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Andy Griffith's Obamacare Ads Cost Taxpayers $3.66 Million

4:48 PM, Mar 23, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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Politico reports that the Obama administration’s pro-Obamacare Andy Griffith TV ad cost taxpayers $3.66 million, according to records obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services. Actually, there were at least three such ads (here, here, and here), so it’s not clear whether this was the cost for one, or for the whole batch. In this ad, Griffith says, “That new health care law sure sounds good for all of us on Medicare!”

The Obama administration is apparently still in post-production on ads that cite the Congressional Budget Office’s projections that, during Obamacare’s real first decade (2014 to 2023), nearly $1 trillion would be siphoned out of Medicare and spent on Obamacare. The administration must also be putting the finishing touches on ads citing its own Medicare chief actuary’s findings, which say that Obamacare would cause reimbursement rates to Medicare providers to drop below even the notoriously low reimbursement rates paid to Medicaid providers, thereby jeopardizing seniors’ access to care. Here is that point in the chief actuary’s own words

The PPACA [Obamacare] introduces permanent annual productivity adjustments to price updates for most providers (such as hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and home health agencies)….Over time, a sustained reduction in payment updates, based on productivity expectations that are difficult to attain, would cause Medicare payment rates to grow more slowly than, and in a way that was unrelated to, the providers’ costs of furnishing services to beneficiaries.  Thus, providers for whom Medicare constitutes a substantive portion of their businesses could find it difficult to remain profitable and, absent legislative intervention, might end their participation in the program (possibly jeopardizing access to care for beneficiaries).  Simulations by the Office of the Actuary suggest that roughly 15 percent of Part A [hospital insurance] providers would become unprofitable within the 10-year projection period as a result of the productivity adjustments.

If the Obama administration is going to run ads with the American people’s money, wouldn’t it be great if it ran one with Andy Griffith saying, Within ten years, Obamacare will run 15 percent of hospitals out of the Medicare business?

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