The Corner

Biden’s Frequent Falsifications on Medicare and Tax Reform

When it came to health-care and tax reform, nearly everything that came out of Vice President Biden’s mouth was untrue. Here’s an incomplete list:

1. Biden repeated the false talking points — as did moderator Martha Raddatz (!) — about the Romney Medicare plan exposing seniors to higher costs. In fact, the Romney plan is explicitly designed to ensure that seniors are not exposed to any additional costs.

2. Biden repeated the false talking points about Obamacare’s $716 billion in Medicare cuts not being real cuts, because they allegedly don’t cut “benefits.” Indeed, the ratio of Obamacare’s Medicare cuts to “new benefits” is 15 to 1.

3. Biden claimed that Democratic senator Ron Wyden opposes the Wyden-Ryan Medicare reform plan. Wyden opposes the House GOP budget, because it repeals Obamacare and block-grants Medicaid, but rest assured that Wyden still supports the Wyden-Ryan plan. And that plan is actually to the right of Romney’s plan, because Wyden-Ryan contains a hard cap on Medicare spending growth (GDP + 1 percent) whereas Romney’s plan contains no growth cap.

4. Biden claimed that having the government directly negotiate drug prices under Medicare Part D would save taxpayers “$156 billion right off the bat.” In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that such a change “would have a negligible effect on drug spending.”

5. Biden claimed that Paul Ryan’s House budgets would “knock 19 million people off of Medicare.” This is an entirely made-up figure. Not a single person would lose their Medicare coverage under Ryan’s budgets, and not a single person would under Romney’s plan either.

6. Biden repeated the long-debunked claim that Romney seeks a “$5 trillion tax cut,” when in fact Romney’s tax proposal is designed to be revenue-neutral. Furthermore, Biden claimed that there is a study from AEI supporting his claims. “The American Enterprise Institute study [says that] taxes will go up on the middle class,” claimed Biden. There is no such study. Two AEI scholars, Matt Jensen and Alex Brill, have in fact made the opposite case.

For those who enjoy getting in the weeds, I have more details over at my Forbes blog.

— Avik Roy is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and the author of The Apothecary, the Forbes blog on health-care and entitlement reform. He is a member of Mitt Romney’s Health Care Policy Advisory Group. You can follow him on Twitter at @aviksaroy.

Avik Roy — Avik Roy is the President of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (, a non-partisan, non-profit think tank.

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