Rep. Ryan Repeats Zombie Lie That ACA Cut Medicare Spending, And George Stephanopoulos Lets Him Get Away With It
On This Week, George Stephanopoulos almost (not quite, but a lot closer to it than he usually does) holds Rep. Paul "I Play A Catholic When It's Politically Convenient" Ryan's feet to the fire over his evasions and lies. And how can you tell Paul Ryan is lying? His lips are moving:
ROMNEY: Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obamacare cuts Medicare -- cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, several independent fact-checkers have taken a look at that claim, the $500 billion in Medicare cuts, and said that it's misleading. And in fact, by that accounting, your budget, your own budget, which Governor Romney has endorsed, would also have $500 billion in Medicare cuts.
RYAN: Well, our budget keeps that money for Medicare to extend its solvency. What Obamacare does is it takes that money from Medicare to spend on Obamacare.
I mean, I've heard for years how much people don't like the idea that we're raiding Social Security to pay for other government programs. What Obamacare does for the first time in history is it raids Medicare to pay for Obamacare. In addition, it puts this new board of 15 people in charge of putting price controls on Medicare, which we think will end up rationing Medicare in ways that will deny care to seniors. So not only do we think this law is bad for Medicare, it's bad for health care, it's terrible for the economy, and it will move us closer toward a debt crisis.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Congressman, correct me if I'm wrong...
RYAN: This law represents...
STEPHANOPOULOS: Correct me if I'm wrong, I thought your Medicare savings were put towards deficit reduction and debt reduction.
RYAN: It -- which -- which extends the solvency of Medicare. What they do in Obamacare is they try to count this dollar twice. They claim that this helps Medicare solvency and, at the same time, they spend this money on creating Obamacare.
See that? He's shocked Stephanopoulos had the audacity to contradict him. After all, it doesn't happen very often!
If you look at the appendix of the Trustees Report for Medicare, they -- they say the same thing. You can't count these dollars twice. In our budget, we make sure that all these dollars from Medicare savings go toward extending the solvency of Medicare and don't go toward spending new money on Obamacare.
So we don't raid Medicare for Obamacare. We repeal Obamacare and extend the solvency of the Medicare trust fund in our budget.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you reject the charge that this could open up to the charge of hypocrisy?
Listen, George, you spineless wonder: JUST CALL HIM A HYPOCRITE instead of making convoluted insinuations. Who are these nameless others who might make this charge? Sheesh, do your job!
RYAN: No. Look -- look at the hypocrisy. The president on your show said this is not a tax. Then he sent his solicitor general to the Supreme Court to argue that it is a tax in order to get this past the Supreme Court.
The broken promises and the hypocrisy are becoming breathtaking from the president who says one thing to get this past Congress and then another thing to get it past the Supreme Court. Look, I was here fighting this bill, George, in the last session of Congress. Believe me, if this was brought to the public as a tax, there's no way this law would have passed into law in the first place. That's what's so frustrating and disappointing with this law.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I think you may be right about that. You also heard Jack Lew and Vicki Kennedy talk about the provisions in the law, some of them already in place, which are relatively popular right now with the American people. This is what's up on the White House website, that you can't deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions, can't charge women more than men, can't place a lifetime dollar limits on care, must cover young adults under age of 26 on a parent's plan.
And I know the House is scheduled to have a repeal vote a little later this month. When you do that, will you also vote to preserve any of these programs? Or does everything go?
RYAN: Well, we -- we will vote to repeal the entire law on, I believe, July 11th. And what's frustrating about this is, when Obamacare was being deliberated, we were offering patient-centered solutions. I'll just say this. We can have a health care system in America where everybody has affordable access to health insurance, including people with pre-existing conditions, without a government takeover.
And those are the kinds of patient-centered solutions we're going to be advancing. We were proposing them then. We're proposing them now, so we can address these very legitimate concerns without a complete government takeover of 17 percent of our economy.
Since George won't tell you, I'll point to this... from the very hard-to-find ABC News site!
They cite a memo written by Richard Foster, chief actuary of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (part of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services), that claims the ACA will, says Romney, “cut Medicare by more than $500 billion.”
So does it “cut” Medicare by $500 billion?
Medicare spending will continue to grow, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), but ACA will slow that growth. According to a report from the Kaiser Family Health Foundation over the next 10 years, the federal government will devote about $500 billion less to Medicare than it would have without ACA.
CMS and the Kaiser Family Foundation tell ABC News that there will be no benefit cuts to Medicare. They say instead of Medicare’s being cut, there will be much more spending at the end of a 10-year window, but it does slow the rate of that growth. This is all unless Congress makes drastic changes to Medicare, for example passing House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan.
CMS says—and Kaiser agrees—that spending will be reduced by getting rid of fraud and ending overpayments to private insurance companies. It sends a message to those insurance companies: Operate more efficiently.
And instead of cuts, the CMS says they will be able to fund new benefits, including free preventive care and broader prescription coverage, including closing the “doughnut hole” affecting seniors.