Letter to Editor - FairfaxTimes

Delegate’s Medicare math way off the mark

After reading Del. Dave LaRock’s letter in the June 13-15 edition of the Fairfax Times, I was of two minds as to whether it was written out of ignorance or dishonesty. After reflection I’d have to say it was evenly split between both.

LaRock states the Affordable Care Act will add to the national debt. This is flatly untrue. The Congressional Budget Office determined that limited cost reductions in Medicare, increased taxes on the wealthy, and small tax increases on industries that gain the most from the ACA (e.g., drug companies) will more than pay for its provisions. He has to know the individual tax increases (a 0.9 percent increase in the payroll/medicare tax for couples with incomes over $250,000 and a 3.8 percent increase on investment income for those earning above that threshold) will affect a tiny portion of Virginians. Yet, he ignores this along with the fact that CBO predicts the ACA will reduce the budget deficit $143 billion by 2019.

As for trying to scare people about Medicare cuts, the ACA ends overpayments to private insurers that cover people on Medicare. It also reduces hospital payments that rise every year due to inflation. Such payments put no pressure on hospitals to deliver services at lower costs. At any rate, hospitals generally support the ACA!

Finally, he states there is no guarantee tax increase dollars “will be managed responsibly or returned to Virginia.” Duh, since the Republicans have killed Medicaid expansion in our state Virginia absolutely will not see any of those dollars we are now paying in taxes. Thanks, Dave. You’ve kept Virginia citizens and businesses from benefiting from an established law while shunting millions of our dollars to other states. Quite a triple play.

Philip Church, Fairfax