This is a pretty critical question for those considering health care reform. I found a pretty good article on this questions from politifactcheck which examined President Obama’s statement: “I just want to assure [you] we’re not talking about cutting Medicare benefits.” (Read the full analysis here.)
Politifactcheck gives the President a “Half True” grade on this statement. The $500 Billion in cuts or savings from the Medicare system would be composed primarily of cuts to Medicare Advantage and the reduction of rates of increase for Medical Providers.
This debate, while somewhat theoretical for now, will become a bit more tangible in a few months when the 11 million Medicare Advantage members get notice of their 2010 benefit changes.