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Regional & National

Conservative goup's ad goes too far when it says Medicare will be 'bankrupt' in eight years.

October 8th, 2009 12:00 am by Staff Report

According to an analysis by FactCheck.org, a new health care ad from a conservative group claims that "Medicare will be bankrupt in eight years." That gives a false impression. The program does have huge financial problems, but there’s no reason to think it’s going out of business as the word "bankrupt" implies. And the issue isn’t new:

- A government report the ad refers to says the trust fund for one part of Medicare – hospital insurance – won’t have enough money to pay all benefits in 2017. Medicare’s physician and drug benefits will "remain adequately financed," says the report.

 - Government projections have found that the hospital insurance trust fund would face a shortfall "almost from its inception," according to the Congressional Research Service. But in many cases politicians have found ways to extend it. In 1970, for instance, the trust fund was expected to be insolvent in 1972.

The ad also claims that "some want to pay for health care reform with $500 billion dollars in Medicare spending cuts." Actually, the House health care bill, to which this refers, proposes a net cut in spending of $219 billion over 10 years.

Read the full report at the FactCheck.org web site.

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