Obama brings Medicare duel to Granite State
August 18th, 2012
03:33 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama brings Medicare duel to Granite State

Windham, New Hampshire (CNN) - Following a week of dueling Medicare ads, President Barack Obama traveled to the swing state of New Hampshire Saturday to drive home the point that he and his Republican challengers have very different views on how to save the health care program.

"You'd think they'd avoid talking about Medicare given the fact that both of them have proposed to voucherize the Medicare system, but I guess they figure the best defense is to try to go on offense," he said.

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In a crowded high school gym in southern New Hampshire - one of the eight states that CNN rates as a November toss-up - the president touted his own administration record on Medicare.

"Since I've been in office I've strengthened Medicare." he said. "I've made reforms that have extended the life of the program, that have saved millions of seniors with Medicare hundreds of dollars on their prescription drugs. The only changes to your benefits that I've made on Medicare is that Medicare now covers new preventive services like cancer screenings and wellness visits for free."

In contrast, Obama argued, his opponents' plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for their health care "so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires."

The non-partisan fact checkers Politifact.com on Friday rated the $6,400 claim "mostly true," but did not analyze the tax cut portion of this claim.

Meanwhile, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was in another battleground, Florida, speaking on Medicare in the country's largest retirement community.

"Medicare was there for our family, for my grandma when we needed it. Medicare is here for my mom when she needs it now and we have to keep that guarantee," he said after introducing his mother, who joined him at the event. "She planned her retirement based around this promise that the government made her because she paid her payroll taxes into this program that she had this promise with. That's a promise we have to keep."

He also returned the volley of criticism, charging that Obama "raids $716 billion dollars from the Medicare program to pay for the Obamacare program." The independent fact checker Politifact.com has rated this charge "mostly false," pointing out the amount is projected future spending reductions reached through cutting payments to providers.

Beyond the campaign trail, the campaigns exchanged blows over Medicare this week in television advertisements. Three days after a Romney campaign ad warned seniors, "You paid in to Medicare for years… Now, when you need it, Obama has cut $716 billion dollars from Medicare," Obama rebutted with an ad urging voters to "get the facts." A Romney spokeswoman replied that the Obama ad "gets the facts wrong."

New Hampshire and its four electoral votes are getting plenty of attention this election cycle. President Obama has already been to the state three times this year. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will campaign together in the state on Monday.

A WMUR Granite State Poll released Monday shows Obama and Romney in a neck and neck race in New Hampshire: 49% of likely voters favor Obama and 46% support Romney, a margin well within the poll's sampling error.

– CNN's Gregory Wallace contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire • President Obama
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. doug

    Obama, a man who thinks that everyone who disagrees with him is his enemy and they should be punished, is the last person who should be in the White House. A person so hateful, partisan, and angry cannot be leader of the free world.
    We never have elected such a hateful person to the highest office. We have never elected such a one sided partisan person either.
    America is not about punishing its citizens for disagreeing with the president, Obama thinks it is, check out his interview on Univision in 2010, he clearly states that he wants to punish every American who doesn't vote Democrat.
    You have to be a pretty evil and hateful liberal to support this man, just listen to him, he is not shy about his hate, he admits to his National Socialist desires.

    August 18, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. kevin

    I notice that CNN leaves out the fact that when Obama says republicans voted to end medicare as we know it that it got rated by politifact as the LIE OF THE YEAR in 2011. But of course since CNN campaigns for obama they leave that out lol. In addition, Obama took funding away from providers therefore common basic sense will tell you that cost will be passed onto the consumers.

    August 18, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. dee

    Don,t worry about the election Mr. President, we Americans are not "Stupid enough" to vote for this tax dodger,empty suit,and a wheelbarrel full of Lies,and Vote suppression of Black Americans old people,and children!!! Obama-Biden 2012! Hillary Clinton-Liv Warren 2016

    August 18, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  4. Dennis

    I'd rather have a voucher than Obamacare! Under Obamacare we'll have to go to a government approved Doctor , stand in line holding a Numbered Ticket while the 110 other people in front of you, just like you must whenever you visit a Social Security Administration Office. Then you'll get to fill out 25 government forms, submit a claim, pay up front, wait 6 months for a parital reembersement. In case of emergency room need, you'll be at the back of the line with a crowded group of all sorts of problems. I'm Obamascared of Obamacare!

    August 18, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Age of Fools....

    Sen Harry Reid the Dems senior spokesperson demanding on the Senate-floor "Romney I've got it from rellaibel source that you did not pay any income-taxes for the last ten years" ....Well Gov Romney show Harry Reid and the White House proof that you did...by having your Accountants compile al list for the last ten-years tax returns showing
    Amounts of Income and taxes-paid ..and have the list certified for good measure....proof taxes were paid whatever Rate.....Both Campaigns get on with the issues...

    August 18, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Ray E. (Georgia)

    When you are borrownig 40 cents out of every dollar spent by the Federal Government it is hard to get enthused about Medicare or anything else. I remember when Lyndon Johnson gor Medicare enacted. I thought it was a boondoogle then and after a nearly 16 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt nothing's changed. If nothing is done I can only imagine the fees the average person is going to get saddled with come 2014.

    August 18, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. Larry L

    The Romney/Ryan plan to privatize Medicare is nothing but a gift to insurance companies and HMOs. If the costs get out of control the senior citizens will pick up the tab – not the providers! This means the wealthy will use the vouchers as a supplement, costs will continue to skyrocket, and working-class people won't be able to pay their medical bills. It's just like the Bush pharmaceutical plan – a gift to CEOs on the back of the senior citizens.

    August 18, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Larry L

    If you could trust Romney with your healthcare wouldn't he be honest enough to show you his tax returns? Wouldn't it be nice to see what he's hiding? Would you trust Bain Capital?

    August 18, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. drake mallard

    i'm no Obama lover but the last thing in the world I want in the white house is another out of touch rich boy trying to one up daddy by being president. Last time we got George W., two wars, thousands of American heros dead, worst financial crisis since the great depression ( has everybody forgotten who got us in the financial mess??) and Sept 11th. Stay in the clubhouse Mitt and keep hiding your money overseas to reduce your tax burden

    August 18, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. Len Smith

    President Obama has done a great job moving us forward with healthcare. The Affordable Care Act is one of the reasons I am alive today, still old but alive. And, he is doing everything he can to make Medicare and Medicaid better.

    August 18, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  11. cpeters

    When is Romney and Ryan going to bring up the challenges Obama has made to personal and religious freedoms? For promising openess and instead promoting class warfare? Obama's appointments of socialist reformers and radicals to czar positions in his administration? The bribes paid senators to get Obamacare passed? C'mon Romney, get on the program or you will lose to this socialist muslim.

    August 18, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. bb

    Its apparent Oblameo didnt read Ryans plane, Good lord can this man lie and twist the truth, we need real leadership not lip service. Lets talk about oblunders record. OOOps nothing to talk about just get out so we can fix all the abysmal things u have done, Please take that racist biden with u

    August 18, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  13. Mike Texoma

    This whole budget debate, including Medicare, is about where the wealth goes. The budgets proposed by the Republicans do not balance the federal budget for decades because the money saved by cutting programs and regulation goes right out in lower taxes – tax expenditures, if you will, favoring the top tier. Medicare does not require privatization. The fix is simple, but it involves slightly higher payroll taxes or broader tax coverage. Republicans would rather lower the benefits and give the business to those AIG guys already living large on our premium dollars down in the Bahamas.

    I say, enough! Let's take the fixaroo out of the picture and tell the buggars NO.

    August 18, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  14. 1nsite

    Ryan is a bold faced liar. The man has no shame pawning his own mother. I seriously doubt she needs medicare so no wonder he wants to voucherize it. Seniors will be paying more with Ryan's plan.

    August 18, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  15. Liz the First

    Obamacare! because Obama Cares!

    August 18, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  16. Pete

    Pres.Obama will get his wish after the debates,he'll see Romney and his alter ego Ryan drift off into the sunset..Then he'll settle down with a newly settled congress and senate to fix the economy,won't that be great and no more party of "NO",is this a dream,I hope it isn't !!

    August 18, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. WAL12

    Ryan gives voucher to other moms 55 and below and keep medicare for his mom and we call this personal.

    August 18, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. bb

    Got to love since ive been in office= my AG kills his own people, I fly around like Madonna, I spent your grandchildrens money, ive raised unemployment for the highest longest period ever, I have shown u all my ineptness. Last but not least i was able to raise the deficet also u can thank me later. OBLUNDER

    August 18, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Jimbob

    Just like jobs, Obama has not given Medicare any attention. When did he make it stronger? Oh, must be the $700 Billion he raided from it.

    August 18, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  20. Irene Clark

    Obama says that Taking/Stealing $714 Billion dollars FROM Medicare is good for recipients?! If I steal your TV set, it id good for you because you can read more books. If I steal your car it's good for you because you can walk and walking is good exercise....Especially good exercise if you are carrying your groceries home. Of course you cannot afford groceries under Obama's policies of No Jobs for the average Americans. Having someone steal your car is doubly good for you. You will not longer worry about how to afford the HIGH Priced gasoline it takes to run a car.

    If you're 79 years odd you need to break your hip before your next birthday because no HIP REPLACEMENTS after 80.
    Who is going to lift you into your wheelchair every morning? . And forget using the rest room, you won't be able to get out of your Wheelchair for that. Adult diapers are called Depends. You'll need someone to change those twice a day.
    In between time? Well that is what Obama says is GOOD for you. He's done you a favor, don't ya know. Will Medicare pay for Home Healthcare? NO, SILLY BOY, it only pays if you are sick enough to need a RN. RN's don't do this kind of work in a home setting. Your children or other family members will need to do these things for you.

    Who will pay to make your home wheelchair accessible? You will...That's an unexpected expense, but Obama had to have Medicare's $700 Billion and the Next $100 Billion his 15 member panel are readying to TAKE. You are TOO OLD to count in Obama's Policies. Vote for him and get used to your Wheelchair, Cancer, Heart Disease, and God knows what else will be denied to Medicare Recipients.

    August 18, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  21. bb

    Unemployment rates rose in 44 states in July, most in 3 years

    August 18, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. chedar888

    Only people affected by the compassion of Obama will know what our president has been doing to help the poor, the old and the disabled. Mr. President you have my vote. May you be well, happy and full of blessings.

    August 18, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  23. Michael

    The repuglican machine of liars are in full gear! Paul Ryan and the 112th Congressional Republicans have introduced: 46 Bills on Abortion,113 Bills on Religion, 73 bills on family relationships, 36 bills on marriage,72 bills on firearms, 604 bills on taxation, and 467 bills on government investigations, but BLOCKED the American Jobs Act. Not a bad deal for those who only work 9 days a month for full pay and benefits! Lucky for us, they've made repealing Obamacare a priority for the 31st time again recently! Now, take a look at history! National Debt by president. 42% increase under Carter. 188.6% increase under Reagan. 55.6 % increase under Big Bush. 35% increase under Clinton. 89% increase under little Bush. 41% under Obama. I will vote for Obama...who by the way...Increased spending 15.9% his first year in office. 15.1% in his second year, followed by 13.9%, and 7.8%. This year was an increase of 4.8%. A 4.8% increase is the smallest % increase since Clinton....who is the only recent president to have a surplus. The medicare lie peddaled by repuglicans will not fly! I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THE CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE OF BUDGET SCORES HIS AND ROMNEYS PLAN..OOPS ROMNEY AIN'T GOT ONE TO SCORE!

    August 18, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  24. XxMacleodxX

    no you have not.....just because you take the spending from federal and apply it to the state level (thus making your books look good but effectively moving a bill from one pocket to another) does not mean you strengthened it. The costs (the actual problem) has not been dealt with. Just because your books look good does not mean that the problems were taken care of.

    August 18, 2012 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. jon

    In contrast, Obama argued, his opponents' plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for their health care "so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires."

    The non-partisan fact checkers Politifact.com on Friday rated the $6,400 claim "mostly true," but did not analyze the tax cut portion of this claim.
    Enough said.

    August 18, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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