Medicare: Obama, Romney and Ryan trade barbs





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Published on Aug 20, 2012

Medicare debate: Who is the biggest liar? Barack Obama or Mitt Romney? The future of Medicare is shaping up to be a key issue in the 2012 US presidential election. Here is where the candidates stand on the future of Medicare.

The debate starts with Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who has proposed providing vouchers for the purchase of Medicare services or private plans. Barack Obama and the Democrats have described this plan as "ending Medicare as we know it."

However, Ryan's plan wouldn't affect today's seniors. In fact, they would continue to receive Medicare. Those under the age of 54 today would have the option of purchasing Medicare or private coverage with their vouchers when Ryan's plan takes effect in 2023. He hopes competition would rein in escalating medical costs, saving US$700 billion.

Mitt Romney claims Barack Obama "robbed" Medicare of US$716 billion to pay for his signature ObamaCare program. But that's not exactly what happened.

What Obama did was slow growth in payments to Medicare providers over the next 10 years. (Washington, incidentally, refers to this as a "cut.") Medicare eligibility and services, however, remain the same. The US$716 billion "savings" then partially finances ObamaCare.

So who is the biggest liar on Medicare: Obama or Romney?


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