Demonstrating yet again her ability to fabricate information on a whim, presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly Monday that President Obama personally told her that “Obamacare” will end Medicare and force seniors “onto Obamacare”:
BACHMANN: A couple of months ago I was in the White House with President Obama. We asked him three times, ‘what’s your plan to make Medicare solvent.’ He mumbled around and didn’t give answer…he said, ‘Obamacare.’ And so what senior citizens don’t realize is that President Obama’s plan for Medicare is they will all go into Obamacare. There won’t be a Medicare going forward under President Obama.
Senior citizens probably don’t realize they’re about to be forced off Medicare and onto the Affordable Care because it’s patently not true. The health reform law doesn’t eliminate Medicare, not by a long shot, as Bachmann should know since she voted for the House Republican budget, which makes fundamental changes to Medicare decades from now — long after Obama would have supposedly ended it.
The Affordable Care Act did find $500 billion in savings in the future growth of spending over 10 years — which happens to put Medicare on much better financial footing — which conservatives have unfairly conflated with benefit cuts, but saying that this equates to eliminating the program is bold new heights of mendacity, even for Bachmann.
Moreover, Bachmann’s dishonest fear mongering is eminently ironic considering she was up in arms about “liberals…trying to scare Americans about Medicare, and especially senior citizens” during the debate over the House GOP budget.
And finally, Bachmann’s comments lose all credibility, if they had any left, considering that she herself admitted that her claim that the Affordable Care Act would force seniors off Medicare was pure “speculat[ion].” In a speech at the Republican Leadership conference in June, she said:
And do you know what the president’s plan [for Medicare] is? This hasn’t been talked about very much. The president’s plan for senior citizens is Obamacare. We all think for our senior citizens that somehow Medicare is going to go on. And I think very likely — and I’m speculating — I think very likely what the president intends is that Medicare will go broke, and then ultimately that answer will be Obamacare for senior citizens.
That claim, while much weaker, is already extremely disingenuous. At the time, the Washington Post’s fact checker gave the assertion four pinocchios, its highest rating, explaining, “There is no evidence for this and it is completely nonsensical. For a member of Congress, she really should know the basics of government-funded health care programs.”
Bachmann’s comments on O’Reilly Monday go several steps further than the June comment and are beyond nonsensical — they’re intentionally dishonest