The Latest Lie About Obamacare: Medicare Premiums Will Soar!

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Hands off Medicare
Obamacare myths and rumors are nothing new, but in the weeks since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act got the all-clear from the Supreme Court, the propaganda mill has picked up steam. Old chestnuts like the famed "death panel" whopper and the rumor that the PPACA will raid Medicare have been joined by new exaggerations and outright falsehoods, like the claim that health care reform will add a new tax to every house sale and that it will provide free health care to illegal aliens.

As I've covered the story over the past few weeks, I've received a deluge of e-mails from readers curious about the truth behind many anti-Obamacare claims. Some have actually proven true -- for example, as I noted in an article published Wednesday, the PPACA will not pay for alternative medicine, and it will actually raise some new taxes.

This week, several readers informed me of a new claim -- that the PPACA will send Medicare premiums through the roof over the next two years. The original version of this rumor dates back to 2010, and stated that monthly Medicare premiums were going to rise from $96.40 to $247 by 2014. By the following year, however, it had transformed into a more specific -- and more realistic-sounding claim, namely that Medicare Part B premiums would rise to $247.

But, while terrifying older voters is generally a productive tactic for opponents of health care reform, the rumor didn't really gain the traction that its creators wanted. So recently, they took a fresh turn with the claim that Blue Cross premiums were going to rise to $247. For an added touch of verisimilitude, the creators of the latest piece of propaganda used the logo for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama.

Sorry, Wrong Numbers

This claim is not only false from start to finish, but it also demonstrates a striking misunderstanding of actual Medicare premiums. One version of the email claims that the Part B premium will go from $104.20 in 2012 to $120.20 in 2013 to $247 in 2014. In reality, the Part B premium for 2012 is $99.90, a $14.50 drop from 2011 and a $10.60 drop from 2010.

As the AARP notes in its response to what it describes as a "bogus email," because premiums are calculated based on Medicare costs, there is no way of predicting how much they will rise -- or fall -- in the next few years. However, the AARP points out, there are provisions in the PPACA that could conceivably lower Medicare Part B costs in upcoming years.

"It's just another attempt to scare older Americans and has no basis in fact," continues the AARP bulletin.

As for the Blue Cross claim, the vice president for corporate communications for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama told reporters that the tale "is not reflective of the company's position [and] contains incorrect information."

In other words, the prediction that Medicare premiums (or Part B premiums or Blue Cross premiums) will go to $247 in 2014 is an absolute falsehood.




Bruce Watson is a senior features writer for DailyFinance. You can reach him by e-mail at bruce.watson@teamaol.com, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.

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Nora Mercandy

Ok, what about private ins costs? Expected to rise EIGHTY PERCENT in the state of Ohio? How exactly are we supposed to pay for this?? I already pay an arm and a leg for ins!

May 04 2013 at 9:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
naudaininc

This article is a total fabrication. Healthcare costs are increasing in the range of 9%-11% this
year and will certainly increase next year as true costs appear out of the fog of this poorly
defined "legislation". AARP as a supporting source... what a joke as they stand to more than
Billions to their cash flow.

January 31 2013 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill Thompson

What a total GARBAGE article!!! We're going to give 30,000,000 more people medicare coverage and our cost (payers0 will go DOWN????? LOL

September 29 2012 at 11:41 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
DoRight

The Tea Party has already won by taking seats in every state legislature and controlling the Electoral College. It's the truth. Now that we have won, we now have our saviour and it is not Romney.

Romney was told to take Ryan by the Koch Bros. and the Tea Party. We need a Tea Party leader in the White House. Romney is to liberal. Now that we have Ryan, we need to ensure that Ryan gets the political force to make the changes the Tea Party wants. His budget is too liberal. We need to eliminate SS, Medicare, Section 8, Food Stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit (what a waste), EPA, Public Education, and other social programs. If people cannot live on the streets without these programs then they need to be sent to Camp Purgatory in New Mexico and Arizona. Romney is now just a figure head. When Romney balks we need to make sure he hears from grass roots Tea Party members as well as from the Koch Brothers on what to do.

August 13 2012 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DoRight's comment
adofilli

Do Right
I'm sure you will enjoy the ride we're taking with your beloved obama
wakeup man smell the rosies that were

January 31 2013 at 8:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Michael Sparkman

Why is this on the B.F. compuer?? 8/6/2012
Jerry

August 06 2012 at 4:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sgtdjusmc

health insurance isnt healthcare.....just like student loans isnt education...obama should address the real root problems.

July 30 2012 at 2:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sgtdjusmc

my premiums have been going up...you cant jam 30 million new people into a system chasing the same products and the costs not go up...any idiot should be able to see that

obama care is just a back door step to govt healthcare...companies will pay the penalty instead of the premiums so people will go to these govt exchanges....duhhhh

July 30 2012 at 2:03 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sgtdjusmc's comment
adofilli

No obamacare is one of the last septs to
Mrxism --Dam wake up America---

January 31 2013 at 8:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Terry

Since no other government program costs have spiraled out of control, there is no reason to believe that Obamacare would be any different! LOL!!! This thing is going to start eating this country's economy alive! There goes your hard earned and hard saved money. Obama will get it and you will eat beans!

July 26 2012 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gary

I see the Right Wing-nuts are out in force today. Have done a bit of research on the ACA and find nothing much wrong with the article. The myth about "death panels" is nothing but a myth. We alrady have them in the current system. They are called "accountants" who make sure that the insurers pay out as little as 70 % in benefits so the CEO's can get their millions in bonuses.

July 24 2012 at 12:24 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Gary's comment
chris1011

They're always on here, 24/7. They get a nickle a post from their "overlords". That's how they finance their retirement 'cause they never saved for it. Like being a Walmart Greeter, only on the internet. They are pesky like flies and will never ever go away. Most of them live their solitary lives on dead end streets with KEEP OUT signs posted, but that is unnecessary since nobody would want to visit them anyhow.

July 24 2012 at 12:40 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
chris1011

They're always on here, 24/7. They get a nickle a post from their "overlords". That's how they finance their retirement 'cause they never saved for it. Like being a Walmart Greeter, only on the internet. They are pesky like flies and will never ever go away. Most of them live their solitary lives on dead end streets with KEEP OUT signs posted, but that is unnecessary since nobody would want to visit them anyhow.

July 24 2012 at 12:40 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
ha6ai

The latest lie from Bruce Watson and AOL/HuffPuff.

July 24 2012 at 3:23 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply