I spend a lot of time documenting the blatant lies told by Republicans, but Democrats lie too (just look at President Obama’s lies about the State Secrets Privilege for a good example). The liberal blog Talking Points Memo criticizes Kathleen Sebelius for making false claims about Ryan’s Medicare plan:
But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius attacked the plan with a claim based on an outmoded analysis.
“What’s missing from the Romney-Ryan plan for Medicare is Medicare,” she told the Charlotte, N.C. crowd. “Instead of the Medicare guarantee, Republicans would give seniors a voucher that limits what is covered, costing seniors as much as $6,400 more a year.” …
It’s misleading — or at best unsubstantiated. The figure is based on the Congressional Budget Office’s scoring of Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan released in 2011. It does not apply to his less harsh2012 Medicare blueprint — which mirrors the Romney campaign’s plan.
The key differences between the two approaches: the 2011 Ryan plan phases out traditional Medicare entirely, beginning in 10 years, and provides private insurance vouchers that grow at the rate of inflation — lower than typical health care cost growth. Romney’s 2012 plan, by contrast, sustains traditional Medicare as a government-run insurance option and pegs the value of the vouchers to the price of the second cheapest policy in the system. That is its common thread with Ryan’s 2012 plan, which also caps program growth below GDP+0.5. It’s unclear who bears the costs if insurer bids exceed the growth cap.
The Romney/Ryan Medicare plan is bad enough, and it certainly will raise costs for seniors, that it shouldn’t require relying on old, outdated numbers to attack it.