Wyden: GOP 'hurting senior citizens' with spin about bipartisan support for Medicare overhaul

Wyden made similar remarks in a Monday Huffington Post op-ed that specifically called out GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

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"Just as some in my party criticize Wyden-Ryan without knowing what the plan really does, some Republicans will undoubtedly declare their support for Wyden-Ryan without knowing what that means or believing in its principles," Wyden wrote. "Mitt Romney, for example, claims to have helped write Wyden-Ryan even though I have never spoken to him about Medicare reform and have yet to hear him declare that there should always be a role for traditional government-run Medicare."

The op-ed comes after the Romney campaign last week issued a statement drawing parallels between his Medicare proposals and the Ryan-Wyden plan.

"Mitt Romney — along with a bipartisan group of leaders — has offered a solution that would introduce competition and choice into Medicare, control costs, and strengthen the program for future generations," the statement read.

Wyden went on to raise questions with the Medicare overhaul in Ryan's budget, which was released Tuesday, but fell short of saying he didn't support it. Like last year's Ryan-Wyden proposal, the Ryan budget counts on competition among private healthcare plans to bring costs down.

The backstop if that doesn't happen is lower in the Ryan budget, however. While Ryan-Wyden would have capped growth in per capita Medicare spending at the rate of gross domestic product growth plus 1 percentage point, the Ryan budget proposes a lower rate of GDP growth + 0.5 percentage points.

"I support GDP + 1 percent," Wyden said Tuesday when asked his thoughts on the Ryan budget.