things.
4. Romney/Ryan include these savings in their budget proposals.
5. The Romney/Ryan voucher plan does not guarantee your benefits (that's left to the market).
6. The Romney/Ryan voucher plan will cut even more from Medicare payments (limits spending Medicare Spending to CPI+1% per year, far below historical trends).
7. The Romney/Ryan plan does not place any limits on what insurers charges, meaning they can raise prices far beyond the value of the voucher.
Like I said, these Medicare savings are common sense spending cuts. If you can't get behind these, what cuts can you get behind? Other than cutting Elmo, that is?
"And you're messiah has been balking us for 4 years now"
Really? Then why all the complaints about spending cuts to Medicare? Why the complaints from Cantor/Romney about how the "Obama cuts" are bad for the economy? Why the rejection of $6 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue.
You guys talk the talk, but you don't walk the walk. We saw that CLEARLY during the Bush years. No doubt we'll see it again if Romney gets his chance to implement his fuzzy math.