During a town hall in Cedar Rapids Iowa this morning, Mitt Romney doubled down on his support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Medicare privatization plan, which would essentially eliminate traditional Medicare for all future enrollees and force them to buy private insurance with a voucher. “I spent a good deal of time with Congressman Ryan. When his plan came out, I applauded it, as an important step,” he said. “We’re going to have to make changes like the ones Paul Ryan proposed.”
The former Massachusetts governor also echoed his campaign’s attacks against current GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich, noting, “this is a place where Speaker Gingrich and I disagree. He called this right wing social engineering, I believe it’s a very important step to protect Medicare.” But in applauding Ryan’s plan, Romney also distinguished his campaign proposal from it, by explaining that “it’s pretty similar to Paul Ryan’s. What I added what he did not in his first proposal, was the option of purchasing, if you wanted to, standard Medicare.” Incidentally, Gingrich is proposing the same option.
In a brief press conference with reporters, Romney added, “Speaker Gingrich and I have a very different view, for instance, with regards to Paul Ryan’s plan and the need to fundamentally transform Medicare version 2.0, if you will, the Medicare for young people coming in to the workforce even today.”