- Staff photo by Bruce Preston
Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul speaks with supporters on Saturday afternoon the Nesmith Library in Windham. Paul made a campaign appearance in front of a crowd of more than 75 people at the library.
GOP expanded health care first
"When the Republicans were in charge, they actually expanded government health care with the prescription drug program."
- U.S. Rep. Ron Paul in a July 16, 2011, interview with The Telegraph
According to voting records, the GOP held a 229 to 205 majority in the House at the time of the Nov. 22 vote, and of the 229 Republicans, 204 voted in favor. Across the hall in the Senate, Republicans held a 51 to 48 majority on Nov. 25, when 42 of the 51 GOP senators supported the bill. Nine Republican senators voted against.
In the Senate, 11 of 48 Democrats approved the bill, with 35 against and two abstaining. And, in the House, only 16 Democrats voted in favor, with 185 against.
Paul is right about the Republicans being the driving force.
And how much did it expand government? Hugely. The new drug benefit was used by 34.5 million beneficiaries in 2010, and that number is projected to reach 40.5 million in 2015. (Most were already enrolled in Medicare.)
Through 2010, Medicare Part D had cost $203 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The program is expected to cost another $391 billion through 2015, according to CBO projections.
So Paul is right on both counts. It was a Republican bill that passed with strong Republican support. And it dramatically increased government. We rate his statement True.
Follow the series: Politifact 2012