Obama brings Medicare duel to Granite State
August 18th, 2012
03:33 PM ET
6 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. Mike

    "Mostly false", huh. Someone needs to check this guy for a forked tongue. He does an awful lot of double speak.

    August 19, 2012 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  2. Ben

    Republicans want to voucherize medicare. GOP want to abolish the department of education. GOP want to eliminate EPA. GOP want to tell women how to take care of their health issues.
    What is wrong with the republicans.

    August 19, 2012 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  3. Becca

    Mr Obama has done a lot of good and people just do not pay any attention to what he has done. There is not as much of a mess that people thinks there is. But just wait and see what you will loose if the Mitten Kid gets into office. Most middle class is now the poor class and they are gonna have to live under a bridge if you loose your pensions and your Medicare you paid into for all of your working years.

    August 19, 2012 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  4. zaggs

    Who to believe, Barack Obama or the actual facts? Yep, I'm taking the facts. See Obama's whole argument relies on a massive lies. First off is the "I've strengthened Medicare". Only is you follow the lie that the Affordable Care act is deficit neutral (if you do give me your number, I've got ocean front property in Ohio for ya). Its not. The first strike is the obvious CLASS act. Take 10 years of taxes for 5 years of payouts. Well that doesn't last does it (By the rules the CBO cannot score this fact)? The second is the "We'll cut medicare and count it as savings, but also use those savings as spending. The head of the CBO (Doug Elmendorf) both testified to this before Congress and sent a letter ("The key point is that the savings to the HI trust fund under the PPACA would be received by the
    government only once, so they cannot be set aside to pay for future Medicare spending and, at
    the same time, pay for current spending on other parts of the legislation or on other programs.") that indeed Obama was double counting. So the ACA is not deficit neutral which means Medicare goes belly up before 2024.
    "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 always with DNCfact...err...Politifact you have to read what they said and compare it to the grade. In this case they said the $6,400 was accurate....for Ryan's old plan. Thats right, even though it was in regards to an older plan and the fact they still rely on liberal think tanks for budget analysis (i.e Kaiser foundation, CBPP), they rated it "mostly true". Which means false to most people. Or to put another way, if you take the amount spent in Obama's stimulus plan, and divide it by the number of jobs, Politifact says that the number you come up with is not the amount of money it cost per job created.
    Third, if you have Medicare Advantage, its not strengthened. Its cut so as not to compete with the ACA.

    August 19, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  5. Disgruntled

    My health insurance premiums have doubled in the last year - an I've never filed a claim. All those extras of barry's cost money and that money has to come from somewhere. Within a year, most Health Insurance will be too expensive for the average American to purchase. One more rise and I'm dumping mine and doing without. I'll pay the $150 fine instead and got to the ER for my needs.

    August 19, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  6. Melvin Painter

    So exactly how is the kenyan clown going to pay for all the free healthcare for his social program frauds and abusers. Oh yeah, $716 BILLION. Ever wonder why the telepromptering buffoon never talks about his social program healthcare.

    August 19, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  7. Snarks

    The only thing obama has done is destroyed this once great nation.

    August 19, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  8. Mona

    It's beyond my comprehension the lies the Romney/Ryan campaign have been spewing.....unbelievable! All I have to say in
    addition is, if you want someone who lies, distorts facts, & can't reveal their income tax returns vote for them b/c in the end,
    it will be you who will pay, & pay, & pay! They'll will make sure the rich get richer & the poor get poorer and forget about having a middle class status anymore.....it will be gone along with your house, savings, decent job with decent benefits & education for your child will also be gone....they want us deaf, dumb & broke!

    August 19, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  9. annieL

    Both sides make something crystal clear: Our healthcare system is so complex nobody can make sense of it. Certainly not the 65-year-olds who have to pore over the fine print of multiple options when they sign up and hope they've made the right choice for their unique health conditions present AND future and their unique financial situation present AND future. Even BEFORE the Affordable Care Act, there was the Part D prescription drug option with scores of private plans covering different drugs at different premiums with different deductibles and co-pays and the notorious "doughnut hole", plus scores of private insurance companies' Medicare Advantage plans, plus private "Medigap" supplement plans, all changing every year. So politicians can pick any part of this confusing mess and skew the facts to fit their election-year attacks and scare tactics. Americans need to say, "Enough already!" Stop playing politics with our lives!

    August 19, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  10. migeli

    Lies, lies,lies. 1.Read my lips,I will not raise taxes! (Bush senior) 2. Iraq has weapons of mass destruction!.((Bush junor). 3.Tax cuts for the rich create jobs.(Republicans in congress).Now believe their lies about Obamacare.Go aheadand believe them again,and keep watching FoxNews.

    August 19, 2012 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    The two big positives R&R claim on medicare only indicate they need some rest and recuperation (R&R) in order to put thier brains in gear so they can tell the truth!
    The two claims they make are wrong as one is calssified independently of Obama
    1)$6400 plus cost mostly true
    2) The real biggie the $716bn claim they make is rated mostly false.
    go to the politifact.com site and read all the details R&R are putting out it is even more horrible snake oil.
    This one Item (because its so important) puts me in the position of being unable to trust anything they say without serious checking of facts.
    the other Fact they will not dispute because they cannot is the Huge additional tax cuts they want to give the rich again and corporates and the 98%? We have to pay more... the last 'cuts' did not pay for themselves or result in huge job creation ( Bush II's record here is the worst for 30 years.)
    If R&R win I am going to make final retirement R&R in the Cayman islands so I dont have to pay any taxes, awe shucks only problem is I cant afford a house there.

    August 19, 2012 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  12. Funk

    And let the rebutting misinformation begin lol...

    August 19, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  13. migeli

    Paul Ryans mother forgets where she came from.She no longer has to worry about the cuts her son is proposing for medicare and social security.The Ryans have money now so s-- the poor and middleclasses.What a disgraceful sham to get his mother to help him cheat the elderly out of programs they worked all their lives for.

    August 19, 2012 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  14. Mick

    Yeay!!!! A real leader at work!

    August 19, 2012 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  15. eciam

    This is what America looks Like!
    Obama 2012

    August 19, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  16. Anna

    This just proves Obama is delusional

    August 19, 2012 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  17. todd

    Mr. President,,,you sir are an idiot!!

    August 19, 2012 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  18. Nicole richards

    This in my opinion is one of the most important elections for lower class people like myself i just hope people take it seriously i think the world will change after this and i am terrified for my childrens future as well as me and my husband

    August 19, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  19. APO_AE_09173

    Well he hs certainly ensured that there will be fewer payouts for care–moe & moe doctors are refusing to service Medicare patients. So while Medicare will be spending less–seniors are also having moe trouble finding doctors to care for them.

    August 19, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  20. The Left Wing

    You always here about the big lie, the lie so big and so preposterous that you'd think no one would believe it. The Republican claim that they want to protect Medicare and that the Democrats are raping it is one of those. The Democrats and Obama want to protect benefits by forcing costs down. The Republicans will let the cost go (especially if they repeal Obamacare) and transfer the additional cost to future seniors in the form of vouchers that will not buy the coverage now provided by Medicare.

    August 19, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  21. Jeremy

    Paul Ryan 1 year ago: "We must cut funding to medicare. "
    Paul Ryan once he realized the vast majority of Americans support medicare: "That other guy cut funding to medicare[even if it's not true....]"


    August 19, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  22. john

    Let's see. Ryan was a liar when he claimed that he never asked for stimulus money, but he did admit the fact after the proof is shown to him. Do you expect me to believe him again?

    August 19, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  23. John

    So, according to fact-checker Politifact.com, Obama's claims about Medicare are basically true and Romney's are basically false. The question is how to tell more of the general public when one candidate or another is knowingly lying. Maybe we should have a national, non-partisan commission to analyze campaign ads and penalize candidates who blatantly lie.

    August 19, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  24. Marry

    Bravo President Obama!! Stay classy but fight!! For us!! Thank you!!!

    August 19, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  25. scranton

    Oh crap! Both sides are lying and this is sickening. At the present time we must shore up our economy and Obama is lacking miserably in doing it. I could care less if he is elected or no.t I am just sick of him blaming everyone for his ineptness and his minions blaming any rich white person for this countries woes. There are so many other factors weighing in on this. For God's sake Obama, take the bull by it's horns and quit your continually whining and finger pointing. Admit you suck and that if you had looked like Dick Cheney you would never of been elected and Hillary would be calling the shots.

    August 19, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
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