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. impact09

    Of course, Lyin Ryan stands by all his criticism, no mater how phony or untruthful it is. That's what his billionaire backers in the insurance industry expect, and that's what hes going to do, so help him Wall Street, Amen.

    August 18, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. B.

    Ryan is a Liar, as proved by his claims that he never requested -Stimulus Funds- after bad-mouthing the program, then writting and requesting the funds while telling everyone how many jobs it would create!

    Romney is also a Liar concerning his residences in- two places while running for Governor of Massachusetts!

    Both of these frauds are unfit to run for President.

    August 18, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  3. Canuck Observer

    The eyes of a liar,.. a heart of stone,.. Are you Americans crazy, voting for this guy?

    August 18, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. Lonely World

    Ron Paul 2012! Obama + Romney = EPIC FAILURE! Obama can't even save his own black race & Romney is fueling for another war which will crumble our nation gaurenteed! Ron Paul is our last hope for a true AMERICA!

    August 18, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  5. Chris

    Uh oh. The gop 'golden boy' talked to one of those icky democrats? I can hear the tea party raging in their Rascals about it already.

    August 18, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Jerubbaal

    Can he tell a more bald faced lie. The CBO states that repealing the 716 billion will defund medicare by 8 years. In other words Obamacares extends medicare by ta 8 years and closes the donut hole.

    August 18, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  7. carlos

    Sen. Wyden has distanced himself from ryand, the satanic eyes and profound nose is a nauseating LIAR...... ICK and UGH

    August 18, 2012 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    She should have used birth control or got an abortion so we wouldn't have to defeat this Gop bafoons party ticket in Nov ,with Ryan as president and the tax cheat romney s as queen mitt and king Ann !!!

    August 18, 2012 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    The antichrist is in the picture ,or at least a goof hot dog car driver ,hot dog car wreck in Nov ,with all the Gop tax cheats on board !!!!

    August 18, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. RalphB

    Sen Ron Wyden says Romney and Ryan are lying about his so-called proposal with Ryan. Wyden says it was a policy paper and not a bill. In fact, he voted against Ryan's bill every time. Why no mention of that?

    August 18, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. MartiM

    Look at his eyes.

    August 18, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. A not-so-stupid former republican

    Ryan is lying about our new healthcare plan (Obama Care) and he is lying about not asking for stimulus money. Do you want the lying Romney/Ryan fools to lead the country. I don't think so unless you want a disaster!

    August 18, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  13. Yonni

    How come fact cannot penetrate or affect the republican deceit, I wonder who is feeding to their lies?

    August 18, 2012 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  14. beevee

    Really these two politicians Romney and Ryan can look into eyes and tell lies. If any one believes their criticism of the president on medicare plan then there is something wrong with the voting american public. They should demand critical evaluation by non-partisan people on this subject and then decide who is telling the truth.

    August 18, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. CanadaONE

    He has high blood presure – you can tell by his eyes – blood shot !

    He also has a long nose – likely because of his lies alot!

    He has terrible hair cut and side burns – due to a lack of intelligence!

    But he soon is going to be rich as Romney will teach him how to hide his money in foreign countries and away from the American people – in fact he is hurting medicare by avoiding taxes

    August 18, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. namryan

    "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.""
    So Mr. Ryan is a cronic liar as well... if seniors vote for the republican ticket they'll deserve what they'll get!!! BTW I'm a GenX and this guy belongs to it only by age he's a shame for an the Nirvana generation!!

    August 18, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  17. rs

    So, Mr. Ryan stands by a lie- Just like Romney. These guys are not trustworthy.

    August 18, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  18. FlotsamJetsam

    Ryan is hypocritical regarding this bill. He voted for the bill and the $716 Billion savings. He also includes this savings in his own budget. Ryan is a HYPOCRITE!

    August 18, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. khaleeshi

    Great – Ryan the ghoul stand by his lies

    August 18, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  20. Dan5404

    He can try to say Obama stole from Medicare, but he didn't. His plan saves 716 billion by cutting expenditures for unnecessary tests and in other areas, but not benefits to receipients. Ryan's plan is definitely a cut. Big diffeence.

    August 18, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. Independent from New Hampshire

    I was unaware of the letters until you reminded me. Natural liar, Ryan.

    August 18, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  22. ooookkkkk

    when did you relize you were a jew?

    August 18, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  23. Mike Texoma

    The whole $716 billiion dollar cut accusation is, of course, bogus. The privatization plan is unnecessary to "save" Medicare, because, in fact, Medicare is easy to keep solvent. Up the FICA tax a smidgeon, or increase the amount of earnings subject to it, or both, and the deal is done. Not the Republican deal, mind you, but the safe conservative deal.

    There is nothing safe or conservative about turning Medicare over to those AIG guys who live large on our premium payments down in the Bahamas.

    August 18, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  24. Roger Elgersma

    Ryan's saving of medicare is to save it for those who can afford it, like his mom. Medicare was started for those who after saving their whole lives lose their investments from a bad economy. That is a safety net, not an investment in ones own self. Republicans either do not understand this basic concept or know they will be money ahead if the poor and those whose investments go bad are left out in the cold.

    August 18, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  25. T'sah From Virginia

    ►Ryan had previously said he did not request stimulus funds, and said on Thursday that he was previously unaware of the letters.◄ A LIE and a FLIP-FLOP – there's more to come.

    If you vote Romney you are voting for a LIAR-in-Chief with a sidekick called FLIP-FLOP or vice versa, depends upon where you stand at that moment!!!

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!! Watch out for those who speak with a forked tongue!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 18, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
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