Romney countered that "preexisting conditions are covered under my plan. Number two, young people are able to stay on their family plan." He said Obamacare is too expensive, because the Congressional Budget Office has said Obamacare will cost $2,500 a year more. In 2008, Obama promised to lower the cost of insurance by $2,500 per family.
What were they talking about?
How insurance companies can get out of paying for some medical conditions now and under Romney's plan, and how much insurance costs per month.
Health care spending, not health insurance premiums, has grown at a slower rate, FactCheck.org says. But credit goes to the bad economy, not Obama, for the slower growth in health care spending. As for premiums, Obamacare "was responsible for a 1 percent to 3 percent increase last year because of more generous coverage requirements."
As for pre-existing conditions, The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn says he was jumping out of his chair at this part of the debate. Romney said "number one, preexisting conditions are covered under my plan." But that's only for people with continuous coverage -- that means people who've never gone without insurance. But it's the people who've gone without insurance who are at the greatest risk for losing coverage.
Medicare and Medicaid
What'd they say?
Romney accused Obama of cutting $716 billion from Medicare, and promise to restore it. Romney preempted an expected Obama attack line, saying that while Obama says the cuts are just to eliminate fraud and abuse, they're actually cutting how much doctors and hospitals get reimbursed, which means fewer will accept Medicare patients.
Obama countered that Romney would make even bigger cuts to the program in the long run by offering vouchers, eventually costing old people $6,000 a year more, and further down the line, crippling Medicare until it faces "collapse."
What are they talking about?
The $716 billion Obama cuts is in the plan offered by Paul Ryan, too. FactCheck.org explains that the cuts are not to benefits, and in some cases give incentives for better care -- if hospitals have too many readmissions, they lose money. "Hospitals agreed to these cuts because they knew, at the same time, they would likely see an influx of paying patients with the Affordable Care Act’s insurance expansion," The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff explained in August.
Romney wants to offer old people on Medicare the option of getting a subsidy to buy private insurance. Obama argues that the size of the voucher won't grow as fast as health care costs, so seniors will be able to get less and less care.
PolitiFact says the $6,000 figure Obama cited is based on an older plan offered by Paul Ryan. "The current plan, while it caps overall growth in Medicare spending, is slightly more generous in how fast it allows subsidies to grow as health care costs increase," the site says. It's possible the increased close is as little as $800 a year, but the new plan hasn't been fully analyzed. FactCheck.org says that while cuts to the growth of Medicare is necessary to extend the life of the program, it's true that Medicare’s chief actuary, Richard Foster, testified last year that 15 percent of providers who take Medicare patients would become unprofitable, a figure Romney alluded to.