Mitt Romney’s efforts to attack President Obama’s $716 billion in Medicare savings have been complicated by the fact that his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan embraced the same cuts in his sweeping budget blueprint.
But on Wednesday, Romney dealt with that by declaring that Ryan now wants to roll back the cuts, which don’t touch benefits and only affect what the government reimburses to health care providers.
“Well, first of all, Congressman Ryan has joined my campaign and his campaign is my campaign now. And we’re on the exactly the same page,” Romney told CBS News. “And my campaign has made it very clear: The president’s cuts of $716 billion to Medicare — those cuts are going to be restored if I become president and Paul Ryan becomes vice president.”
The cuts, which were adopted under the Affordable Care Act, extend the life of Medicare by eight years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Republicans unanimously voted against ‘Obamacare’ but nearly all voted for the Ryan proposal that kept the cuts.
The Wisconsin congressman’s effective walk-back complicates his budget math by rescinding $716 billion that he hoped to use to fund large tax cuts in his blueprint.
In addition to the ACA cuts, Ryan’s budget slashes long-term Medicare spending far more by converting the program into a subsidy that seniors can use to buy their own insurance. Romney and Ryan continue to support that concept; Obama strongly opposes it, warning voters on Wednesday that it would “end Medicare as we know it.”