Earlier this month, Politifact Virginia joined other fact checking organizations in calling George Allen out for using a debunked Republican talking point that the Affordable Care Act cuts $500 billion from Medicare. Undeterred by the facts, George Allen's campaign upped the ante yesterday, claiming the Affordable Care Act cuts $700 billion from Medicare.
YESTERDAY from the Allen Campaign: “Tim Kaine is the only candidate in this race who supports a plan that could bankrupt Medicare by raiding $700 billion for the health care tax law,” said Allen spokeswoman Emily Davis.
However, before the ink was dry, national Politifact noted the Ryan plan that George Allen continues to praise would find the exact same amount of savings in Medicare. The only difference is those savings in the Allen-Ryan plan would go to fund tax cuts for the wealthy, instead of boosting preventive care for seniors.
TODAY from Politifact: Cutter said that Romney attacked Obama for cutting $700 billion out of Medicare, but "Paul Ryan protected those cuts in his budget."….Cutter is correct that the Ryan budget plan included cost savings that were part of the future health care law…. We rate her statement True.”
What's next? $800 billion?
In reality, only one candidate in this race has actually voted to cut Medicare, and that's George Allen. As Senator, Allen voted for deep cuts in Medicare spending, and against efforts to make prescription drugs more affordable. No wonder he thinks the Paul Ryan budget is such a "worthwhile approach."
George Allen Voted To Cut Billions In Medicare Spending. George Allen voted for the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which cut billions in Medicare spending along with cuts to Medicaid and student loans. The bill passed 50-50 with Vice President Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote. [Senate Vote 363, 12/21/05; CQ Floor Votes; 2005 Congressional Quarterly Almanac]
• Five Republicans Joined Democrats To Vote Against “Deep Cuts to Federal Student Loans, Medicare, And Medicaid.” The Boston Globe reported, “Five Republicans voted with Democrats against the cuts, forcing Cheney to cast the deciding vote on a bill to make deep cuts to federal student loans, Medicare, and Medicaid. Republicans hailed it as a strong statement for fiscal discipline, but Democrats and interest groups predicted a backlash against Republicans at the polls during next year's congressional elections. . . . Democrats and Jeffords voted unanimously against the budget cuts. They were joined by Republican Senators Chafee, DeWine, Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, and Gordon Smith of Oregon.” [The Boston Globe, 12/22/05]
• UPI: Measure “Slashes . . . Medicare By More Than $6 Billion.” UPI reported, “The Senate passed a $40 billion budget-cutting plan by a single vote Wednesday, but only after Vice President Dick Cheney broke a tie on the controversial measure that slashes the Medicaid program by $4.8 billion and Medicare by more than $6 billion over the next five years.” [UPI, 12/21/05]
2003: Allen Voted Against $12 Billion For “Additional Treatment For Medicare Beneficiaries With Cancer, Heart Disease, Alzheimer's Disease And Diabetes And Its Complications.” Allen voted against an “amendment that would allocate $12 billion for additional treatment for Medicare beneficiaries with cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and diabetes and its complications.” [Vote 253, 6/26/03; CQ Floor Votes]
2003: Allen Voted Against $60 Billion To Eliminate The “Doughnut Hole” Gap In Coverage For Drug Costs Between $4,500 And $5,800 Annually. Allen voted against an “amendment that would extend prescription drug cost sharing between Medicare and beneficiaries up to $5,800, when full catastrophic coverage would take over.” The AP reported that “Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., led the fight to eliminate a feature of the bill that would deny coverage for drug costs between $4,500 and $5,800 annually. ‘We should not have a plan that stops and starts,’ she said, advocating an extra $60 billion to close the gap.” [Vote 236, 6/24/03; CQ Floor Votes; AP, 6/24/03]
2003: Allen Voted Against Preventing Beneficiaries With Cancer From Losing Drug Coverage Due To The “Doughnut Hole.” Allen voted against an “amendment that would prevent any loss of drug coverage for beneficiaries with cancer before catastrophic care begins.” [Vote 250, 6/26/03; CQ Floor Votes]
“Allen Praised Ryan’s Budget… Calling It A ‘Constructive Plan’ In 2011 And A ‘Worthwhile’ Approach This Year.” The Washington Post wrote, “For two consecutive years, Allen steadfastly avoided saying how he would have voted on the budget proposals of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). If Allen had endorsed Ryan’s blueprint, which includes significant changes to Medicare, he would have risked alienating moderates and seniors. But if he had criticized Ryan, that could have angered conservatives who revere the House budget chairman. Yet Allen praised Ryan’s budget enough — calling it a ‘constructive plan’ in 2011 and a ‘worthwhile’ approach this year — that the Kaine campaign has already sought to link Allen to the proposals.” [Washington Post, 6/24/12]