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. Sue Pearlative

    What cr-p! What liars and hypocrites!! Reagan warned in 1965, "[I]f you don’t [stop Medicare] and I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”

    August 19, 2012 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  2. joe

    obama STOLE $716 billion from medicare to pay for obamacare-that's a fact and obama has admitted that. That doesn't strengthen medicare- it hurts it and will bankrupt medicare quickly. If you paid into medicare you are now paying for people who have paid nothing into the system through obamacare. Obama is flat out lying to the undereducated and hoping they believe it. Obamacare is going to get more and more expensive-how do you think we are going to pay for it. Just because you keep saying it obama-doesn't make it true. Anyone who votes for obama deserves this country to fail. If you think medicare is going to be around and get stronger WITH obamacare in existence – you should bang your head against the wall until you are smart.

    August 19, 2012 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  3. founders1791

    America is being Water Boarded by this incompetent President

    78 days of malaise on the wall
    78 days of malaise

    Take one down, pass it around,
    77 days of malaise on the wall

    77 days of malaise on the wall
    775 days of malaise

    Take one down, pass it around,
    76 days of malaise on the wall

    August 19, 2012 02:05 am at 2:05 am |
  4. founders1791

    "...Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery..." –Winston Churchill

    Barrack Hussein Obama Junior – HAS FAILED

    "The Divisive President "

    Year--Reagan-Year--Bush II--Year--Obumbles

    Jimmy Earl Carter Junior – looks like a genius in comparison

    "The Malaise President"

    August 19, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  5. James

    By taking $700B from it? What reality is Obama living in....

    August 19, 2012 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  6. founders1791

    People get jobs and start careers at companies Mitt Romney owned, managed, or invested in.
    He creates wealth for the nation.

    Staples Office supplies
    Sports Authority Clothing & Equipment
    Totes Umbrellas, Gloves, shoe covers
    Experian Credit Reporting
    Sealy Mattresses
    Dominoes Pizza

    ....it's all earned and real


    People get in lines for promises by Barrack Obama and receive a regular check just for the attempt, from tax payers.
    He destroys wealth for the nation.

    Food Stamp Lines
    Welfare Education Classes
    Free Citizenship to Illegals
    Envy vs Self Reliance
    No tax obligations
    Free Crony Higher Education
    Free Crony Green Consumption

    ....it's all milk & honey

    August 19, 2012 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  7. IDontBelieveIt

    MORE lies! Medicare and SS are BANKRUPT because Obama and Bernanke are artificially propping them up with Federal reserve money to fool the electorate. And THERE HE IS spouting a heap of fiction.

    Anyone who swallows this rubbish needs a reality transplant!

    August 19, 2012 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  8. Anonymous

    You know the thing is Bill...its one thing to twist facts to make it appear true its another thing to outright lie knowing the public will not due their research to find out the truth. You can argue whether republicans want to increase taxes on the rich etc etc but at leasts its not lying and a fair arguement. Outright lying about medicare because you have no way around it its pathetic (ryan budget plan, supreme court ruling, etc). It continues. As an independent, I can never vote for a republican because they outright lie. I really like Ryan despite his far right wing stance. Too bad he is now a punk. LOL

    August 19, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  9. Terrance Kozak

    Sporry CNN but America deserves better than what you choose to focus on. America, is this the man who promised you hope and change nearly four years ago? Was this not the man who promised a transparent government? That he would unite the country? Here before you stands a man who, come November, will be remembered as the president who delivered unemployment above 8% during his entire term. Here is a president who leads a country where 45 million Americans are on food stamps, where 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty. The hero to the African-American community where unemployment stands near 20%. A man who had his party bass bills when they ran the House and Senate early in his term so they could, to quote Nancy Pelosi, "pass the bill so people could see what was inside the bill." This is a president who has created class warfare, divided races, and held himself accountable for nothing. America needs a leader to bring the USA back to its prominence from days gone by. A man who won't insist on stealing from the rich but instead will urge Americans to "soar like an eagle." Obama has failed America. Novemebr marks one simple choice: are yosatisfied with what Obama has done and is he worthy of reelection? If not, the choice you must make is to elect Mitt Romney. Anythign else is a diversion from the fact: America needs jobs! This message brought to you by a true Canadian.

    August 19, 2012 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  10. truthfulster@gmail.com

    Why doesn't anyone bring up the FACT that Obama has brought forth four budgets of his own in front of both houses of congress and NO ONE, not even one democrat voted in favor of what he proposed. Everything he says he did to Medicare is also a big lie because the only way he improved on Medicare was by not changing a thing I don't think congress would let him change a thing after they read the budgets he submitted. In the almost 4 years since he has been president the democrats who had complete power for the first two years have never passed a budget, everything that has happened to this country of ours is TOTALLY a democratic problem. So if you're happy with the outcome it's because your a bottom feeder, just hanging around scavenging about your entire area picking at everything you think you can get for free. If you collect anything from the government it's the bare bottom the lowest amount that is offered because you've never given into the security system. If you exist it's only due to what others have given never what you yourself have provided. The sorry side of what I'm writing is the fact that CNN probably won't print it because it's the sorry truth and CNN, like ABC and NBC don't like the sorry truth unless it's against conservatives.

    August 19, 2012 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  11. VoiceofReason

    SO true. What a joke Paul Ryan's "The Pathway to Prosperity" budget plan. He could have called it, "A Pathway.." but no, it was called THE Pathway. As if this was the only way. Typical Republicans "my way only" plan.

    But economically speaking, Ryan and now Romney's healthcare plan states "governmental financial support would rise with the rise of the consumer price index”. Right now Govt spending indexes benefits to health care inflation. This difference is crucial to understanding the Republican proposal—the cost of health care is rising much faster than the consumer price index.

    The vouchers would rise in value with the consumer price index (general inflation), but as medical expenses have been rising much faster than the consumer price index, the value of the government subsidy would erode over time. When the program begins in 2022, the typical 65-year old would be responsible for about 25% of the cost of their healthcare, which is consistent with Medicare as it exists today. However, the share paid out-of-pocket by this typical 65-year-old in 2030 would be 68% under the Republican plan, according to the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.

    All the while, Ryan doesnt want any caps of defense spending even though we out spend every country on the planet combined in defense or any increase in taxes to the top 1% ever. It's a pathway to bankruptcy. He offers NO solutions for increased and desperately needed government revenue!

    Paul Ryan is also a hypocrite because he claims that his "new" Medicare plan was modeled after the health care plans that Congressmen themselves currently receive. HOWEVER, Congress have what is called a "fair-share deal"; they do not bear the entire risk of increased costs due to health care inflation. The health care plan that Members of Congress use, indexes benefits to health care inflation, not to the consumer price index. As health care becomes more expensive due to inflation, the government, not Members of Congress, are responsible for most of the extra costs.

    Republicans will make Medicare more expensive.

    August 19, 2012 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  12. tony

    Just watching americans.perhaps they may decide to make it right this time around,because according to numerous demeaning reports i have noticed,i am convincingly sure that obama is a complete failure.

    August 19, 2012 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  13. julien vergara

    A liar is a liar. Major of lying. Obama think senior are stupid. How do you think he get money for obama care. He oue 16 trillion, of course from medicare. No wonder clinton does not want to be his vp because the country is a miss

    August 19, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  14. TXPHarm

    Interesting how Democrats never mention the fact that in 2014 all Medicare recipients will be ordered into government HMOs called ACOs being formed now. Then Obamas 15 member IPAB , whose rulings are not subject to judicial review and have the force of law, will begin rationing care in earnest. Obamacare takes the purse strings for 1/6 of the economy away from Congress and places it in the executive branch. This is a government takeover of health care, and the biggest end run around the electorate in US history.

    August 19, 2012 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
  15. julien vergara

    A liar is a liar. Major in lying does help the country. He thinks seniors are stupid. He oue 16 trilion, where do think he get money for obama care

    August 19, 2012 03:17 am at 3:17 am |
  16. Sheeple

    You didn't strengthen medicare. You didn't create that, someone else did.

    August 19, 2012 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  17. Jack Be Humble

    $6400/year being mostly true is mostly scaring the stuffing out of me.

    August 19, 2012 04:05 am at 4:05 am |
  18. Craterrific

    Funny how the independent "fact checker" sites (not just the one mentioned, but others) all point out that the Republicans are basically LYING. I really hope the voters are not bamboozled by their false claims.

    August 19, 2012 04:27 am at 4:27 am |
  19. Name larrywhite

    Is it true that president obama has sign 666 into law??

    August 19, 2012 04:31 am at 4:31 am |
  20. truth

    sure you have ...and up is down and left is right...sure you have....

    August 19, 2012 04:43 am at 4:43 am |
  21. JC in Western U.S.

    Thank you, CNN for including in the article the Politifact assessments of the claims. People mistrust all news sources nowadays, so it's good to include as much information as possible about independent assessments of conflicting claims., rather than just present both sides as being equally true.

    I hope that readers will take the time to search out many sources of information such as Politifact, Real Clear Politics, and FactCheck, and not just rely on the politically biased claims from either campaign.

    August 19, 2012 04:52 am at 4:52 am |
  22. denis

    Obama is a LIAR....I'm have medicare, and since January 1st, all my medical cost have gone up.

    August 19, 2012 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  23. TheLyingLiar

    You gutted Medicare.

    August 19, 2012 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  24. Lauravan

    When Obama created the new Health Care Initiative he funded it with Medicare money. So he hasn't improved Medicare on bit. Although he's better than the republicans that doesn't say much about him. The people that paid into Medicare and Social Security are being robbed by both parties. It's time we found honest politicians and replaced both of these useless greed based parties.

    August 19, 2012 05:21 am at 5:21 am |
  25. Jerry

    This man has no shame, I'm surprised his pants don't catch on fire when he opens his mouth

    August 19, 2012 05:25 am at 5:25 am |
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