Fact Check: Ryan cites unlikely outcome under Obamacare
updated 8:15 AM EDT, Fri October 12, 2012
- Ryan says 20 million Americans will lose their health coverage
- A government analysis found a sharp decline "unlikely"
- Seniors who leave Medicare Advantage plans would continue coverage under traditional Medicare
(CNN) -- The Affordable Care Act emerged as an issue during Thursday night's debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
The claim: "Look at all the string of broken promises: ' If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,' " Ryan said, repeating President Barack Obama's oft-stated vow. "Try telling that to the 20 million people who are projected to lose their health insurance if Obamacare goes through or the 7.4 million seniors who are going to lose it."
Ryan's claim that 20 million Americans will lose their health care under the Affordable Care Act refers to a government analysis in March. The Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation analyzed four scenarios and found a range of possibilities -- from Romney's figure of 20 million losing coverage due to Obamacare, to a net increase of 3 million gaining coverage.
Fact Check: What about Benghazi?
Biden: A bunch of 'malarkey'
They concluded, "In CBO and JCT's judgment, a sharp decline in employment-based health insurance as a result of the ACA is unlikely, and, if it occurred, would not dramatically increase the cost of the ACA."
No Medicare voucher program, Biden vows
Ryan, Biden get personal on abortion
Amusing moments during VP debate
The 7.4 million figure refers to the elderly who would no longer stay in Medicare Advantage -- private plans that were intended to inject competition into Medicare, but wound up costing more. As a result, the Obama administration has moved to cut them.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projected in a 2010 paper ("Estimated Financial Effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act") that enrollment in the plans in 2017, when the Medicare Advantage cuts are to be fully phased in, will be about half (7.4 million) of what it would have been absent Obamacare.
"To say these folks would lose insurance is just not true," according to Prof. Uwe Reinhardt, a health economist at Princeton University. "Any elderly person losing Medicare Advantage, if any, would automatically be covered by traditional Medicare," he said in a telephone interview.
Fact Check: Iran and the bomb
And any people losing employment-based insurance would have individually purchased insurance, bought through an exchange, probably with partial support through federal subsidies, he said.
Conclusion: It is unlikely that 20 million Americans will lose their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and it is not true that 7.4 million seniors will lose their coverage.
Complete coverage of CNN's Fact Checks
CNN's Tom Watkins and Caleb Hellerman contributed to this report
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:58 AM EDT, Tue October 23, 2012
Although it has been over for nearly a year now, the war in Iraq continued to be a flash point in the final debate.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Tue October 23, 2012
President Barack Obama made the case that al Qaeda in Pakistan is decimated while Mitt Romney argued they are on the rise in other countries.
updated 9:22 AM EDT, Tue October 23, 2012
President Barack Obama accused Mitt Romney of initially being against a withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan in 2014.
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Tue October 23, 2012
The contention that President Obama apologized to other nations for American behavior has been mentioned repeatedly by his critics, including Mitt Romney.
updated 9:12 AM EDT, Tue October 23, 2012
President Barack Obama asserted that it cost the United States less to help oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi than it did to run two weeks of the 2003-2011 war in Iraq.
updated 5:58 PM EDT, Tue October 23, 2012
President Barack Obama said Gov. Mitt Romney had criticized his administration for being too tough against China, and bringing a protectionist case at the World Trade Organization.
updated 12:48 PM EDT, Sat October 20, 2012
Conservative critics launched an attack on moderator Candy Crowley after she corrected Romney's claim that Obama did not refer to the consulate attack in Benghazi as an "act of terror."
updated 7:50 AM EDT, Wed October 17, 2012
Romney highlighted the number of women in the unemployment lines during President Barack Obama's term.
updated 12:30 PM EDT, Wed October 17, 2012
Obama said he identified the September 11 assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya as a terrorist attack within a day; Romney said it took two weeks.
updated 7:53 AM EDT, Wed October 17, 2012
Obama touted his administration's support for the federal Pell Grant program and other aid for college students.
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Wed October 17, 2012
Obama boasted that the Affordable Care Act gives insured women free contraception coverage, and said Romney thinks employers should decide whether women can get contraception through insurance.
updated 8:16 AM EDT, Fri October 12, 2012
Fears of a possibly nuclear-armed Iran took center stage early in the vice presidential debate between Biden and Ryan.
updated 8:18 AM EDT, Fri October 12, 2012
The September attack that killed four Americans at a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya was the subject of a few claims at the VP debate.
updated 8:20 AM EDT, Fri October 12, 2012
Federal support for wind power and electric cars was one of the early flashpoints between Biden and Ryan.
updated 8:15 AM EDT, Fri October 12, 2012
The Affordable Care Act emerged as an issue between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.