Fact check: Romney repeats erroneous claims on healthcare

Mitt Romney during the presidential debate at the University of Denver.
(Rick Wilking / Pool / Getty Images)

Mitt Romney repeated a number of erroneous claims during Wednesday’s debate about President Obama’s healthcare law, including that it relies on a board that will decide “what kind of treatment” patients can get.

This is a myth advanced repeatedly by critics of the Affordable Care Act and debunked consistently by independent fact-checkers.

The board – known as the Independent Payment Advisory Board – was set up to recommend ways to reduce Medicare spending if it increases too rapidly.

The panel of independent experts is empowered to suggest cuts to how much the federal government pays healthcare providers. These cuts would go into effect unless Congress votes to overturn them.

But the panel is explicitly prohibited from cutting benefits for people on Medicare.

And there is no provision in the law that empowers the advisory board to make any decisions about what treatments doctors may provide for their patients.

Romney also said that his healthcare plan would cover those with preexisting conditions, embracing one of the most popular elements of Obama’s healthcare effort. He did not mention, however, that his plan would cover only those whose insurance had not already lapsed, in accordance with existing law.

Romney’s plan would not guarantee insurance access to those who had lost insurance.