After this week’s stunning electoral upset in Western New York, Republicans have gone into overdrive trying to defend their misguided budget plan to end Medicare and more than double costs for seniors.
But the facts are not on their side. Here is a breakdown of the most egregious GOP claims:
FICTION: Republicans say their budget “saves” Medicare. [Rep. Paul Ryan, 05/25/11]
FACT: The Republican budget ENDS Medicare.
Wall Street Journal: Medicare Cost Would Rise for Many Under Ryan Plan
“The House Republican plan for overhauling Medicare would fundamentally change how the federal government pays for health care, starting a decade from now, likely resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs and greater limits to coverage for many Americans… House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's solution is to end the current Medicare program for people born in 1957 and after.” [04/06/11]
Washington Post: GOP Offers a 2012 Plan: Less For Health Care
“House Republicans announced a…budget blueprint that would privatize Medicare for future retirees, cut spending on Medicaid and other domestic programs, and offer sharply lower tax rates to corporations and the wealthy… Starting in 2022, Ryan also would end Medicare as an open-ended entitlement for new retirees and begin slowly raising the age of eligibility from 65 to 67.” [04/06/11]
FICTION: Republicans say that “if you are 55 years of age or above, we’re not changing your Medicare benefits at all” [Rep. Paul Ryan, 5/25/11]
FACT: The Republican budget cuts current benefits and increases costs for current seniors.
- It reopens the prescription drug donut hole, increasing costs for the estimated 4 million seniors who fall into the coverage gap by as much as $44 billion over the next decade, including $2.2 billion in 2012 alone.
- It imposes co-pays on currently free preventive services
- It eliminates the annual wellness visit benefit, forcing at least one million seniors and people with disabilities to pay over $110 million more for this critical service in 2012.
FICTION: Republicans say their budget will “strengthen Medicare for future generations” [Rep. Paul Ryan, 05/25/11]
FACT: The Republican budget more than doubles costs for future generations.
- According to the CBO, in 2022 the average senior will see their costs increase by more than $6000.
FICTION: Republicans say that seniors will have “the same kind of system that Members of Congress enjoy today” [Rep. Paul Ryan, 05/25/11]
FACT: The Republican version of Medicare is NOTHING like what federal employees receive.
- The nonpartisan PolitiFact found that the Republican Medicare plan is “fundamentally different” than plan Members of Congress receive.
- The Washington Post’s Fact Checker has found this claim “false and misleading”
FICTION: Republicans say that their budget protects seniors from a “panel of 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of rationing…” [Rep. Paul Ryan, 5/25/11, ]
FACT: Republicans are using false claims of rationing to try to hide their cost shifts and gutting of Medicare.
- Factcheck.org has debunked Republican rationing claims as “false” and cites it as an example of the GOP engaging in “Mediscare” tactics.