Campaign 2010

May 22, 2011

FACT CHECK: Paul Ryan’s False Claims on the Republican Budget

FACT CHECK: Paul Ryan Falsely Claims his House Republican Budget Won’t Hurt Current Seniors

On Meet the Press, Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) falsely claimed about his controversial budget: “In a nutshell we’re saying don’t affect current seniors.”

In reality, the Republican budget would reopen the prescription drug donut hole, costing each of the four million seniors who fall into the coverage gap $2.2 billion next year alone. Ryan’s budget would also cut funding for the nearly 1 million long-term care patients currently relying on Medicaid. Additionally, the House Republican budget would end Medicare for future retirees, almost doubling health care costs for seniors according to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO).


The Republican Budget Will Force Nearly Four Million Seniors To Pay An Additional $2.2 Billion For Prescription Drugs Next Year Alone. “The Republican-passed budget will force nearly four million seniors to pay an additional $2.2 BILLION for prescription drugs next year alone.” According to the Associated Press, “The coverage gap in the Medicare prescription drug benefit would be brought back.” [DPCC, 4/21/11; Associated Plan, 4/6/11]

Ryan budget criticized for potential cuts to nursing-home care. “While House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is pitching his Medicaid overhaul as welfare reform, healthcare providers and liberal groups are warning that its greatest impact may be on seniors. Because Medicare does not cover long-term care such as lengthy nursing home stays, some 14 million seniors and people with disabilities instead rely on Medicaid. […] "One million patients require long term care through Medicaid every day," Mark Parkinson, the president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, said in a statement. [The Hill, 4/5/11]

AARP: Budget Undermines Vital Programs for Older Americans. “Among its provisions, the proposal would drive up costs for people in Medicare, take away needed coverage for long-term care from millions of older and disabled Americans and reduce critical help for seniors facing the threat of hunger.”  [AARP, 4/7/11]

CBO: Elderly People Would Pay More for Health Care Under the Republican Plan. According to the CBO, “most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system.” [CBO, 4/5/11]

Republican Budget Would Almost Double Healthcare Costs For Seniors. “The Republican congressman's proposal to privatize Medicare would mean a dramatic hike in U.S. healthcare costs for the elderly, an independent analysis finds. Seniors would pay almost double — more than $12,510 a year.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/7/11]

FACT CHECK: Paul Ryan Falsely Claims the House Republican Budget Won’t Ration Health Care

On Meet the Press, Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan falsely claimed that the “alternative” to his House Republican budget is a “rationing scheme.”

In reality, the House Republican budget could lead to rationing of health care for seniors.


Republican Budget Will Lead to “Rationing.” As NPR reported, the CBO warned that higher payments could affect care as beneficiaries might be less likely to use “new, costly, but possibly beneficial, technologies and techniques.” According to NPR, that is “exactly the sort of rationing that so frightened Republicans when they were fighting the health law – the health law that Ryan’s proposal would repeal, by the way.” [NPR, 4/6/11]

GOP Would Lead to “Greater Limits” on American’s Health Care Coverage. The Wall Street Journal reported that Republican plan would lead to “greater limits” on coverage for many Americans. According to the newspaper, “The House Republican plan for overhauling Medicare would fundamentally change how the federal government pays for health care … likely resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs and greater limits to coverage for many Americans.” [Wall Street Journal, 4/6/11]

Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, said that “to ask people with Medicare and Medicaid to foot the entire bill is not only unfair, but it will eventually lead to much less care and a type of rationing.” “There’s no doubt that putting more costs on consumers, particularly upfront, leads them to access less care.” [National Journal, 4/04/11]

Americans Would Have “Forgo Treatment” Under the GOP Plan. The New York Times reported that the elderly, the poor and the disabled may have to “forgo treatment” under the Republican plan. According to the newspaper, “Mr. Ryan would largely privatize Medicare starting in 2022…The real result is that the most vulnerable — the elderly, the poor, the disabled — will have to pay more for care or forgo treatment.” [New York Times Editorial, 4/5/11]

FACT CHECK: Paul Ryan Falsely Claims Republicans Are Addressing Debt

On Meet The Press, Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) falsely claimed that his budget gets serious about reducing the debt, saying “if we don’t get serious about these issues, if we don’t get serious about the drivers of our debt, we’re going to have a debt crisis.”

In reality, Representative Paul Ryan and House Republicans voted overwhelmingly for a plan that would increase the debt by $8 trillion according to the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The New York Times said, “The deficit is a serious problem, but the [House Republican budget] is not a serious answer.”


CBO: Debt Rises During First 10 Years of GOP’s Plan. According to an initial analysis by the CBO, they found that by the end of the 10 year budget window, public debt would actually be higher under the Ryan plan. CBO projected under current law the debt would balloon to 67 percent of GDP by 2022; under Ryan’s plan, the CBO expects it to rise to 70 percent. [Congressional Budget Office, 4/5/11; The Atlantic, 4/6/11]

National Debt Increases $8 Trillion Under GOP Budget. Under Ryan's plan, the national debt would still increase $8 trillion over the coming decade to $23 trillion. [Roll Call, 4/06/11]

Conservatives Angered. “Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, praised the effort but said he plans to put out his own plan later this week to balance the budget within a decade. Ryan’s budget doesn’t eliminate the deficit until the late 2030s.” [Roll Call, 4/6/11]

EDITORIAL: GOP Budget isn't a "Serious Answer" to the Deficit Problem. "The deficit is a serious problem, but the Ryan plan is not a serious answer." [New York Times, Editorial, 4/6/11]

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