Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took his claim that President Barack Obama had stolen $716 billion from Medicare to the next level on Thursday and asserted that seniors "most likely" would not be able to see specialists if the president is re-elected.
Throughout the last few months of the 2012 presidential race, Romney's campaign has been insisting that Obama "robbed" $716 billion from Medicare to pay for the Affordable Care Act, a claim that PolitiFact rated as "mostly false."
The former Massachusetts governor's staff, however, has said that they are "not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers," and so it was not a surprise when Romney used the line again in Roanoke, Virginia on Thursday.
"I happen to believe that the choice you make [on Nov. 6] will have enormous consequence for a senior who's perhaps needing the care of a specialist," the Republican candidate explained. "If he or she makes a call to the doctor and if Obamacare is installed and the president's re-elected, why when making that call, you're mostly likely going to have the receptionist come back and say, 'Sorry, we're not taking in more Medicare patients.'"
After pausing for boos and moans from his supporters, Romney continued: "Because the president is cutting Medicare to pay for Obamacare."
A Washington Post fact check examined Romney's claim last month and found that "spending does not decrease in Medicare year after year; the reduction is from anticipated levels of spending in future years."
"The savings mostly are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries — who, as a result of the health-care law, ended up with new benefits for preventive care and prescription drugs," the Post's Glenn Kessler wrote.