Romney ad: Obama's the one cutting Medicare
The Romney campaign is out with a new ad that seeks to turn the tables on Democrats who are criticizing the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket for the proposed cuts to Medicare in Ryan's budget plan.
In the ad, a narrator tells viewers that "You paid in to Medicare for years. Every paycheck. Now when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion from Medicare. Why? To pay for Obamacare. So now the money you paid for your guaranteed healthcare is going to a massive new government program that's not for you."
"The Romney-Ryan plan protects Medicare benefits for today's seniors and strengthens the plan for the next generation," the narrator adds.
The $716 billion figure is tied to a Congressional Budget Office finding that if the health care law was repealed, spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion from 2013-2022.
As CBSNews.com explained yesterday, the cuts in question focus in part on the Medicare Advantage program that allows seniors to get their Medicare benefits through private insurance plans. Also reduced are hospital reimbursements and payments to other providers.
The biggest problem with the claim in the ad is that Ryan's own plan includes basically the same cuts to Medicare that are apparently so troubling to the Romney campaign.
(Watch: Obama, Ryan duel on Medicare.)
The savings in Medicare in the Affordable Care Act result from a cap in Medicare spending - the health care law caps Medicare spending at GDP growth plus 0.5 percent over ten years. That's significantly below the expected growth in costs, hence the "cuts."
Ryan's budget plan, after 2022, mandates that "the per capita cost of this reformed program for seniors reaching eligibility after 2023 could not exceed nominal GDP growth plus 0.5 percent."
In other words, both plans offer the same Medicare spending cap.
And while the health care law specifically mandates that Medicare benefits not be cut, the Ryan plan, with its voucher-like payments to seniors, offers no such assurances.
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