Fox Falsely Claims Obama Is Gutting Medicare While Ryan Is Trying To Save It

Fox is pushing a Romney campaign falsehood that President Obama rather than Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) plans to gut Medicare as we know it.

Ryan has received strong criticism for his plan to transform Medicare into a voucher system. Trying to deflect the attacks on Ryan's plan, Fox contributor Angela McGlowan claimed that Obama's Affordable Care Act (ACA) cuts hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare.

In fact, the savings the ACA makes to the Medicare program would not cause a decline in quality of care under Medicare, and Ryan has proposed identical savings. But Ryan's plan goes much further, ending Medicare as we know it by transforming it into a voucher plan.

From Fox & Friends Sunday:

McGLOWAN: Obama cut $700 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. With the Ryan plan, it keeps people who are 55 and over on their plan now, so they don't have to worry about that. So this ad saying he would hurt the elderly -- his plan would actually keep it in place.

McGlowan's claim that the ACA cuts Medicare is false. An August 12 ABC News post explained that the supposed “cuts” to Medicare was the slowing of the growth of the program by ACA. Even Fox News Sunday guest host John Roberts explained that over a ten year period the ACA “would slow the growth of Medicare, I want to be very clear about that, not cut Medicare, but slow the growth by $500 billion.”

Gail Wilensky, a former administrator of the Medicare program under George H. W. Bush, made clear in a June 28 Bloomberg article, “there are no reductions in the Medicare benefits promised in the law.” In a June 28 post similarly concluded that the ACA “stipulates that guaranteed Medicare benefits won't be reduced.”

Furthermore, Ryan himself adopted the same savings in his Medicare proposal as he acknowledged during a June 30 appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

However, unlike the ACA, Ryan's plan ends Medicare as we know it and would hurt Medicare recipients. Ryan's plan eliminates the program's guarantee of comprehensive medical benefits while raising the program's eligibility age and turning the program into a voucher system that will quickly prove inadequate to allow seniors to receive the care they need.

In March 2012, the Congressional Budget office concluded that Ryan's Medicare plan, contained in his most recent budget proposal, would mean a “substantial cut” to Medicare that could result into recipients receiving “reduced access to health care” and “diminished quality of care” while facing “higher costs.”

A March 28 Center for Budget and Policy Priorities report similarly found that the changes proposed by Ryan:

would shift substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries and (with the simultaneous repeal of health reform) leave many 65- and 66-year olds without any health coverage at all.  The plan also would likely lead to the gradual demise of traditional Medicare by making its pool of beneficiaries smaller, older, and sicker -- and increasingly costly to cover.