GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), have repeatedly accused President Obama of "cutting" $716 billion from Medicare in order to offset the cost of the 2010 healthcare law. Those "cuts," which Ryan incorporated into his own budget proposals, don't reduce the benefits provided by the core Medicare program, however. Instead, they reduce the subsidies paid to private insurers through the Medicare Advantage program and trim the rate increases that doctors and hospitals are slated to receive. Critics of the changes say that Medicare Advantage customers are likely to lose some of the extra benefits that program provides. But contrary to its original purpose, Medicare Advantage has been less efficient at delivering benefits than traditional Medicare has been.
Evan Vucci / Associated Press
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