Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has become the latest Republican to go up against CNN host Soledad O'Brien on the issue of Medicare and lose.
During an interview on Friday, O'Brien called out Chaffetz after he tried to claim that that Medicare plans offered by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), would not turn the program into a voucher system.
"Let's keep to the facts that President [Barack] Obama did take $700 billion out of Medicare," Chaffetz told O'Brien.
"We've now had this conversation 15 times at least," O'Brien noted, shaking her head. "As you know, it's not taking money out of Medicare, right? It's a decrease in spending over time and it's a decrease that you yourself, I assume, voted for, right? In Paul Ryan's budget in 2011 and 2012, he had that same number in his budget. Didn't you vote for that?"
"It's not exactly the same number," Chaffetz replied. "I did vote in favor of the two budgets."
"But now you're criticizing something that you voted for twice, right?," O'Brien observed.
"It's a totally different approach," the Utah Republican maintained. "For instance, the Independent Payment Advisory Board -- IPAB -- is not something that I support, but is something that takes that $700 billion that Obama took and puts it into the control of these bureaucrats in Washington, D.C."
"At the end of the day, that same number crunching was voted on by virtually every single Republican in 2011 and then again in 2012. That is fair to say," O'Brien pointed out, adding that both Romney and Ryan had promised to "save" Medicare by turning it into a "voucher program."
"No, it's not!" Chaffetz objected.
"It's not a voucher program?" O'Brien wondered.
"It is not a voucher program," Chaffetz insisted. "It is a premium support, and that is totally different than a voucher program. And every time somebody says, 'Oh, it's a voucher program,' it's false, it's misleading, it's derogatory and it's inaccurate. That is not what it does."
"You will give people money to go and buy their own insurance, right?" O'Brien pressed. "But we're arguing over symantics. At the end of the day, isn't it -- you would give someone money to buy their own insurance."
"No, a premium support program is different than a voucher program," Chaffetz repeated.
"Walk me through how it's different," O'Brien dared the congressman.