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. Not my fault

    tell that to my stepfather who was sent home home with a staff infection 3 days after surgery, as per the new rules of Obama care, unless he had the cash to stay longer he was released, He had a tube in his shoulder for a visiting nurse to inject antibiotics for the infection. My mom had to get a neighbor fireman and friends to help into the house as he was to weak to get out of the car. He died within 6 hours of being forced home in his sleep.... THANK YOU OBAMA CARE.....
    You set rules to kills off the elderly....

    August 19, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  2. Cayman Islands

    mhitstain wants to take that money that used to go to pay off drug companies and insurance companies to get them to participate in a "free market" (in which they steal from taxpayers) and give it millionaires like himself. President Obama wants to do what he did with student loans. Take the hand outs to corporations that republicons put in those laws and use them for what those laws were intended for in the first place. In the case of student loans – stop giving banks billions to do something government can just administer directly at a fraction of the cost and with greater efficiency. Same with Meidcare. Why pay an insurance company billions and billionsi to do the same function that medicare already performs?

    And speaking of taxpayer money being stolen – if your state is like PA where I live you may have noticed a slew of ads for cyber schools. You are paying for those ads with tax money that is SUPPOSED to be going to your public school. In PA the cyber school which has no physical infrastructure is paid by the school district at the "per pupil" rate your school district spends. But that rate includes building, heating cooling and maintaing schools, playing fields, stadiums, auditoriums, planetariums etc. All things that cyber does not. And removing a child from the district does nothing to lower that district's cost – but taking $10,000 per kid out of the budget means everyon else has their child's education greatly diminished. We are being ripped off left and right by republicon schemes –this one is the result of the same PA legislature and governor who are so actively CHEATING to try to give PA to romney. If you vote republicon you vote for the end of the Republic. Period.

    August 19, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  3. Jim Sedberry

    This giy has got to quit mixing lsd with his hippy lettuce, I think he is beginning to believe some of the stuff he dreams up!!! The only thing he has left is that everyone hopes that the change is him being replaced, along witht the rest of his hate spewing, left wing radiciak staff!!
    And please don't even thinkk about running hillary, she's grown fat and bloated, and lost touch with reality, just like the rest of them!!!

    August 19, 2012 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  4. Senior Moment

    Medicare will not be on the right track financially until the SI tax is raised to take into account that medical inflation has been higher than general inflation and that Medicare Part D was added without increasing any tax to pay for it. We all hope Obamacare makes health insurance more affordable though for older Americans who are not yet Medicare eligible.

    August 19, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  5. Johnny

    So I guess Obama believes that taking $700 billion from Medicare to help pay for Obamacare is "strengthening Medicare". What's worse is that millions of Americans actually believe his lies. Is it any wonder we're in deep trouble?

    August 19, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  6. shut_up

    obama took $750 billion from medicare to strengthen it?? is that like taking social security funds to fund SSI and now it is broke? great job. go to blazes obama

    August 19, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  7. biorsel

    Yes, Mr. President, since we DID NOT BUILD THAT and you definitely put more people on the medicare and/or food stamp!
    BRAVO!!!

    August 19, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  8. TewksburyBob

    It is an election ploy...spend, spend,spend. We are broke and the whole deck of cards is going to fall down soon if we do not reign in spending. I walked the neighborhood with my wife and dog last night. I asked why a house 20 away had a wheel chair ramp? My wife told me the woman's parents are old and needed help so they took them in. They did not put them in a nursing home at the govt expense. They took them in. Obama has two relatives in Mass that taxpayers pay for. Obama should take them in. We have to look to our own resources in times of need. It does not take a village to raise a child. We are in trouble and it is going to be painful but we let these idiots put us in mega debt and it is time to pay the piper. Obama will try to gain support but promising a chicken in every pot. I am sorry it does not work that way. Ryan has a more realistic plan. Obama does not. Once upon a time I too believed in Santa Clause. Those days are long gone...unfortunately. We are no longer children and need to get realistic and fast.

    August 19, 2012 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  9. L.Thompson

    I am a Physical Therapist who works primarily with the Medicare population in the Home Health environment. There has been nothing but service reductions in the past 2 years for Medicare recipients; another is due in January 2013. So, no I do not believe Mr. President you have strengthened Medicare. Quite the contrary in regards to Medicare recipients needing Home health Physical Therapy.

    August 19, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  10. This President will say anything to get votes

    Who could vote for Obama? He stands there and lies right to your face! He thinks that just because he says something that it must be true. Will be great when we throw this fraud out of office in November 2012. Sits there and FLAT OUT LIES to us while looking into the camera. Remember when he told us he was going to "bring both sides together in Washington"? Remember that from his 2008 campaign? I know, wasn't that hilarious!? That was so funny when he told us he was a "uniter". LOL!! Remember how the media was in complete collusion with the Obama campaign during the 2008 election? I know, that was also just hilarious. And how about when Obama "won" the Nobel Peace Prize for doing literally nothing? And now, Mr Nobel Peace Prize winner is ordering the drones to kill Americans on foreign soil. Hilarious! Some peaceful man he is! And remind me, why are we still in Afghanistan? The moron Bush got us there, but our dumber President Obama can't keep his promise to get us out. And I thought Bush was stupid. Obama is 100% worse. Can't wait until we get someone with experience in the White House. Let's put the white back in the White House.

    August 19, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  11. OpportunityForAll

    Obama has been the most damaging President of our history. He has divided us like never before in my lifetime. He must go.

    August 19, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  12. Bob Brown

    Obama has robbed Medicare to pay for "Obamacare." Remember in November.

    August 19, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  13. Norma Vessels

    President Obama is telling you the tree has a brown trunk and green leaves, and he will not cut any limbs off, except for the two that are dead from lightning. Mitt Romney and the Republicans are telling you the tree is failing, and the limbs need to be chopped down to the trunk to survive. I'm asking the Republicans .. where do the birds go? Where do the seniors go?

    August 19, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. jony

    So Obama calls stealing 700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare "strengthining" the man such a pathological liar he wouldn't know the truth if it hit him between his dumbo ears.

    August 19, 2012 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  15. jonny

    So Obama calls stealing 700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare "strengthining" the man such a pathological liar he wouldn't know the truth if it hit him between his dumbo ears.

    August 19, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  16. Vote Rich Live Poor

    I don't like either candidate so my vote will come down to the voting for the lessor of both evils. To me a vote for Romney/Ryan is "Voting Rich but living poor".

    August 19, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  17. doug

    So in summary, Obama: Mostly true. Ryan: Mostly false.

    August 19, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  18. S Eady

    Obama's plan imposes a 30% cut to providers rates starting next year reducing the number of doctors accepting Medicare patients. It also appoints a government board to decide whether patients get medical care based on age, life expectancy, and medical history. Romney and Ryan's plan makes no changes to current Medicare except to save it and reduce the federal defecit so future generations will have an oppoturnity to have Medicare protection. If we do not start talking about cutting spending and balancing the budget none of us will have anything except a bankrupt federal government that cannot afford to protect us.

    August 19, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  19. Chicago101

    I watched him and he sounds very angry - may be because he actually has to go out and get votes - rather than just the system just giving it to him - another historic term.

    August 19, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  20. FedUp

    Obama has strengthened Medicare? Hmmm. Funny. Every senior citizen I know is complaining about the higher co-pays they are paying now. I guess that would be "strengthening" to a politician who now has lifetime free medical care, free secret service protection, etc. etc, etc.

    August 19, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  21. janj

    Is his nose growing???? He has weakened, the services with his push with obamacare.

    August 19, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  22. PaPilot

    Wow, there really is no limit to the lies Obama will tell to further his campaign for absolute power and control

    August 19, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  23. Evan

    If you are between 55 and 40 the Romney Ryan proposal for Medicare will be directly a clear breach of contract . They will be sued and it will end in the Supreme Court. They want to take your 25 or 30 or more years of contributing to SS and Medicare and give you a coupon to go out there and buy health coverage. Anyone has an idea how much is an individual health insurance in the open market for someone older than 55? I can't find anything for less than $1,200 and that is with out having anything serious in preconditions. If their plan goes to practice we will see many old people without health insurance, many.

    August 19, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  24. Barb

    This is true. It is a fact. What PResident Obama is saying is the truth. He has strentgthened Medicare. Why not cover all the special interests who poured money into defeating his efforts? Money you took to help confuse the issue? CNN is nothing but a corporate shill. I am disgusted with the way CNN covers government and politics. You insist on false equivalencies as if the candidate is stating an opinion when he is stating easilu verified facts and you allow Romney and Ryan to go unchallenged with constant lies! How can you justify the 24/7 news coverage when the American people are just as confused today as they were a year or two ago concerning the Affordable Care Act? You blame the President for not being clear? It wouldn't matter whether that allegation is correct or not, the way you present the information. You are not fair and balanced. You are completely useless. People are not better informed after watching CNN, they are less informed. The only utility CNN has is during a major event like hurricanes, tornadoes and shooting sprees. ERven your pundits lack gravitas. It's obvious they are aggrandizing themselves. Gergen is a close friend of Romney, Carville is for Carville and Matln is obscene. Roland Martin is a lightweight. Intellectually. The only person with any credibility is Toobin who ought to find a better gig.

    August 19, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  25. chedar888

    Let's see, the cost of a premium for 64 years old today is $1,500 per month. If you are 55 now it will be 12,years before you can hit 67. At a minimum, the insurance raise their premium of 15-17% per year. When you reach 67, the premium will be $7400 per month. Average social security recipient is $ 1500 per month. The government tagged an inflation of 3% per year. When you reach 67 and you are eligible for Medicare. You received a SS of $2,300 per month. Assuming Ryan is generous to give you a voucher of $5,100 per month, and you shell out the rest of your SS to pay for the rest of your health care premium. You won't have anything left to pay for even a dog food on your next meal. 

    August 19, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
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