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. Please Grow Up

    Have you heard about Progressive Insurance's fight to deny the victim of a fatal car accident her life insurance payout? THey used the money to defend the guy that hit her so that they wouldn't have to pay. Let's all believe in private insurance companies, okay? They're here for us! (Sarcasm intended.)

    August 15, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Wilson

    And again, Obama loses. The left just can't face it. Obama is toast.

    August 15, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    According to your senior adviser Ed Gillespie and RNC Chairman Priebus, not only do you embrace the Ryan Budget, you said you'll sign it. Stand by your convictions coward and RELEASE YOUR TAXES NOW!

    August 15, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Jersey Girl

    It's funny that the flip-flopper has found his latest flip-flop, running away from the extreme Ryan plan. But it's even funnier that his flip-floppiness has rubbed off on Voucher Ryan. Ryan was a huge fan of Ayn Rand for years even in 2005 and in 2009 there is tape of him expounding her values and morals. Now he is doing a two-step trying to move away from her ideals. And to think he only has "hung around" Vulture Romney for just 5 days! I can't wait for the Clown Convention to continue in Tampa. I need to stock up on popcorn!! LOL.

    August 15, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  5. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    "Well, as Governor Romney has made clear, if the Romney - sorry, if the Ryan budget had come to his desk as president, he would have signed it, of course," – Senior Romney adviser Ed Gillespie

    August 15, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Wes

    Send me to the electric chair. After enduring the problems of a spinal cord injury, a shattered pelvis, internal organ damage, septal defect resulting in multiple strokes, and the bureaucratic morass that entangles my life, I would prefer to enter the reincarnation phase than have the political ping pong of an election campaign proffered to me in endless recursive loops.

    August 15, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. California

    Obama has in fact taken $741 Billion from Medicare to fund his bloviated Obamacare and throwing grandma under the bus.

    Obama also is disgracing the presidency as we've known it with his Chicago style politics that no one wants.

    August 15, 2012 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. IF YOU SIGNED GROVER'S PLEDGE, YOU ARE A TRAITOR TO THE U.S.

    Willard, you like to "fire people who provide bad service to you." So far, Eric Fehrnstrom has provided you a bad service(Etch-A-Sketch). Chris Christie has provided you a bad service(You should release more tax returns). Ed Gillespie provided you a bad service(You would have signed the Ryan Budget as President). Andrea Saul provided you a bad service(If Mr. Soptic's wife was in Massachusetts, whe would have had adequate healthcare). These are people running your campaign and associated with your campaign. Why haven't you fired them yet?

    August 15, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. wgf

    "President Obama has raided Medicare and proposed no plan to save it."

    As opposed to Ryan/Romney, who first want to to "raid" Medicare for the same $700 billion, and then "save it" by doing away with it completely and replacing it with something else.

    btw... I thought the Republicans were all about cost control. Oh, that's right, a Democrat is doing it, so now it must be wrong.

    August 15, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  10. Pete

    Ryan the Ayn Rand diciple can't talk about his plans because they're now Romneys right.Romney never really had a plan to begin with in Medicare or the budget,he said nothing of it in the primaries and he's being huss on it now,but like his taxes he'll let you know when he's ready to show you,just don't hold your breath!!

    August 15, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. cali girl

    This is all about Grandma and Grandpa. If you want them to have their golden years, receiving their hard earned Social Security and all the medical care they need through Medical.
    Forget that with a vote for Sheriff of Nothingham Robmey and his sidekick Eddie Munster. They will send you a coupon for your grandparents to use, good luck getting any medical facility to accept it. This gives all the power to the Doctor to decide how much you will pay.
    Since we are on the subject, Women, the Poor, Immigrants, Veterans, LGBT forget anything for you. Cuts, deep and deeper will only benefit Robmey and his fat cats. It is Entitlement of the finest form for the top 5% of the richest Americans.
    That in a nutshell is The Economic Plan

    August 15, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. truth hurts

    the federal govenrment needs to get OUT of the healthcare business all together. the large pool of endless government money is what drives the cost of our healthcare through the roof. the very same thing has happened to college costs.

    simply mandate that insurance companies must offer insurance to everybody, young and old, including those with pre-existing conditions and they cannot be dropped. give the companies 15% for overhead and costs and the rest must be paid out. let the insurance companies figure the rates and that is it.

    and all politicians MUST participant in the same plan. that way they have skin in the game.

    August 15, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. RealityBites

    A campaign of hate is the norm for those who were elected on obvious lies, misrepresentations and ignorance..

    August 15, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    "New Day, Same Battle Over Medicare"

    Oh, most definitely, CNN. Mitt Romney made the unfortunate decision of choosing the architect for eliminating Medicare entirely by suggesting a "voucher" as a form of a Medicare replacement placebo ought to best serve the clueless, and now he (Mitt) can't seem to get past the fact that said elimination of Medicare actually passed the Republican controlled House of Representatives courtesy of Paul Ryan and his oh so sweet budget. In fact, Romney did a few months back state how well pleased with Paul Ryan's budget he was ... pleased enough to sign it into law should the opportunity arise. Hence the new "malice intended" distraction of RomneyLies.

    To voucher, or not to voucher ... yes, Mitt?

    By adding Paul Ryan to the ticket Mitt Romney made the single most destructive decision that a candidate can make. And here he is, once again falsely blaming President Obama for Mitt's own mistakes.

    August 15, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Jill-IN

    Romney pants on fire! I can understand why on earth you want to lie day in and day out. Unbelievable.

    August 15, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. Jill-IN

    Publicly traded insurance companies (Romney calls them the "private" market) will not provide good health insurance plans to seniors. Their primary objective is return of profit to stockholders. They will gladly take the premium support money and charge the seniors $20,000 or more per year with very high deductibles. This is the Real Death Panel, thanks to Ryan and Romney.

    August 15, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  17. The REAL TRUTH...

    @California – Obama has in fact taken $741 Billion from Medicare to fund his bloviated Obamacare and throwing grandma under the bus. Obama also is disgracing the presidency as we've known it with his Chicago style politics that no one wants.
    ---------------------------
    Actually.. it's $500 Billion, read the legislation and educate yourself. .. the $714 is a majic concoction from the right. Obama is doing way better as President than the last buffoon we had..

    Let's look at the REAL aftermath and carnage left by the last Repuglican president! Evaporation of $1/2 trillion surplus, -8.9% GDP, $11 TRILLION national debt, $1.47 TRILLION deficit, $2.8 TRILLION in tax cuts (unpaid for), TWO Wars (unpaid for), Medicare prescription plan (unpaid for), $3 TRILLION borrowed from China, BILLION dollar no-bid contracts award to the military-industrial complex, a Wall Street, Banking, Auto, Mortgage crisis, losing over 700,000 jobs monthly and a economy heading into Depression when President Obama took office! These are all verifiable FACTS, but your Repugs refuse to accept the TRUTH !

    So who disgraced the Presidency..??? Thanks for playing.

    August 15, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  18. The REAL TRUTH...

    @truth hurts – simply mandate that insurance companies must offer insurance to everybody, young and old, including those with pre-existing conditions and they cannot be dropped. give the companies 15% for overhead and costs and the rest must be paid out. let the insurance companies figure the rates and that is it.
    ----------------------------------–
    Ever read ACA. That's what they did, only it's 20% for overhead.
    Problem is it is not retroactive (thanks Grand Obstructionist Party) and will take a number of years to kcik in, so those who no longer have insurance can obtain from the Fed pools.

    August 15, 2012 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. 1crusader

    The president hasn't cut any Medicare benefits to recipients.It's the Romney-Ryan plan that takes700 billion from Medicare recipients.What a lie !

    August 15, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. Marty, FL

    Romney is sadly lying again when he knows that his Ryan's budget keeps the very same $716 billion and distroys Medicare with a voucher program. Disingenuous and not presidential material.

    August 15, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    Mitt Romney had better have his facts straight. No doubt millions of Seniors have already begun telephoning their insurance providers for clarification as to whether they are or aren't losing benefits under President Obama. Should it prove to be false, Mitt will have a very big credibility problem on his hands. Much more so than he already has.

    August 15, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. Peace

    We all know that Romney has picked Paul Ryan because of his budget plan and also reducing the deficit and debt, one of the measure is by dismantling Medicare. No matter how many ads they will put on, it will not change peoples beliefs.

    August 15, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. cali girl

    Apparently over the July 4 weekend, in secret, 5 Economic Professionals met at Robmey headquarters to talk strategy.
    So if that was over 40 days ago they are devising a "plan" why doesn't Robmey have a plan?
    Since announcing Eddie Munster for VP, we have watched Robmey bounce around, dance around, flipity and flop all around Ryan Budget plan. He is for it, then is has changed the Medicare from Ryan plan, then I am 100% with all of the Ryan plan, then we are not using the Ryan plan.
    I say fire the fab 5 eco professionals, they can't get their boy Robmey in line.

    August 15, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. rs

    Why is it that Mr. Romney and company are completely unable to tell the truth on this issue? Not that telling the truth has been high on Republican agendas of late....
    They want to kill Medicare, they just ought to be clear on that and take the hit.

    August 15, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Marty, FL

    Pres. Obama's plan saves overcharging from insurance subsidies and gives back to seniors' care where it belongs.

    Romney/Ryan's scheme takes from seniors $6,000 per year to give more unnecessary tax cuts to the rich.

    Big difference.

    August 15, 2012 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
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