Fact Check: Obama's Criticism Over Romney's Healthcare Plan Outdated

Tuesday, 24 Jul 2012 12:39 PM

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President Barack Obama’s recent criticisms of Mitt Romney’s plans for Medicare are based on out-of-date information, a fact check by The Washington Post concluded.

Obama made his most recent charges in a July 19 speech in West Palm Beach, Florida.

“He [Romney] plans to turn Medicare into a voucher program,” Obama said. “Now, understand how that works. If the voucher isn’t worth what it takes to buy health insurance in the private marketplace, you’re out of luck. You’ve got to make up the difference. You’re on your own. So one independent, nonpartisan study found that under a similar plan, seniors would have to pay nearly $6,400 more for Medicare than they do today. Where are you going to get that from? Where are you going to get it from — $6,400?”

Romney’s ideas on reforming Medicare are in line with those proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. However, Ryan’s plan is evolving and Romney, while expressing support for Ryan’s plan, has said it is “not the plan I’ll put forward, I have my own plan . . . I’ll be putting that out before I debate President Obama,” the Post reported.

Not only has Ryan’s plan undergone significant changes with input from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., but the $6,400 figure comes from a year-old analysis by the Congressional Budget Office of the 2011 Ryan plan. The CBO had not done such an analysis on the 2012 version.

“The policy differences on Medicare are substantial, but that still does not justify using out-of-date figures from last year’s plan — especially because the plan has been updated and made more generous to deal with some of the original criticisms made by Democrats,” the Post concluded. “The president should avoid claiming such specifics unless he can cite new data to make his case.”

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