These are sound bites, for sure, but sound bites that seem to come from people living on another planet.
Each of these candidates tries to out-Tea Party the others, pandering to the fringes of the GOP.
Tim Pawlenty is the worst. His sound-bite should disqualify him for dog-catcher!
Happily, I missed the show because of a little game going on at the Baaahstin Gaaahdin involving some black and gold bears!
Fact-checking on what the GOPers claimed in the Monday night debate: [h/t ThinkProgress]
CLAIM 1 FROM BACHMANN: The Congressional Budget Office said the Affordable Care Act will kill 800,000 jobs. FACT: The CBO actually found that some people would leave the workforce or work less because they can find affordable health coverage elsewhere. This is a reduction in the supply of labor, not a reduction in the supply of jobs.
CLAIM 2 FROM BACHMANN: Obamacare took $500 billion out of Medicare, shifted it to build a new entitlement for young people. FACT: The health law does not cut the current Medicare budget; it slows the growth in the program by removing $500 billion from future spending over the next 10 years. The cuts help stabilize Medicare by eliminating overpayments and slowly phasing in payment adjustments that encourage greater efficiency. As a result, the law extends the life of the Medicare trust fund by nine years and allows seniors to retain all of their guaranteed Medicare benefits.
CLAIM 3 FROM ROMNEY: I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states. FACT: The executive branch and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) don’t have the authority to grant blanket waivers — those powers are reserved for Congress.
CLAIM 4 FROM PAWLENTY: Medicare is not financially solvent. FACT: Medicare is fully solvent until 2024. After 2024, the hospital fund will still be able to meet “90 percent” of its commitments.
CLAIM 5 FROM SANTORUM: Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan is “identical to what seniors already have” — Medicare Part D. FACT: It’s not. The government pays 74 percent of costs in Medicare Part D and grows that support at the rate of program costs. “Ryan’s plan covers about a third of beneficiary costs, and that support grows at the rate of inflation — so much more slowly than the rest of the program, or than Medicare Part D.”
CLAIM 6 FROM SANTORUM: The Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will ration care to seniors beginning in 2014. FACT: The IPAB kicks in if health care spending goes beyond a certain threshold and is statutorily prohibited from rationing benefits or increasing co-pays. In fact, Paul Ryan even supported a more aggressive IPAB-type reform in 2009.