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. Zil Zerimar

    Was watching Paul Ryan's speech in The Villages in Florida. I cannot understand why Betty Ryan, Paul's mother tolerated his son to TELL LIES infront of her and other people they said they love. In the our family that is a no no and my mother will surely will be mad.

    August 18, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  2. vk

    Obama wants to socialize medical care. Look what happens in the UK. Waiting 3-5 years for a knee replacement, above 70 then no surgery for cancer- send patient to chemo/radiation, waiting 5 years to see a dermatologist, 9 months waiting list for a CABG. That is what happens when GOV takes over healthcare and socializes it. Cutting payments to providers and making them see more patients means less investment by hospitals to modernize and less incentive for doctors to work. Why work long hours if payment is not worth it. There will be a big flux out of medicine. The brightest won't be wanting to become physicians anymore. Obama should have tried to cut the expense in medical care, not expand a thing that is not working and growing broke. Physicians will now stop working since they cannot meet their overhead. Pretty lousy job Obama and the Democrats. They did not want to introduce tort reform due to trial lawyers who support the democrats!

    August 18, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  3. walter wood

    I just hope the majority of americans see these 2 repub clowns for the dirty liars they are. But you people continue voting repub and turn the us into a 3rd world country. Bush and Cheny started that process;now let Mittens and Weasel finish it.

    August 18, 2012 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  4. T'sah From Virginia

    The Media is playing for Ryan & Romney – they were on the screen ALL WEEKEND – it's obvious to most they are lying but to the senior citizens – they are falling for it, especially since grandmas are being dragged into the mix on the campaign trail. The Etch-A-Sketching and "white board" tactics have begun – DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    August 18, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  5. joyce

    Go Obama-Biden

    August 18, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  6. CanadaONE

    Romney and people like him that hide their money in foreign countries to avoid American taxes HURT MEDICARE

    in ten years Romeny has hid close to 75 million dollars in American taxes which hurt social service and health programs in American

    – if other Americans did what he has done AMERICA WOULD BE BANKRUPT

    New Obama commercial coming out on how Romney deprived people of medicare by avoiding American taxation

    August 18, 2012 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. Malcolm

    ROMNEY RYAN are a bunch of liars the republicans have been trying to bring him down since 08. They will try anything to win.

    August 18, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. pattianne

    According to the Dems and Obama he has done so much. I just can't seem to find a long list of things he has done except to completely divide the country. I am on medicare and I also have to buy a supplement, which requires me to spend more than most people have to spend for their health policies. The seniors on Medicare are not the problem. The difficulty comes with politicians trying to "buy" votes and don't budget the country's money properly. Have you noticed that Obama has picked this particular year to give more to every group he thinks will vote for him. Illegal immigrants, the elderly, the muslims, etc. The Problem: it isn't his money.

    August 18, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  9. chedar888

    Mr; President. I believe in you. Youi have my vote. Romney please show your income tax for the last 10 yrs. If not, it will be an insult to the american voters' intelligent.

    August 18, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  10. Mark

    So stealing nearly $800 billion from medicare to pay for obamacare is helping medicare?

    August 18, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  11. cgs

    Sorry, CNN. Obama is a liar and can't be trusted.

    August 18, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  12. zisee

    In your own mind you think you did.

    August 18, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  13. Santex

    "I've strengthened Medicare?" First, if you did something you can't take credit for it because somebody else passed the law, remember?
    Second: The predator passes out candy bars to get the child to get into his/her car. Don't take the candy!!!!

    August 18, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  14. SafeJourney

    Thank you Mr. President

    August 18, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  15. TerryG

    Medicare is a winner for the Obama team now that Mitt has picked Mr. Ryan for his #2 man. Paul Ryan's plan will destroy the system as we know it and put the future of seniors healthcare in the hands of his buddies in the healthcare industry. They aren't in business for any other reason than to make money and lots of it.

    August 18, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  16. Ancient Texan

    In a TV interview, Obama even admitted that the $716 Billion was true but would be offset by savings and elimination of fraud. When has the government ever eliminated fraud in any program.

    August 18, 2012 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. BobRayTalbot

    Hey folks; Go see the movie: 2016 Obama's America; and see if you think he is going to be helpful to the elderly.

    August 18, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  18. carly

    Romney/Ryan are trying to lie their way to the White House. Romney/Ryan = death of the middle class.

    August 18, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  19. Jeettu

    It is clear that Obama's medicare plan is most beneficial to the retirees and Romney/Ryan plans are stealing money from the retirees and asking them to pay more by $6,400 per year. Further, in the future, Romney and Ryan are setting the stage for the demise of medicare and medicaid. They are lying now about their plans as providing gaurantee for medicare now and in the future. They are also lying about Obama taking away $716 Billion from medicare. They are taking the savings that Obama realizes by making medicare providers and insurers more effective and effiicient.

    Given this senario, the only conclusion we can reach is that we cannot trust Romney and Ryan and hence cannot vote for them in November elections. Therefore, we will vote for Obama in Novmeber election and other democratic tickets to protect our rights and our future.

    August 18, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  20. Jennifer

    Oops there goes Obama again using facts and logic... Silly Obama, stupid sheep don't want to hear the truth or think for themselves.

    August 18, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  21. TomtomtomTomnd

    Obama really needs to get this message out.

    August 18, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  22. us_1776

    "The proposed Ryan budget takes a huge step towards immorality. Sacred texts for Christians, Jews, and Muslims all depict a God who judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in our society. By this measure, the Ryan budget robs the poor, The marginalized and the Vulnerable of the safety net so integral to their survival. By any measure of civility and regard for one's neighbor, it is an immoral disaster."

    ~Bishop Gene Robinson, Ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of NH

    August 18, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  23. Col B

    Stengthened Medicare.....oh yeah, he added alot of benefits with absolutely no way to pay for them. Sure he looks good now, but the program is dieing rapidly because of bad decisions like this. He cut the Social Security contributions by 2% and then wonders why SS is in financial trouble. Makes him look good now and that is all he cares about. When Socialism takes over (ODUMAS ultimate goal) these things wont matter, because all comrades will be taken care of by the government. Of course that care will be virutally non-existent. ODUMA caree is going to bankrupt America.

    August 18, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  24. Linguini27

    Amazing.... Unemployment is up in 44 states but CNN has no story about it! I'm sure this is Bush's fault rather than DumBama econimics!

    August 18, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  25. billNY

    haha, President Obama. Did you say lol after you made that dumb statement?

    August 18, 2012 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
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