Campaign 2010

Jan 29, 2012

FACT CHECK: Paul Ryan Falsely Claims Budget Would “Not Change Benefits for Anybody 55 and Above”

On Fox News Sunday today, Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan falsely claimed the Republican budget would “not change benefits for anybody 55 and above.”

In reality, the Republican budget would reopen the prescription drug donut hole, costing the four million seniors who fall into the coverage gap $2.2 billion this year alone. Ryan’s budget would also cut funding for the nearly 1 million long-term care patients currently relying on Medicaid. The National Journal wrote “Republicans say their Medicare plan wouldn’t affect anybody near retirement age. But it would.”


Republican Plan Would Affect Current Seniors. “Republicans say their Medicare plan wouldn’t affect anybody near retirement age. But it would. Republicans are convinced that burnishing the public’s view of their unpopular proposal to overhaul Medicare depends on assuring today’s seniors that they won’t be affected […] There’s only one problem with the strategy: It’s not true. The policies in the House GOP budget, if enacted, would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing their costs for prescription drugs and probably long-term care. Further, Medicare costs could rise over time if healthier seniors choose to abandon the traditional benefit program.” [National Journal, 6/2/11]

FactCheck.Org: Ryan Plan Would Reinstate “Doughnut Hole.” According to, in May 2011, “Ryan’s budget plan does indeed reinstate the so-called ‘doughnut hole,’ a gap in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. As the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said: ‘The proposal would repeal the provisions that created the Independent Payment Advisory Board and that expanded subsidies for the “coverage gap” in Part D (a range of spending in which many enrollees have to pay all of their drug costs, sometimes called the doughnut hole).’” [, 5/6/11]

The Republican Budget Will Force Nearly Four Million Seniors To Pay An Additional $2.2 Billion For Prescription Drugs in 2012 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]

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]

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