Mitt Romney’s Plan Could Not Have Cut Medicare

A highlight of Romney’s RomneyCare defense relies on a misleading claim.

Mitt Romney often comes under attack for the similarities between the health care plan he put into place as Governor of Massachusetts, and the plan signed into law by President Obama. Romney points in response to the differences between his plan and President Obama’s. But one of Romney’s arguments when trying to juxtapose his plan with Obama’s doesn’t hold up.

Romney is fond of mentioning that the President’s plan cut Medicare by $500 billion dollars, while his state plan did not. But the very nature of Romney’s most common defense, that his plan was a state plan, and not a federal plan, makes this point hard to understand. States did not have authority over Medicare spending, since program is federal, and cutting Medicare could not have been option to pay for RomneyCare.

The attack is also notable because RomneyCare was largely funded by taking advantage of federal Medicaid subsidies, which meant Massachusetts took funds from the taxpayers of other states. While the Romney attack on cutting Medicare seems like a reliable spot against the President’s health care law, using it to compare his plan to Obama’s is misleading at best.

The Romney campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

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Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at
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