Then there’s the matter of premiums for these policies; they will continue to rise, too. There’s also the little-reported new twist to the benefits offered by Plans C and F, the most popular Medigap policies. Changes mandated by the reform law will shift more of the cost of medical care to the seniors who buy them. That may mean, for example, that instead of these policies covering the 20 percent coinsurance Medicare requires for doctors’ visits, the new rules could mean the policies will pay only 10 percent. Guess who pays the rest?

So when the president and the pols say no one is cutting “basic or guaranteed benefits,” that’s true. But they are telling only half the story. How about the press telling the other half?

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Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.