In tonight's debate, President Obama charged - correctly - that the plan offered by Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan would turn Medicare into a voucher program. That program would essentially fix the amount that the government contributes to health care costs, whether or not that amount actually cover seniors' health expenses. As my friend Jason Stanford calls it, "Groupon for Grandmas".
In defense, Mitt Romney claimed - once again - that the Ryan voucher plan is a bipartisan one supported by our own Senator Ron Wyden. From the transcript:
And, by the way the idea came not even from Paul Ryan or -- or Senator Wyden, who's the co-author of the bill with -- with Paul Ryan in the Senate, but also it came from Bill -- Bill Clinton's chief of staff. This is an idea that's been around a long time, which is saying, hey, let's see if we can't get competition into the Medicare world so that people can get the choice of different plans at lower cost, better quality. I believe in competition.
Taking to Twitter to respond, Wyden blasted Romney:
There he goes again. Romney whitewashes his plan to end Medicare guarantee by saying that I support the Republican bill washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-kle…— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) October 4, 2012
Let's be clear: There is no "bill" with Wyden and Ryan as co-authors. They wrote up a white paper on Medicare reform that suggested a program that would include a Medicare guarantee. In essence, if the voucher didn't cover the cost of private health care, seniors could come back to Medicare for full coverage.
Ryan rejected that idea and went back to his original Ryan Budget that would put Medicare on a phase-out path. And Wyden spoke out against the Ryan plan and voted against it numerous times.
That's why, back in August, Wyden hit back hard at Romney, saying he was "talking nonsense" and "making things up."
Fortunately for Wyden, the twittersphere exploded. On the jump, some of the best Twitter reactions.
THERE IS NO BILL IN THE SENATE FROM WYDEN AND RYAN. Just saying.— Aaron E. Carroll (@aaronecarroll) October 4, 2012
Whoa! Wyden reference - Drink! #DenverDebate— April Baer (@aprilbaer) October 4, 2012
Mitt just lied. Wyden did NOT co sponsor a bill with Ryan.— Kathy V/M (@kgvm) October 4, 2012
That Wyden thing was the insideriest attempt to appear bipartisan ever. #LoveYouRon— Michael Andersen (@andersem) October 4, 2012
Wyden REPUDIATES the so-called Ryan-Wyden plan, Mittens.— SaturNine (@Satur9) October 4, 2012
WHOA! Why is Romney name dropping Wyden when he distanced himself from that LONG ago? #debates UGH— That One Girl... (@islandirie) October 4, 2012
OH NO YOU DIDN'T just invoke Ron Wyden's name..Mitt you are a scoundrel!— Pete Forsyth (@PeteForsyth) October 4, 2012
Dear lord....Mitt is going to get the wrath of Sen. Ron Wyden...don't want to be him... #debate— Tracee Larson (@tracee) October 4, 2012
Nice Wyden shoutout, too bad it's not true: washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-kle…— Woody Adams(@woody_adams) October 4, 2012
Ron Wyden is not a "co-sponsor" of a bill, he wrote a paper w Paul Ryan.— KateNocera (@KateNocera) October 4, 2012
Whoa. Mitt Romney just lied about Ron Wyden. Wyden wrote a diff plan w/ Ryan, not what we now call "the Ryan plan."— Kari Chisholm (@karichisholm) October 4, 2012
Wyden didn't coauthor a bill with Paul Ryan. Especially not in the Senate, which Paul Ryan is not in. #debates— Chorpenning (@Chorpenning) October 4, 2012
Feel for sen. Wyden's staff assistants tomorrow on phones after Romney associates him with Ryan bill #debate2012— Izzy Ferland (@IzzyWizzy88) October 4, 2012
Is name-dropping Ron Wyden an upgrade or a downgrade from name-dropping Big Bird?— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) October 4, 2012
That Ron Wyden reference was a loser, except for C-Span diehards.— Jim Warren (@JimWarren55) October 4, 2012
How is Romney comfortable lying that Wyden co-sponsored a bill with Ryan. One is in the House and one is in the Senate #schoolhouserocks— Emily Tisch Sussman (@EmilyYDA) October 4, 2012
Romney incorrectly said Wyden's coauthor of Ryan Medicare bill "in the Senate." No bill. They did white paper. Wyden opposes last Ryan plan.— Dan Friedman (@dfriedman33) October 4, 2012
...and that's just some of the reaction.