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. gentlemen joe

    The world that Obama lives in and the real world are two different places! The man is a complete and total pathological liar with serious mental issues in trying to distinguish reality from na na land where he lives!! Oh, how about telling the American people about the 3% national tax to be paid to the federal governemnt when a person sells their home. This is starting 1-1-2013!!! So you take 10 years of revenue and 6 years of expenses. to pay for the first 10 years of Obamacare. Please tell us what YOU DO FOR THE SECOND 10 YEARS!!! The greatest fraud perpetrated on the American people is this man!!! So you cut pay to providers and expect that this will strengthen Medicare! Try and find a doctor who will accept new Medicare patients is like trying to find any truth in what this man speaks. It's damn near impossible!!

    August 19, 2012 06:08 am at 6:08 am |
  2. Slacker

    Obama is transferring money from Medicare (which is funded by WORKING people) to Medicaid (which provides FREE stuff for bums and illegals). This is call shared prosperity. Get it?

    August 19, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  3. 0rangeW3dge

    Ron Paul is still on the ticket...

    August 19, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  4. liberal disease

    the only thing Barry has strengthened is Union coffers

    August 19, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  5. John

    When are the Republicans going to stop lying about Medicare? Their claims about Obama's cuts are out and out lies. They criticize the ACA for forcing a few people to buy health insurance and then they propose a plan that will force everybody under 55 to buy private insurance. I'll bet the insurance industry is salivating over this opportunity to make billions in unregulated profits.

    August 19, 2012 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  6. Mary

    This guy is a friggin joke. He CUT $731 BILLION from Medicare. He has gutted it. He shifted all of the money to those who don't work, who are just sitting back and collecting the money, and have paid nothing into the system. Our seniors paid into the system their whole lives, now they are losing everything.

    August 19, 2012 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  7. John Kaufman, Oceanside, CA

    Both these poor choices running for the highest office are pathetic, they do this office a disgrace. Neither has any clearly layed out economic or financial plan, point by point, to see, so as to get this country in a healthy state money wise, all you see is fluf. We are going broke and bankrupt faster and faster. Even the worse joke, Congress, has not passed a budget in THREE years. Why? is the Congress unable to know exactly what are the revenues are taken in and what costs are in spend going out? If the average person ran his life like our govt, they would be broke, in trouble with creditors, and liable for being sued! What we have today is, substandard career politicians, who buy votes, involved in bribary to get those votes, tells the voting public anything they want to hear even when it is not the truth to get elected again and again. America you are in a deep mess, and it is gettng worse, every day this country is spending it way into oblivion, with no desire to right the sinking ship of state. Most people do not want to admit this is a serious problem and could care LESS as long as their world remains the same. Well it won't, I guarantee it!

    August 19, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  8. DJones

    If young Americans had any intelligence, which hopefully describes most of them, they would vote for Romney. The reason is that we only have two choices on the economy, either tighten our belt now and pay off the national debt or keep borrowing and make the younger generation do the sacrificing on an more impressive scale down the road. We should have cut spending years ago, but somewhere and someone is going to have to pay off the national debt. Any nit wit can feign an economic boost by borrowing tons of money, but all they have done is delay and aggravate the problem. I am a dad of teenagers and the last thing I want to leave my kids is a skyrocketing national debt and a country in decline. Vote Obama out of office.

    August 19, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  9. Jerry

    Obamaloney: "Since I've been in office I've strengthened Medicare." Oh yeah?! Yes sir, YOU strengthened the economy, YOU strengthened jobs/unemployment, YOU strengthened the housing markets, YOU strengthened small businesses, YOU strengthened the coal/energy industry, YOU strengthened the automobile industry, YOU strengthened alternative energy sources (tried to buy it with taxpayer funds?!), YOU strengthened national security, YOU strengthened immigration (pandered?!), YOU strengthened our armed forces (decimated), YOU strengthened education; YOU strengthened America's space program (decimated?!) and most of all, YOU and your moronic administration always tell the truth to your subjects. Enough?! (for NOW).

    Dream on...

    August 19, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  10. danita

    How did you make it stornger when you took billions from it to give to medicad?

    August 19, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  11. acky55

    Romney and his running mate won't stop lying. I don't believe that in spite of anaylze by politicalfact.org these folks continue to repeat their lies. I will never vote for them.

    August 19, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  12. Debra From Georgia

    It is funny how they trying to pin medicare cuts on the President. The President medicare cuts was against the provider not the recipient. They want to cut medicare all together, let us just call it what it is "VOUCHERGATE"

    August 19, 2012 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  13. Frank T

    Letting Paul Ryan [With Mitt's Assent} reform Medicare and Social Security is like having an arsonist reform your house .
    Paul Ryan is retreated Spiro Agnew,a politician without a soul who long ago sold his heart for a cheap transplant: the hard heart of conservative.Ryan's another rotton Right-Wing Republican with an agenda to make the rich richer and the poor and middle class pay more and more. Before you seniors vote for these two pretenders please send back your Social Security check and turn in your Medicare card ,and thank the American Democrats for providing you with these benefits.The wealthy have been getting tax cuts for eleven years and these tax cuts are not creating American jobs,yet Romney wants to give more tax cuts on top of the current tax cuts. Trust me they are liying to the Hard Working Americans,It's easy to tell when they are lying{their lips are moving}

    August 19, 2012 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  14. 40acres

    The Obama campaign uses numbers and statements that are checked and found to be "mostly true" while the Romney campaign goes on and on with numbers and statements found to be "mostly false". That pretty much sums it up right there doesn't it? Show us the tax returns Mr. Romney you are becoming less believable by the minute.

    August 19, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  15. Chris

    This is one of those tricks both parties use to confuse us. Both Obama and Romney propose the same cost savings in Medicare by simply reducing pay to doctors, hospitals, drug companies, etc. The problem is that most of these cuts are aready written into the current law but congress keeps delaying them...the so-called doctor fix. If they actually implement this, doctors and hospitals will either go out of business or simply stop accepting Medicare patients. So in the end, these cost savings will end with Medicare beneficiaries having no where to go for medical care. So it's a savings on paper but everyone in Washington knows it won't be realized. Liars all of them.

    August 19, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  16. reality check

    Obama didn't strengthen Medicare, someone helped him.

    August 19, 2012 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  17. Real America

    Paul Ryan wants to preserve Medicare for 80 more days, then after the election make it into a voucher system. Romney doesn't care either way, so long as he gets to be president.

    August 19, 2012 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  18. MikeL

    Through The Looking Glass – 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

    How else could " I strengthened Medicare" mean taking $400+ billion from projected spending growth to pay for other people's health care and setting up a board of bureaucrats to determine what treatments Medicare providers may use.

    August 19, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  19. jack

    Another lie from the master of manipulation of smokes and mirrors,the Dictator Obama.

    August 19, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  20. Harleigh Kiffer

    The President is delusional.

    August 19, 2012 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  21. BinaryTooth

    Let's talk about anything but the economy.

    Obama 2012

    August 19, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  22. someone_gave_him_the_whitehouse

    I am beginning to think Obama is a mental case. I think he believes his own lies.

    August 19, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  23. otterman20

    With Ryan/Romney say goodbye to MEDICARE and hello COUPONCARE!!!

    August 19, 2012 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  24. Super Gus

    You Lie, Mr. President.

    August 19, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  25. Dave

    Thanks...I needed a good laugh this morning,

    August 19, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
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