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. Hillcrester

    I just don't fathom how R&R think talking up what Obama has done to improve Medicae an how they want to phase it out can possibly help them politically. Medicare is a very important and popular program in the opinion of a growing segment of Americans who actually vote.

    Maybe it is related to what some GOP figure us quoted as saying in this morning's paper: By getting the discussion of the issue into the news in August, when many voters aren't paying attention, it will have less impact than closer to the election.

    August 18, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. jon

    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.
    Enough said.

    August 18, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. VCMD

    Lying in chief claiming strengthening Medicare after diverting more funds from Medicare to fund his Healthcare plan which does nothing and most of his so called savings come from reducing Medicare payments to Doctors. If that happens no doctor in USA will give an appointment to a Medicare patient and they will start dropping Medicare patients. If this is called strengthening Medicare than Hitler Deserves a Nobel piece prize for strengthening NATO!

    August 18, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  4. Something Wrong Here

    So what is Obamas motive to take 700 plus billion out of Medicare for his Obamacare?????? Does this have something to do with Race???? Since the majorities (probably 80%) of retirees are white and the majority of Obamacare recipients are minorities is this part of his social justice?????? Hmmm

    August 18, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. justjoe

    "Since I've been in office I've strengthened Medicare."

    A BLATANT LIE.

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

    Under Romney, we will no medicare but vouchercare!

    August 18, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Don

    another one sided CNN article. Are you trying to say that the obama admin did not cut Medicare??? EVERYONE knows that it is going bankrupt, why wouldn't we want to make changes NOW??

    August 18, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  8. What???

    By cutting between 500billion and 700billion from the program? Yea, Mr. Obama you really helped the program which is a good thing, maybe the people will recognize that whatever the gov. does for you will be subject to those is in office. So the question is wouldn't you be better off by taking ownership of your future and not leaving it to the puppets in the government?I hope he mentioned that all of the Doctors that will not or have stopped servicing those patients because the government cut their compensation again? America you really need to read this new law before you vote in November. For those of you who don’t understand may get what you asked for and all of the extras. God help us!

    August 18, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. chedar888

    When and if you get RYAN's Medicare, you can be sure if you are 55 years old by the time you retire, you be paying a premium of $7400 per month. Ask him how much Voucher he us going to give you. If your Social Security is at $1500 average per month, by the time you hit 67 your SS will be at $2138 per month. You need a voucher of $5,261 per month. Do you think you guys can get this much voucher from the Ryan plan? Even if he give you that $5261 as voucher , you won't have nothing for your housing and not even to buy dog food for your next meal.

    August 18, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  10. Kathleen Farrell

    Romney would not recognize the truth. What a disgusting man.

    August 18, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Mike

    I find is crazy that Ryan used his dead fathers social security benefit to attend college. Now wants to cut SS so other people can't do the same thing.

    August 18, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Any program that has vouchers or , as in the case of Social Security, goes into Wall Street is doomed and set to fail.
    Can you imagine what would have happened to all those seniors if their money had been in WS in 2007 and 2008? I bet the altar boy's mommy would be living with him right now.

    August 18, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  13. Tessa2U

    Thanks to Obamacare my son was able to get insurance coverage because his employer did not offer it. In addition, I received a rebate for my co-payments on my mammogram and yearly check up. Then yesterday my company offered me a $75 AMEX card if I took a confidential health survey that concluded with lots of great suggestions on ways to improve my health. The way I see it, $75 for me for taking care of my health vs. $75 less for the insurance company's CEO's 90 million dollar a year BONUS (as received in previous years)...all THANKS TO OBAMACARE! Whom do I trust to protect my medicare? The choice is obvious....MY VOTE IS FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA. He is the only President in history to pass legislation that puts health choice back into the hands of the patient and her doctor and out of the pockets of big insurance. No contest here.

    August 18, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  14. Mike

    Romney and Ryan follow each lie with another lie, and then have the nerve to say that President Obama sinks low. Obviously another lie.

    August 18, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  15. Montykoolaid

    Ryan!

    Do you have any idea how many voters your losing by continuing to repeat a proven lie?

    For the love of... Joseph Smith?

    August 18, 2012 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  16. Veteran For Truth

    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.

    As they say, "no matter how fast a lie is, the truth will always catch up."

    August 18, 2012 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. nolimits3333

    I have to admire the gall of Paul Ryan. Republicans usually don't admit openly that they want to kill Medicare and Social Security AND reduce taxes for the rich(capital gains) to zero. We all know that is their plan, but rarely do they say it out loud

    August 18, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  18. Frank

    He robbed 750 BILLION from the Medicare fund and now he is claiming he strengthened it!?

    This guy is one pathological lying S0B!

    August 18, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  19. Kapolei_dad56

    What a joke! Talk about rewriting history. Obama takes $500B from Medicare to spend on his illegal Obamacare, and he is now the protector of Medicare? LOL!!!

    August 18, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  20. BOZO

    The best way to save Medicare is voiding the Obamacare while we are financially broken. Take care one thing at a time, not 10 things....

    August 18, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. SaveRMiddle

    Under Obama's Medicare changes, the providers will be paid less. Rarely discussed is the already very much existing shortage of physicians who will see medicare funded patients.

    August 18, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Average American

    Of course you have strenghened Medicare. Of course you have.

    August 18, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Joy

    Obama took over 700 billion from Medicare to pay for additional Medicaid. Drastic cuts were made to Doctors pay,(over 21%) The Doc fix was not included. Medicare Advantage is slowly being eliminated. Long term care is being slashed, pay to hospitals and other medical services is costing Seniors unbelievable amounts of out of pocket expense.
    Obamacare is destroying Medicare. Many Doctors are no longer accepting Medicare patients, an there will be a huge Doctor shortage. Medicare panels will determine the care we will receive rather than our own Doctors. I cannot believe President Obama is lying to all America and CNN is going along with his lies. Doctors will have so many regulations and fines and Obamacare will damage health care for all.

    August 18, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. tm1946

    When you look at what both candidates say, I suggest that someone is lying. I am a right/wrong kind of guy but to much of this campaign is shades of gray, "I am telling the truth, well sort of the truth, well more truth than lies, well the other guy is bad".

    I am amazes at the position of so many, my guy is right neh, neh. Someone is not telling the truth and everyone of you should look at your own guy and say is he telling the truth or does he want to just get elected?

    August 18, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. JJG

    All of the well-publicized political health care programs have one thing in common: They all seek to steer larger portions of Medicare and Medicaid through private insurance corporations. They differ only in their degrees of rationing, with President Obama's plan restricting rationing for profit and Reps. Wyden & Ryan and now Romney’s vouchers allowing the most rationing by the health insurance industry.
    What Republicans and Democrats fail to disclose is that for more than 40 years the middle man of American health care – the private insurance industry – has failed in almost every capitalistic, economic and medical measure to deliver for the American patient.
    For over four decades private health insurance companies have decreased reimbursements to individual doctors, hospitals and therapists for care, while failing to lower the cost of care for insured citizens and business. American enterprises are stifled by high health insurance costs.
    Health insurance companies ensure neither quality affordable health care nor quality insurance for most Americans. With no real product to sell, the private health insurance industry would fail to exist without hundreds of millions of dollars in direct and indirect payments to the elected officials in the Congress, state legislatures and the administration. In turn, private health insurance corporations are exempt from nearly all Federal Regulations.
    After 40 years of market and medical failure, America needs to cut out the middle man and move to single-payer national health insurance for all Americans with private doctors, hospitals, clinics, therapists and drug companies competing capitalistically based on the quality of medical, surgical and preventive outcomes.

    August 18, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
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