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The Usually Reliable Robert Pear Misses a Catch

The usually-reliable Robert Pear misses a catch. And Dean Baker is unhappy:

Beat the Press: A New York Times article discussing President Bush's plans to cut Medicare and Medicaid spending notes that Democrats are likely to oppose these plans. At one point, it reports that Democrats in Congress want to save money by reducing payments to the private insurers that operate within the Medicare program, because they claim that Medicare overpays these plans.

Actually, that is not just a claim of the Democrats. The Medicare Payments Advisory Commission, a non-partisan governmental commission, concluded that Medicare pays an average of 11 percent more per beneficiary for people enrolled in the Medicare Advantage program than for people in the traditional fee for service Medicare program.

It would be helpful if the NYT would distinguish between partisan claims and the assessments of presumably neutral bodies. In this case, Democrats in Congress are advocating a policy that is based on the assessment of a panel of experts, not just their own assertions.