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Sifting through both sides’ Medi-scare tactics

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Nope. This is an old song played by both parties. There are different parts of Medicare, much of which is paid from general revenue and premiums. Part A, which pays hospitals, has a "trust fund," made up of special-issue Treasury bonds, that always seems to be on the edge of running dry. But even so, the payroll tax could pay most estimated expenditures for decades. And does anyone doubt Congress would not step in and fill any gaps?

Will Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare force seniors to pay $6,400 more than they do today?

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This is a Democratic attack line, based on old data concerning an earlier version of Ryan’s plan. (Sometimes Obama refers to the "original" plan in his remarks.)

Readers should always be wary of dire predictions far in the future. The $6,400 figure refers to analysis of a CBO estimate of a different and less generous version of Ryan’s plan in the year 2022; the CBO made no such estimates of the new version, saying it did "not have the capability at this time to estimate such effects for the specified path of Medicare spending" but that "beneficiaries might face higher costs."

The new Ryan plan, moreover, retains the option of traditional Medicare, while the old version did not.

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