by Jonathan Ingram Director of Health Policy and Pension Reform
In last night's Vice Presidential debate, you might have heard Vice President Biden claim that ObamaCare "saved $716 billion [from Medicare] and put it back — applied it to Medicare."
The only problem with this claim? It's simply not true.
As the Congressional Budget Office notes, ObamaCare is expected to cut $716 billion from the Medicare program between 2013 and 2022. But, contrary to the Vice President's claims, that money isn't put back into Medicare to improve its solvency. Instead, the money it cuts from Medicare is used to pay for the other portions of ObamaCare, like the massive expansion of Medicaid.
According to the CBO, the majority of money from ObamaCare's cuts to Medicare "would be used to pay for other spending and therefore would not enhance the ability of the government to pay for future Medicare benefits." Indeed, the CBO has concluded numerous times that ObamaCare's Medicare cuts do not "provide additional resources to pay future Medicare benefits."
The money saved from cutting Medicare can't be spent twice. It can be spent on ObamaCare's other provisions, or it can be saved to improve the solvency of the Medicare trust fund. Only in Washington would you see the kind of math where you can spend the same dollar twice.