In the first debate, Republican challenger Mitt Romney warned that re-electing President Obama means "a 716-billion-dollar cut to Medicare.”
But Paul Van de Water at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says what's being reduced under the Affordable Care Act are overpayments to private Medicare Advantage plans, and the rate of growth in payments to healthcare providers.
Van de Water says whether you call them cuts or savings, the Medicare actuaries say those that were built into the Affordable Care Act are expected to extend the life of the program through the year 2024.
Romney argues that up to four-million Americans could lose their Medicare Advantage plans.
Van de Water says the “Ryan Budget” included the same reductions in provider payments and to Medicare Advantage as “Obamacare,” but now as the vice presidential nominee, Congressman Ryan has indicated he will follow the Romney plan.
Conversely, Van de Water says Romney’s pledge to kill “Obamacare” could shorten the life of the trust fund, with it running out of funds as soon as 2016.