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Romney’s favorite Medicare lie

This post was updated on August 13, 2012.

Mitt Romney has made it clear that he’ll say anything to get elected—a point he proved once again when he distorted the facts to claim that Obamacare cuts $700 billion in Medicare benefits.

When he relies on this attack, Romney misleads the public on multiple fronts and misunderstands the issue entirely. The $700 billion is not reflected in cuts to the current Medicare budget—it’s only a projection of how much future spending growth will be reduced over a period of 10 years. Even accounting for these savings, the Congressional Budget Office says Medicare spending will be $890 billion in 2020 (up from $560 billion this year).

What’s more, the budget Romney espouses—and Ryan wrote—includes the very same policies and the exact same savings.

Romney also often tries to give voters the impression that President Obama is the only president to ever reduce Medicare spending. says that’s “far from true,” and conservative health economist Joe Antos points out that multiple administrations have attempted to control Medicare’s rising cost.

In contrast to the false picture Romney paints, President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is working for seniors, strengthening Medicare in a variety of ways:

  • Improves quality and delivery system efficiency through the federal agency that distributes Medicare benefits—changes that will save Medicare almost $120 billion in the next five years.

  • Extends the life of the Medicare trust fund by 8 years.

  • Saves seniors an average of $4,200 over 10 years. By 2022, premiums and coinsurance for seniors will be more than $500 lower because of Obamacare.

  • Makes Medicare prescription drugs more affordable for seniors in the coverage gap, closing the “doughnut hole” by 2020.

  • Has already provided more than 24.2 million Medicare recipients with free preventive benefits like the Annual Wellness Visit.

Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan will try to mislead the American people, but he can’t change the fact that the Affordable Care Act is a historic achievement that continues to bolster Medicare and improve the health of our seniors every day.