When Tipton says Obamacare hurts seniors, reporters should ask for proof

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

We’ll be hearing a lot about Medicare this election season, and reporters should study up on some of the expected flashpoints, so they can challenge candidates who try to deceive us.

A case in point is Rep. Scott Tipton’s appearance on 9News’ YourShow Sunday.

“When we’re talking about health care, I think we need to get the facts on the table,” Tipton told YourShow host Brandon Rittiman.  “The President, this administration, and the people who support them voted to take away $575 billion dollars out of Medicare, hurting our senior citizens.”

As I’ve reported before, nonpartisan fact checkers have found this to be mostly or completely false. Politifact found the statement, “The new health care law ‘will cut $500 billion from Medicare. That will hurt the quality of our care,'” to be deep in its “mostly false” category, which is as false as its ratings go. Fact checkers at the Washington Post also found that the $500 billion is saved in Medicare efficiencies, which are “wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries.”

If you read the different analyses of this issue, the key point is that there’s no evidence that the $575 billion (It’s actually $500 billion) saved from Medicare will hurt seniors, while it’s clear that some services will be improved.

To be fair, Obamacare critics point to some element of uncertainty about how the cost savings will play out in the future, but they can’t point to a specific example of how seniors’ healthcare services would be diminished in any way. There’s no meat behind the allegation.

Tipton raised the $500 billion figure during his 2010 campaign, as noted by Pueblo Chieftain reporter Peter Roper, who handled Tipton’s accusation by adding a factual statement after Tipton’s allegation.

From an Oct. 29, 2010 article:

“…[Tipton]  repeated his charge that Salazar and Democrats want to cut $500 billion from Medicare – a cut that Tipton said would hurt seniors. That part of the legislation calls for reducing the growth in Medicare expenses by $500 billion over 10 years by eliminating fraud and waste.” [BigMedia emphasis]

I’d go further, if I were reporting on Tipton, and write categorically that 1) nonpartisan fact checkers have found the allegation to be mostly or completely false, and 2) Republicans cannot offer specific examples of how seniors will be hurt due to Medicare cost-saving measures.

I’d also ask Tipton to provide specifics and report his response.

5 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    this stuff is hard.  

    Death panels and taking millions or billions from seniors is easy.

    You’re just confusing everything with your factiness.

    I’m not sure this counts a refudiation – but it’s close.

  2. harrydobyharrydoby says:

    How can you expect Tipton to provide specifics since he wasn’t provided any in the talking points memo he is (and will continue) parroting?

    His belief that what he regurgitates is correct is much more important to him that the fact that it simply isn’t true.

  3. Gilpin Guy says:

    It’s called the Patient Protections and Affordable Care Act.  I would settle for the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    To continue to use a derogatory Republican term to refer to this piece of legislation is unwarranted and unnecessary.  Get it right.

    • I used to criticize reporters who used “Obamacare.”

      But now, even Obama’s campaign folks (Axelrod and Messina) have latched onto “Obamacare,” following the movement, which began here in Denver I believe, called “Thanks Obamacare.”

  4. dwyer says:

    This is an example of the republican talking points having the power to propagandize.  I hear my cohorts talking about how Obama is taking all this money from “their” medicare.  It doesn’t matter that Jason is criticizing the reporter, nor the fact, again, that Jason is using the “should” comment.  There are a lot of “shoulds” in the world.  They mean nothing.

    The democrats have failed to answer this talking point.

    Unanswered, it becomes what people, particularly seniors believe.  ….and all the Jasons in the world can not put the truth back together again.

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