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GOP2012: Republican debate, October 11th, 2011
The Reality
Fact Check

Reality: Romney and Gingrich support GOP budget that would end medicare as we know it

December 16, 2011 at 10:11 PM


Tonight, both Romney and Gingrich put America’s seniors on notice.  They’ve endorsed Republicans plans that would end Medicare as we know it, while not asking large corporations or the wealthiest for a dime to create jobs or restore economic security for the middle class. While these candidates embrace the policies favored by the Tea Party, it’s clear that not even the programs seniors rely on the most are safe.


WSJ: “The [GOP Budget] Plan Would Essentially End Medicare.” “The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]

Romney: “I Believe It Is A Very Important Step To Protect Medicare...We’re Going To Have To Make Changes Like The Ones Paul Ryan Proposed.” ROMNEY: “Actually I spent a good deal of time with Congressman Ryan. When he plan came out I applauded it as a very important step. I said my plan would be a little different or would be different in some respects but that we were on the same page. This is a place where speaker Gingrich and I disagree. He called this right wing social engineering. I believe it is a very important step to protect Medicare and to protect social security we’re going to have to make changes like the ones Paul Ryan proposed.” [Romney, Cedar Rapids Town Hall, 12/9/11]

  • Romney Said “Yes” He Would Sign The Republican Budget. “On health care, Romney responded ‘yes’ when asked if he would sign the plan written by Rep. Paul Ryan that would restructure Medicare if it reached his desk as President, but quickly added that he would be offering his own plan.” [ABC News, 6/2/11]
  • Gingrich Said He Would Have Voted For The Ryan Plan. “A couple of weeks ago, I spent a day following Newt Gingrich around New Hampshire. After a radio interview in Concord, Gingrich had a lunchtime Guinness at the Barley House in Concord with Thomas Wilhelmsen, the CEO of a local hospital who first met Gingrich in the mid-1990s. They lapsed into wonky talk about ObamaCare and health insurance premiums. ‘Every hospital administrator, like Tom here, will tell you it’s unsustainable, it can’t be done,’ Gingrich said, explaining why he wants to repeal the law. So, I asked if he would advocate replacing it with Paul Ryan’s plan. The former speaker sang Ryan’s praises for being a ‘brave’ ‘man of ideas,’ like Gingrich himself. ‘But would you have voted for Ryan’s plan?’ I pressed. ‘Sure,’ Gingrich replied.” [Time, 5/15/11]


The GOP Budget Would Force Seniors To Pay Twice As Much. The Republican budget would end the traditional Medicare program for those 55 and under and essentially convert it into a voucher program. The budget forces seniors into a more expensive private plan. In 2022, a typical 65-year-old would have to pay $6,400 more in health care expenses, or twice the amount they would under the current system. [LA Times, 4/7/11]

  • In 2022, Beneficiaries Out Of Pocket Costs Would Be $6,400 Higher Under Ryan's Proposal Than Traditional Medicare. "In 2022, the first year the voucher would apply, CBO estimates that total health care expenditures for a typical 65-year-old would be almost 40 percent higher with private coverage under the Ryan plan than they would be with a continuation of traditional Medicare.  (See graph.)  CBO also finds that this beneficiary's annual out-of-pocket costs would more than double — from $6,150 to $12,500.  In later years, as the value of the voucher eroded, the increase in out-of-pocket costs would be even greater." [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/7/11]
  • CBO: “Most Elderly People Would Pay More For Their Health Care Than They Would Pay Under The Current Medicare System.” According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, under the GOP budget, “most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system. For a typical 65-year-old with average health spending enrolled in a plan with benefits similar to those currently provided by Medicare, CBO estimated the beneficiary’s spending on premiums and out-of-pocket expenditures as a share of a benchmark: what total health care spending would be if a private insurer covered the beneficiary. By 2030, the beneficiary’s spending would be 68 percent of that benchmark under the proposal, 25 percent under the extended-baseline scenario, and 30 percent under the alternative fiscal scenario.” [CBO, 4/5/11]
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