Ryan stands by $716 billion Medicare criticism
August 18th, 2012
05:20 PM ET
2 years ago

Ryan stands by $716 billion Medicare criticism

(CNN) - In an interview on Saturday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said his Medicare proposal had "evolved" - with, among other influences, input from Democrats.

"As we got into looking at this issue, talking with Democrats, it evolved to be a plan that is now bipartisan," the House Budget Committee chairman said in an interview with Fox News, referring to a compromise proposal he and Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, unveiled last December. Neither of Ryan's budgets, with proposals for Medicare, have passed the Democrat-controlled Senate.

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But now, as both Ryan and GOP presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney criticize President Barack Obama for his health care reform law, Democrats are using at least one part of the proposal to knock the congressman from Wisconsin in return.

"I heard Mitt Romney deride the $700 billion cuts in Medicare that the president achieved through health care reform," Obama's deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter, said last Sunday on CBS' Face the Nation. "And interestingly enough, Paul Ryan protected those cuts in his budget."

At his rally in The Villages, Florida, earlier, Ryan leveled the charge to which Cutter was referring.

"Here's what the president won't tell you about his Medicare plan, about Obamacare," Ryan said. "The president raids $716 billion from the Medicare program to pay for the Obamacare program."

The non-partisan fact-checker Politifact.com has rated a nearly identical charge by Romney, that Obama has "robbed" Medicare of the amount as "mostly false." It also found Cutter's assessment of the similarities - but not the description of reductions as "cuts" - between the Romney and Obama's plans to be "true."

Asked in the Saturday interview to respond to that general point, Ryan said, "Well there's a lot to sort through. Look, we're offering leadership, we're offering solutions. The president is not. The president has a failed economic agenda - 23 million people are still looking for work."

In a July interview with ABC News, Ryan explained that the difference between his plan and Obama's plan with regards to the $716 billion was how the money would be used.

"Well, our budget keeps that money for Medicare to extend its solvency," he said. "What Obamacare does is it takes that money from Medicare to spend on Obamacare."

Since Ryan was introduced to the Republican ticket a week ago, Democrats have criticized his budget and Medicare proposal. In an interview with a CNN affiliate in Wisconsin, WBAY, this week, Romney said, "Paul Ryan and my plan for Medicare, I think, is the same if not identical - it's probably close to identical."

In a campaign memo circulated on Saturday, Romney's policy director, Lanhee Chen, explained that both candidates support a plan which "(a) makes no changes to Medicare for those over 55; (b) starting in 2022, transitions Medicare to a premium support model with competitive bidding to determine support levels, (c) offers traditional Medicare as an option competing in that system, and (d) means-tests the premium support so that lower-income seniors receive the most generous assistance."

In his Fox interview, Ryan also echoed what he said in a Thursday paper statement, when he said he took responsibility for letters he signed and sent to federal agencies in support of stimulus-funded grants requested by a non-profit organization in his state.

"My office sends tens of thousands of letters to versus federal agencies and this goes through what we call a case work system and we treat it as a case work for constituents," he said. "I take full responsibility for it, whether it's my intention to send letters supporting stimulus, this doesn't change the fact that the stimulus was a bomb, it didn't work, it's a boondoggle and borrowing and spending, spending on things like Solyndra, that doesn't create a job."

Ryan had previously said he did not request stimulus funds, and said on Thursday that he was previously unaware of the letters.


Filed under: 2012 • Paul Ryan
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. once upon a horse

    you tell a lie often enough and expand on it...some people will tend to believe it. Just be sure you get your untruths straight because unlike the truth you don't have to get together with others to discuss and agree upon what you are supposed to say and when.

    August 18, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. Tyrone

    I did not seek money from the Stimulis. Ryan, you a lyin m f er!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 18, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Here a lie, there a lie, every where a lie, lie. Whatever happened to the Grand Old Party, anyway?

    Main speakers at the Convention? Chris Christie and Donald Trump.

    Two candidates? Big Mittens and Little Mittens – Let No Lie Go Untold.

    August 18, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. MS

    In other words, he's blatantly lying to the American people.

    August 18, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. bb

    Unemployment rates rose in 44 states in July, most in 3 years Another dandy by the inept one. way to go Oblunder

    August 18, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. jinx88

    Ryan you are a piece of work, nice side step when confronted about Romney plan taking 700 billion from Medicare at least we know where Obama put it. Where is Romney 700 billion going he would pull out of Medicare? Tax breaks for the rich possibly? Pathetic!!! You Repugs cry about deficit control but want to give permanent tax breaks for the rich of several hundred billion dollars a year.

    August 18, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Michael

    I am not suprised, the repuglican machine of liars are in full gear! Paul Ryan and the 112th Congressional Republicans have introduced: 46 Bills on Abortion,113 Bills on Religion, 73 bills on family relationships, 36 bills on marriage,72 bills on firearms, 604 bills on taxation, and 467 bills on government investigations, but BLOCKED the American Jobs Act. Not a bad deal for those who only work 9 days a month for full pay and benefits! Lucky for us, they've made repealing Obamacare a priority for the 31st time again recently! Now, take a look at history! National Debt by president. 42% increase under Carter. 188.6% increase under Reagan. 55.6 % increase under Big Bush. 35% increase under Clinton. 89% increase under little Bush. 41% under Obama. Anyone else figure out that both Parties SPEND like crazy? Now, on top of that lets cut taxes! A perfect recipe to sink our country. I will vote for Obama...who by the way...Increased spending 15.9% his first year in office. 15.1% in his second year, followed by 13.9%, and 7.8%. This year was an increase of 4.8%. A 4.8% increase is the smallest % increase since Clinton....who is the only recent president to have a surplus

    August 18, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  8. rt harris

    Absolutely amazing u can have the proof in ur hand and the right will still lie to you Obama Biden 2012

    August 18, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. Darryl

    I watched Ryans speech this morning and I watched Obamas speech today on Health Care and Obama has a better health care plan than Ryan period.What it comes down to is Taxes on the Wealthyist americans paying more taxes than they do right now. The health care and this economy can only servive and grow again if everyone pitches in and helps. The middle class has always footed the bill and taken the brunt of the messes this country has faced. It's time everyone includeing the richest people step-up to the plate and share some of the responsibility too. Medicare will be fine if that's done and so will social security. Obama Care makes everyone pay for health insurance so no-one gets it free anymore and the birden doesn't fall on us tax payers anymore. The Ryan plan gives the wealthyist people more tax breaks and the middle class will end-up paying more in our taxes. This country has to be balanced out in every aspect from Financial to equality ect. The POTUS is fighting for the middle class and that's exactly where my vote is going, To President Obama 2012. Change, Forward, Ahead whatever you want to call it.

    August 18, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. Jersey Girl

    NO, NO, NO! Lyin' Ryan is at it again.
    From Sen. Ron Wyden's office: "Governor Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts. I did not "co-lead a piece of legislation." I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget. Governor Romney needs to learn you don't protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments sure won't help promote real bipartisanship."

    It's obvious that the Vouchercare Team is trying to exploit the Democrat and pretend there was bipartisanship when there was none.

    August 18, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  11. Thomas

    Deregulate , Privatize , Lower Taxes

    Then listen to Rage Against The Machine real loud !

    Romney / Ryan
    For A Greener America 2012

    August 18, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. SafeJourney

    Ryan or R'Ayn is lying thru his GOP teeth. The Ryan-Romney budget had approved that 716 billion in savings from providers and from fraud and abuse TWICE. This is Exactly what President Obama just did..
    And Ryan is part of the congress that now has one of the lowest approval ratings in a long time. I would not trust Romney and Ryan as far as I could throw them.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    August 18, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. gbuddha2012

    lyin Paul ryan and millionaire mom try to tell us that everything will be aok once pau(lie) and the GOP take the first bite out of medicare. leave it to a mom to say anything to defend her goofy son. who cares if mom and son have so much money that they both could pay for their own healthcare for the next 1,000 yrs ... AREN'T WE ALL THAT RICH

    August 18, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  14. Howard

    It's called standing by the TRUTH !!!

    August 18, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Bipartisan? Really? Let's ask the Oregon Rep....

    August 18, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. efchristi

    The devil is in the details and this is lacking a lot of details. Congress is so corrupt nothing coming out of it will benefit other than big business. Let's wait until someone has time to digest the proposal and gives us the details. I suspect it won't be as good as it sounds.

    August 18, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Can anybody trust what this proven liar says? How?

    August 18, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  18. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Oh that's right.... Maybe his MOM believes him. Good thing he has her skirts to hide behind!!

    August 18, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  19. Montykoolaid

    Lie after lie after lie.

    The Romney Ryan ticket is officially insane.

    August 18, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    What a damnable combination, Robber Baron Romney that gutted American companies that laid off thousands of employees and invested in the outsourcing of American jobs
    "Butchwer of Seniors Medicare" Ryan that voted against jobs bills, any further stimulus bills, voted against unemployment extensions for the long term unemployed, and voted to cut food stamps.
    Butcher Ryan was real busy in the House of Representatives by renaming post offices, participating in witch hunts,and helped craft "Bills to Nowhere"

    Just your ordinary sociopaths that have no empathy for the American workers,their families,and their Seniors.

    August 18, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. Internet Child

    What's that? Politifact found evidence supporting Obama? Better reference it!

    August 18, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  22. Kathleen Farrell

    He can stand by his untruthful claim all day long. Fact checks show he's lying through his teeth.

    August 18, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  23. Marie MD

    Once again altar weiner boy, up yours too!

    August 18, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  24. Mike

    So he thinks the program was a bomb and derides it for its effect on the debt, but was plenty happy to request the money for his district. And he doesn't remember it and excuses it as a routine matter that his office does all of the time. So he's a hypocrit AND he doesn't pay attention to what goes on in his office or the letters that he signs. Romney/Ryan – the best that the GOP has to offer.

    August 18, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  25. Mike

    Typical Republican – caught promoting a lie, and doubling-down on it to boot.

    August 18, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
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