FACT CHECK: Health Reform Did Not Cut A Single Medicare Benefit, Josh Mandel Supports Budgets That Do


FACT CHECK: Health Reform Did Not Cut A Single Medicare Benefit, Josh Mandel Supports Budgets That Do

JOSH CLAIMS: Sherrod Brown voted for Obamacare which cut more than $500 billion from Medicare.

THE TRUTH: Health reform strengthened Medicare for seniors and did not cut a single benefit.

1. Politifact rated cuts to Medicare claim as “false.”  [PolitiFact, 6/23/11]

2. The health care law did not cut any Medicare benefits for seniors.

3. Mandel supported a more extreme budget than the Ryan plan which would cut Medicare and Social Security Balance. [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/16/11; Star Tribune, 7/20/11]

PolitiFact:  NRSC Claim That Sen. Brown Voted To Cut Medicare By $500 Billion “Rates As False.”  In June 2011, PolitiFact wrote “The NRSC revised and reissued a three-day-old news release that targeted virtually identical statements at Brown, of Ohio, and four other senators who all are Democrats up for re-election next year: Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Bill Nelson of Florida.  ‘Despite Sherrod Brown’s transparent political strategy to mislead Ohio seniors and demagogue Medicare, this serves as another reminder he is the only candidate in Ohio who has voted to cut Medicare by over $500 billion in order to fund government-run health care,’ said NRSC spokesman Jahan Wilcox.”  PolitiFact concluded, “On the Truth-Meter, the NRSC’s claim rates as False.”  [PolitiFact, 6/23/11]

Sept 2010:  60 Plus Association Claim That Health Care Bill “Will Cut $500 Billion From Medicare” Rated “Mostly False” By PolitiFact. In September 2010, PolitiFact reported “The ad loses points for accuracy because the $500 billion aren’t actual cuts but reductions to future spending for a program that will still grow significantly in the next 10 years.”  PolitiFact also noted “Because it leaves critical facts out of its description in a way that gives a misleading impression, we rate the statement Barely True.” In July 2011, PolitiFact changed its “Barely True” ratings to “Mostly False.” [PolitiFact, 9/20/10]

The Claim That Healthcare Reform “Robbed” Medicare Of $716 Billion Is “Mostly False.”  In August 2012, PolitiFact wrote “Here’s how Romney put it in an interview with 60 Minutes shortly after selecting Ryan:  ‘There’s only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare.’  Here, we’re checking whether Obama ‘robbed’ Medicare of $716 billion dollars to pay for Obamacare.”  PolitiFact concluded, “The only element of truth here is that the health care law seeks to reduce future Medicare spending, and the tally of those cost reductions over the next 10 years is $716 billion. The money wasn’t ‘robbed,’ however, and other presidents have made similar reductions to the Medicare program.  We rate this statement Mostly False.”  [PolitiFact, 8/15/12]

Paul Ryan’s Budget Included The Same $700 Billion Cut To Medicare As President Obama’s.  In August 2012, PolitiFact wrote “The Republican response to attacks on the Ryan plan has been to attack back, saying President Barack Obama has cut ‘$700 billion’ out of Medicare. And the Democratic response to that: Well, Paul Ryan cuts that amount, too!”  PolitiFact concluded, “Cutter said that Romney attacked Obama for cutting $700 billion out of Medicare, but ‘Paul Ryan protected those cuts in his budget.’ Again, with this item we are not addressing whether they are cuts, but simply whether she is correctly characterizing Ryan’s plan.  Cutter is correct that the Ryan budget plan included cost savings that were part of the future health care law. Just recently, the Romney campaign backed away from that play, saying Romney’s plan would restore the spending that the health law is set to curtail, such as extra funding for private insurers under the Medicare Advantage plan.  Still, Cutter was right about the Ryan plan. We rate her statement True.”  [PolitiFact, 8/15/12]

Josh Mandel Called Cut, Cap And Balance A “Reasonable Compromise.” In August 2011, the Plain Dealer quoted Josh Mandel saying that Sen. Brown “had every opportunity to embrace a reasonable compromise called Cut, Cap and Balance…” [Plain Dealer, 8/2/2011]

Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: Cut, Cap and Balance Would “Inexorably Subject Social Security and Medicare to Deep Reductions.”  In July 2011, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities wrote “Talking points that the legislation’s proponents circulated on July 15 seek to foster an impression that the measure would protect Social Security and Medicare.  Such an impression would not be accurate.  The legislation would inexorably subject Social Security and Medicare to deep reductions.” [Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/16/11]

Editorial: Neither The Paul Ryan Budget Nor Any Of President Reagans Budgets Would Have Met The Standards Set By Cut, Cap And Balance.  In a July 2011 editorial The Minneapolis Star-Tribune wrote “The Cut, Cap and Balance bill calls for following Ryan’s budget prescription over the next 10 years — gradually reducing caps on annual federal spending from 22.5 percent of economic output to 19.9 percent. Currently, federal spending hovers around an unhealthy 24 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).  But the bill also endorses a balanced budget amendment that, if approved by the states, would cap annual spending at around 18 percent of GDP. This constitutional cap would trump the Ryan plan, which now wouldn’t pass muster, or any other congressionally imposed caps. The cap is also substantially less than called for in other credible deficit plans. The Simpson-Bowles commission recommended a 21 percent GDP cap, for example.  Just for comparison, President Reagan’s budgets didn’t fall below 21 percent of GDP.”  [Star Tribune, 7/20/11]