New day, same battle over Medicare
August 15th, 2012
01:02 PM ET
2 years ago

New day, same battle over Medicare

(CNN) - Four days after the naming of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate and there's no let up of political pot shots over Medicare.

The Republican presidential challenger resumed his push back against Democratic attacks on the House Budget chairman's Medicare plan, once again claiming that the president's cut more than $700 billion from the popular entitlement program which guarantees health insurance to seniors.

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"The president's cuts of $716 billion to Medicare, those cuts are going to be restored if I become president and Paul Ryan becomes vice president," Romney told CBS News. "You know, the president, when he was campaigning in Denver, Colorado, four years ago, said that Medicare was on a pathway to become bankrupt. Yet, he's taking $716 billion from the Medicare trust fund to finance Obamacare."

Romney made similar comments on the campaign trail Tuesday in Ohio and the message is hammered home in a new TV ad from his campaign.

"You paid in to Medicare for years. Every paycheck. Now, when you need it Obama has cut $716 billion dollars from Medicare," says the narrator in the commercial.

The Romney campaign says the 30-second spot will start running on Wednesday and describes the ad buy as "significant."

The Republican National Committee is also hammering home the same point.

"While President Obama thinks cutting $716 billion from current seniors to pay for ObamaCare is a good idea, we don't think it's an 'achievement' at all," said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. "President Obama has raided Medicare and proposed no plan to save it."

READ MORE: Romney campaign tries to take Medicare away from Obama

And the party committee released a web video that used a news clip of Obama campaign deputy communications director Stephanie Cutter to bolster their argument.

The Obama campaign says the Romney claim is wrong.

"The president took away subsidies, unwarranted subsidies to insurance companies, and he used that money to help lengthen the life of Medicare by nearly a decade. So when Gov. Romney says he doesn't support that, obviously, you know, that's problematical," senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod told CNN's Soledad O'Brien on "Starting Point" Tuesday.

And the campaign was quick to slam the Romney campaign commercial.

"Mitt Romney's ad is dishonest and hypocritical. The savings his ad attacks do not cut a single guaranteed Medicare benefit, and Mitt Romney embraced the very same savings when he promised he'd sign Paul Ryan's budget," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith.

Expect more pushback Wednesday from the president himself.

Campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Obama, campaigning Wednesday in Iowa, "will talk about how his reforms have strengthened Medicare, saved millions of seniors on Medicare hundreds of dollars on their prescription drugs and cut the cost of Medicare by cutting wasteful spending out of the healthcare system, without impacting the benefits Medicare recipients receive by even a dime."

The Romney strategy is simple: Accuse the president of robbing a popular program (Medicare) to pay for a program (The Affordable Care Act) where support is divided among the public. A Romney campaign official says "the message here is that we are on offense on Medicare. This is a debate we invite."

The Romney campaign is getting the $717 billion figure from a July 24 Congressional Budget Office report, which measured the impact of repealing the health care overhaul law, which is known by many as "Obamacare."

The report says that under the repeal measure, "Spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013-2022 period." Those spending increases would be a result of more spending on hospital and medical insurance, offset by a decrease in prescription drug coverage.

The letter also notes that the projected $716 billion increase in Medicare spending if the measure is repealed does not signal a $716 billion decrease if the measure stays in place - which is Romney's argument.

CNN's Alex Mooney and Ashley Killough contributed to this report

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Filed under: 2012 • Medicare • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Indy

    My favorite part of the Paul Ryan pick is how Republicans tout him as a conservative but he voted for everything that put the country into massive debt with two wars,TARP,medicare part D, it is hilarious how they also think they can lie their way to the Whitehouse when the black and white records prove them to be liars.Republicans have been the very worst stewards of the economy every time they have been in office

    August 15, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. myviewis

    The bottom line is President Obama took our money from Medicare, the money we each have to pay on every paycheck we get, to fund Obamacare, however, Obama made no arrangement to pay Medicare back the money nor an interest amount for the money taken. Obama should have borrowed the money from Medicare with an interest. The money is gone unless something changes with Obamacare. Each one of us has just lost the money we have paid and are paying towards Medicare. This is the problem, it was not borrowed and it is not coming back. Romneycare did not take money from Medicare and Paul Ryan's plan does not touch money from Medicare, it changes how medicare will work which gives us the choice to either find our own plan and medicare pays the fee or stay with the traditional medicare and if the plan we find is cheaper than we get a reinbursement check.

    August 15, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. Hammerer

    All the left has is crticism, hate and discontent about Ronmey and Ryan and their ideas.
    Try some positive accomplishments of Obama-Biden, if there are any, and not the same old excuses and blame everyone else. Try a little positive. Would work better than the current talking points.

    August 15, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. ST

    As soon as it was known that Romney has picked Paul Ryan, everywhere I was reading it was written: "Bold Pick But Risky" (these writers knew it). Now the risks are starting to show up. There is no way Romney can deny seniors will not be hurt by Ryan's plan of cutting medicare.

    August 15, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Dems Need to Grow a Pair

    A lot of Liberal vomit spewing out of control here...LOLTE

    August 15, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. aaron

    Wow, Obama had the nerve to cut out subsidies to insurance companies? I'm shocked the Repubs didn't have as big a fit as they when he tried to cut out subsidies to oil companies. They're hurting bad with their billions in quarterly profits.

    August 15, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. GonzoinHouston

    If the ACA is repealed it would add $716B to the cost of Medicare. Therefore, according to Romney, Obama is stealing $716B from Medicare. Riiiight! "if she weighs the same as a duck, then she's made of wood, and therefore she's a WITCH!"

    August 15, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. myviewis

    ST

    As soon as it was known that Romney has picked Paul Ryan, everywhere I was reading it was written: "Bold Pick But Risky" (these writers knew it). Now the risks are starting to show up. There is no way Romney can deny seniors will not be hurt by Ryan's plan of cutting medicare
    ---------------------–

    Don't you get it, Obama took our money from Medicare and that money is not coming back. Senior Citizens are already in the process of getting hurt by Obama taking the money we all paid into Medicare. How much is left in the bank account after Obama took the money? Obama is not even paying Medicare an interest for the money he took. Get it? the money is gone, not coming back to the account.

    August 15, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. Marty, FL

    myviewis,
    You are not telling the truth unless you somehow were an insurance company overcharging taxpayers on Medicare subsidies.

    Ryan's plan takes this very same amount from Medicare and adds $6000 from seniors per year to pay for more tax cuts for the rich. Please look it up.

    August 15, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. Richard Broderick, Jr.

    Hey good citizens of Florida,

    Imagine what your hospitals would be like if there was no Medicare.

    If Mitt and Ryan get their way, imagine what it would be like in just 10 years when seniors would have to TRY to buy health insurance.

    August 15, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. myviewis

    GonzoinHouston

    If the ACA is repealed it would add $716B to the cost of Medicare. Therefore, according to Romney, Obama is stealing $716B from Medicare. Riiiight! "if she weighs the same as a duck, then she's made of wood, and therefore she's a WITCH
    ---------------------

    If the Affordable Care Act is repealed it will put the money we all pay to Medicare from our paychecks back into Medicare where it belongs. Obama didn't borrow from us, our Medicare, he took the money to fund the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare. Get it???? we lost that money.

    August 15, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Marty, FL

    myviewis,
    "money from Medicare and that money is not coming back."

    Wrong again. Seniors have actually received rebates from ACA closing doughnut holes in their Medicare coverage.

    August 15, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. Voter

    There have been cut to Medicare beginning in 2009: Medicare cuts to hospitals begin (long-term care (7-1-09 and inpatient and rehabilitation facilities (FY10). 2010: Medicare cuts to inpatient psych hospitals (7-1-10). Medicare Advantage cuts begin.Medicare cuts to home health begin. Medicare reimbursements cuts when seniors use dagnostic imaging like MRIs,CT scan, etc. Medicare cuts begin to ambulance services, ASC, Diagnostic labs and durable medical equipment. 2011: Pohibition on Medicare payments to new physician-owned hospitals. Seniors prohibitedfrom purchasing power wheelchairs unless they first rent for 13 months. New Medicare cuts to long-term care hospitals begin (7-1-11). Additional Medicare cuts to hospitals and cuts to nursing home and inpatient rehab facilities begins (FY12). 2012: Medicare cuts to dialysis treatment begins. Medicare cuts to hospitals with high readmissin rates begin (FY13). Medicare cuts to hospice begin(FY13). 2013: Medicare cuts to hospitals who treat low-income seniors begin. More Medicare cuts to home health begin. 2014: Medicare payment cuts for hospital-aquired infections beng(FY15). 2015: More Medicare cuts to home health begin. Source: Committee on Ways & Means Republicas.

    August 15, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  14. cali girl

    MyViews, the money Obama took is not dismantling or ending Medicare.
    However, Ryan is widely known with the slogan The Kill Medicare Kid. His budget plan does just that.
    Robmey and Ryan are now scrambling to steer the talk to something else, because they KNOW they are in deep doo doo with Grandpa and Grandma.

    August 15, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  15. AustinMom

    Indy said it best. Paul Ryan is an imposter. He voted for every Bush boondoggle program that came along, including the infamous Sarah Palin Bridge to Nowhere., yet he tries to portray himself as a deficit hawk. I guess where he stands depends on who is president. So, I would assume if Mittens is elected, Paul Ryan will assume his old ways of voting for TARP, the auto bailout under Bush, two wars, and on and on......Pres. Obama cut subsidies to insurance cos and drug cos ( a favorite "people"of the Republicans) and strengthened benefits for seniors under the Health Care Act affirmed by the Supreme Court. You tea partiers apparently lack reading comprehension because you can't seem to read and comprehend the facts for yourself. All of the programs that Paul Ryan (who has been in Washington since he was 22 and never held a job otherwise) supported under Bush brought this country to the brink of disaster we found ourselves in. Perhaps you will learn to read before the time of the Nov. election. One can always hope. But then again, Paul Ryan supported No Child Left Behind, so I guess you failed the test.

    August 15, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "The bottom line is President Obama took our money from Medicare, the money we each have to pay on every paycheck we get, to fund Obamacare, however, Obama made no arrangement to pay Medicare back the money nor an interest amount for the money taken. Obama should have borrowed the money from Medicare with an interest. The money is gone unless something changes with Obamacare. Each one of us has just lost the money we have paid and are paying towards Medicare. This is the problem, it was not borrowed and it is not coming back. Romneycare did not take money from Medicare and Paul Ryan's plan does not touch money from Medicare, it changes how medicare will work which gives us the choice to either find our own plan and medicare pays the fee or stay with the traditional medicare and if the plan we find is cheaper than we get a reinbursement check."
    ===
    Wow. Everything you just said is an accurate regurgitation of what the GOP/Teatrolls are saying and want everyone to believe. Problem is that everything you just said is provably false.

    August 15, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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