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Obama campaign says Ryan forced to flip flop on Medicare


The Obama campaign said that Paul Ryan “flip flopped” on the issue of Medicare now that the Romney campaign is accusing President Obama of reducing Medicare spending in the same way Ryan had proposed in his budget.

On a conference call with reporters, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ryan’s Democratic counterpart atop the House Budget Committee, noted that the president’s health care plan cut more than $700 billion mostly out of the Medicare Advantage program, which affected insurance companies and hospitals rather than beneficiaries. 

But Ryan’s budget plan also calls for the same spending reductions, even though Romney is now accusing Obama of “raiding” Medicare by instituting the cuts and has said he would restore the spending.

“It’s kind of sad to see Congressman Ryan be forced to flip flop on this issue by Gov. Romney,” Van Hollen said on the call.

He claimed that while Medicare trustees have estimated the spending reductions would extend the life of the entitlement program for eight years, Romney and Ryan would essentially be negating that extension should they implement their plan.

“They will hasten the insolvency of the Medicare program by 8 years, that’s according to the Medicare trustees. So what they’re announcing is that by the end of their term if they were to be elected, Medicare would have begun to go bankrupt by the end of their term,” Van Hollen said.

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt suggested they would continue to hit Ryan on the apparent contradiction between his budget proposal and Romney’s plan, a strategy that allows them to hit their opponent on policy while also suggesting Ryan is a flip flopper, a claim they’ve long been making about Romney.