WASHINGTON (AP) - The $716 billion can stay.
An adviser to Mitt Romney says Romney and running mate Paul Ryan are now in agreement -- that they will restore the $716 billion that President Barack Obama and Ryan himself each proposed cutting from the growth in Medicare spending over 10 years.
Eric Fehrnstrom tells CNN's "State of the Union" that the money can safely remain in the program, because Romney will "introduce choice and competition through more private plans."
Romney would also trim benefits for wealthier people and gradually raise the eligibility age.
But an Obama aide says Romney's plan to keep the $716 billion in Medicare won't do anything to shore up the financing of the program. Stephanie Cutter told CNN that the Republicans would "use taxpayer dollars to give subsidies to insurance companies."
On Fox News, meanwhile, Republican adviser Ed Gillespie was asked about a Congressional Budget Office finding that under Romney's "premium support" proposals, Medicare beneficiaries would pay a "much larger share of their health care cost." Gillespie says the Republican analysis doesn't see it that way. And he says Romney's overall plans for Medicare, including a higher eligibility age, will slow the growth of the program.
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