Mitt Romney. Liar. (Jim Young/Reuters)
Mitt Romney's latest line of attack against President Obama over Medicare and the Affordable Care Act is so full of contradictions and lies, it would be laughable if it wasn't so predictably Romney. Here's what he
“This week, President Obama will release a budget that won’t take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis,” Romney said in a statement e-mailed to reporters. “The president has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors”.
Yes, as Paul Krugman points out
, he's at once saying we're spending too much on entitlements and lambasting Obama for cutting entitlements.
But also, too? He's. Lying.
The Affordable Care Act does not cut Medicare benefits. Here's what it does do: It expands Medicare coverage by making preventive services free, including adding a yearly wellness visit; it limits some cost-sharing in private Medicare plans, meaning the costs seniors pay are lower; and it closes the Part D "Donut Hole," saving many seniors a lot of money on prescriptions.
The cuts Romney is talking about, the cuts that Republicans have been harping about since 2010, are not benefit cuts. They are cuts in overpayments to supplemental Medicare Advantage plans. Overpayments by the government that were reduced, thereby saving the government—and taxpayers—money.
Not only were no Medicare recipients benefits cut, the changes have actually succeeded in increasing enrollments in Medicare Advantage, while reducing the costs to seniors.
Republicans had a field day scaring seniors with this big lie, and with unfortunate success in 2010. But now that no senior has actually lost their Medicare benefits because of Obama, the shelf life for this lie is over. Particularly when it's coming out of Mitt Romney's mouth. You know, the guy who embraced the Paul Ryan plan to end Medicare.