Think tank disputes premise that seniors who reject healthcare reform don't get it

The old saw that "you're entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts" just doesn't seem to apply when it comes to healthcare reform. 

A day after the National Council on Aging vowed to give seniors "straight talk" on the new law, the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis said seniors already get it — despite the findings of a poll commissioned by the council.

"Seniors know more than the people conducting the poll," said NCPA President John Goodman. "The answers that seniors are giving are more correct than the answers that the pollsters claim are right."

The council's poll asked seniors if they thought 12 key statements were correct or not — whether the new law would improve long-term care, for example, or extend the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund. The "correct" answers tracked what the law or the Congressional Budget Office said about the matter — but seniors' answers could just as well be informed by their trust in the government's promises.

"The two worst claims by the National Council on Aging are that there will be no cuts in Medicare benefits or in doctor’s fees," Goodman said. "Health care reform calls for $523 billion dollars in reduced Medicare spending, and the only realistic cost control method in the bill is reducing payments to providers."