Friday, October 31st, 2014

Checking the facts on the $700 billion Medicare 'cut'

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan appears with his mother Betty Douglas during a rally at a Florida retirement development Aug. 18.
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan appears with his mother Betty Douglas during a rally at a Florida retirement development Aug. 18.

Seems like just yesterday that the big Republican talking point was that Obamacare cuts $500 billion from Medicare. Now, it's $700 billion.

That's the number -- $716 billion to be precise -- that's gotten tossed around this week.

We've posted two fact-checks to explore the back and forth between the campaigns.

In an interview on the CBS program 60 Minutes, Mitt Romney said Obama "robbed Medicare" of $716 billion to pay for "Obamacare." We found that exaggerated what Obama had done in the health care law.

While the health care law reduces the amount of future spending growth in Medicare, the law doesn't actually cut Medicare. Savings come from reducing money that goes to private insurers who provide Medicare Advantage programs, among other things. The money wasn’t "robbed." We rated the statement Mostly False.

Responding to the Romney attack, Obama campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said Ryan's budget relies on the same $700 billion in savings from Medicare that Mitt Romney and other Republicans have been attacking Democrats about.

Ryan has confirmed that, and we rated it True.