During election time it’s useful to take a little care about some of the accusations and counter-accusations that the candidates are shoveling fast and furiously. However, lately it seems we also have to take a little care with some of the sources that purport to do this type of checking for us. Specifically, I’m talking about a Q&A written by Kelly Kennedy and Richard Wolf, published in USA Today, and reprinted on KSDK’s website in an article with the byline of one Kevin Held. It’s full of the type of stinkers that help explain why so many people really think as poorly as they do about politics and politicians.
The first questionable assertion, and one that is commonly echoed in the media, can be found in the introduction to the Q&A:
The goal of both campaigns is to accuse the other of weakening Medicare – something independent experts say is inevitable if the program’s unsustainable growth is to be contained.
Nobody really claims that Medicare will have to be weakened in order to deal with its “unsustainable growth.” What is true is that medical costs, across the board, not just Medicare will have to be brought down. Efforts to control healthcare costs for everybody – something that Obamacare tries to do – are what we need, not plans that force seniors to pick up more of those unsustainable costs.
The authors make two important errors in regard to the Romney plan. In response to the oft-repeated claim that the Romney/Ryan plan would “end Medicare as we know it” they state that