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Who cuts Medicare more — Romney or Obama?
After picking a running mate with an unpopular plan to overhaul Medicare, Mitt Romney turns the tables — declaring that Obama is the one who's gutting the program
 
Mitt Romney: On the offensive in the intentionally muddied battle over who's doing the most damage to Medicare.

Mitt Romney: On the offensive in the intentionally muddied battle over who's doing the most damage to Medicare.

Scott Olson/Getty Images, AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Mitt Romney, under fire from the Left over running mate Paul Ryan's proposal to overhaul Medicare, has gone on the offensive, accusing President Obama of siphoning $716 billion from the health-care program for the elderly to pay for ObamaCare. Democrats call the charge dishonest, noting that ObamaCare cuts monies paid to insurers, not benefits, and countercharging that it's really Republicans who are out to slash entitlement spending. With Americans nervous about the fate of the massive, popular program, which side would really cut it more?

Obama cuts Medicare, not Romney: "You wouldn’t know it from listening to the Obama campaign, but there’s only one Presidential candidate in 2012 who has cut Medicare: Barack Obama," says Avik Roy at Forbes. His Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare by $716 billion from 2013 to 2022. Ryan's budget proposals sought to preserve those cuts, but Romney's running on his own budget, not Ryan's, and Romney's promising to repeal ObamaCare and restore Medicare funding, so those 55 and up will see no change.
"Yes, ObamaCare cuts Medicare more than President Romney would"

Sorry, Romney is the clear villain here: Romney's cynicism is breathtaking says Jonathan Cohn at The New Republic. He's simultaneously distancing himself from Ryan's budget, and saying he would sign it into law. Ryan's budget cuts just as much from Medicare as Obama does. The difference is that Ryan wants to use the savings for deficit reduction, while "ObamaCare puts the money back into the pockets of people who need help with their medical bills," helping seniors pay for prescription drugs, for example.
"Mitt Romney's astoundingly cynical Medicare strategy"

Romney is just trying to cloud the issue: Picking Ryan as his running mate created a bit of a problem for Romney, says Maggie Haberman at Politico, by exposing him to "so-called Mediscare" tactics by Democrats, who are hoping to woo senior voters wary of Ryan's efforts to remake Medicare as a system offering seniors vouchers to get private insurance. Romney's pushback against ObamaCare "is a way to muddy the waters."
"Romney says he'll put 'the $716 billion back' in Medicare"

Read more political coverage at The Week's 2012 Election Center.

 

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