Campaign 2010

Feb 12, 2012

FACT CHECK: Paul Ryan Falsely Claims that Republican Budget Would Save Medicare

Today on ABC This Week, Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) falsely claimed House Republicans “passed a budget to save Medicare” and “we don’t change any benefit for anybody 55 and above.”

In reality, Ryan authored the Republican budget that would end Medicare and immediately affect benefits for Americans 55 and above. The Wall Street Journal said Ryan’s budget “would essentially end Medicare” and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found it would more than double out-of-pocket costs for seniors. Additionally, the National Journal wrote “Republicans say their Medicare plan wouldn’t affect anybody near retirement age. But it would.”

And now Ryan has pledged that this year’s House Republican budget will be the same as last year’s – one that ends Medicare.


Ryan and House Republicans Voted to End Medicare. On April 15, 2011, House Republicans voted in support of a budget that Paul Ryan authored which, according to the Wall Street Journal, “would essentially end Medicare.” If enacted, this budget would begin affecting millions of seniors almost immediately by increasing the costs on prescription drugs and long-term care. For future beneficiaries, the plan will significantly increase out-of-pocket costs for health care, which according to the Congressional Budget Office would more than double under the Republican Plan. [H. Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11; National Journal, 6/2/11; CBO, 4/5/11; see also: Los Angeles Times, 4/7/11; Congressional Joint Economic Committee, 5/20/11]

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 Health Care 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]

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]

Paul Ryan is not Backing Down from His Plan to End Medicare. On January 29, 2012, House Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan appeared on Fox News Sunday. On the program, Ryan said that that he and his fellow House Republicans would not back away from a plan that the Wall Street Journal claimed would “essentially end Medicare.” Regarding the plan, Ryan said on Fox News Sunday: “We’re not backing off any of our ideas, any of our solutions.” [Fox News Sunday via YouTube, 1/29/12; Wall Street Journal, 4/4/11]