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. McBob

    Lol....delusional! The guy is a disaster... No ideas just keep things the same and spend more money trying to buy votes. Unserious!

    August 19, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  2. Construction Worker

    "Forward", as in... Forward in debt creation. Obama is such a joke.

    August 19, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  3. Alan

    While Obama has been telling the truth regarding Medicare, Romney/Ryan just out right knowingly lie. If Romney has nothing to hide then why won't he take Obama's offer to release just 3 more years of Tax Returns. Only a "Guilty Man" has something to hide! What's really sad is that the American People would want to buy onto to a lie than except the truth. For those individuals who for what ever reasons do not vote in November, they will have no right to complain about their government, they will have lost that right by not adding their voice to our national choir of hope, change and freedom for all.

    August 19, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  4. big b

    Politifact.com claims to be independent. It's not by a long shot.

    August 19, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. justhad2inNJ

    For the record I don't see Obama as half white or half black... I see him as half the man he said he was. To me he's like a used car salesman telling you how great it is and what he can do for you.....and after a while you had enough and just walk away

    August 19, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  6. Mark-Independent

    Who on earth will vote for Mitt Romney. As an idependent voter, I dont trust Mitt Romney. Mit Romney has no core adn to this day we dont know what he really stands for. I have spoken to many folks across party line mostly indepedents that dont like Mitt Romney. His tax issue is a big one, his business record with Bain Caital and all of his foreign investments are too much for the American people to handle. Mitt gets angy when the American people simply want answers. Then he pick Paul Ryan, a tea party convervative and also a congressman who has been in washington and is part of the tea party congress who is curretly at a 10% percent approval rating, the lowes in history. Ryan and all of his collegues in congress only have one goal and is to try to defeat the president. The congress of 2010 did not do one single thing, and they all need to bee defeated. We Americans know that we must NOT go back to the Bush era that coused this nation to go into a recession, we will not go back..No BUSH NOT MITT. If Ryan and Company wins the tea party has a victory.

    The President may not be perfect but has got us out of the biggest mess he inherited, the great recession. The car industy is back on full swing.. Housing is picking up, construction is up...Retail is up , the stock market is doning well....4.4 million jobs have been created and the list goes on....I will gladly suppor the prsident and like so many people I spoke to, the president deserved four more year to continue to get us of out of the hole the Bush adminstration laid out for us....

    August 19, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  7. chedar888

    A DOSE OF REALITY. 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 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  8. D.J. Visser

    President Obama says that Medicare now provides preventive wellness services and cancer screenings for free since he has "strengthened medicare". Since I turned 65 last December, I now have Medicare and am required to pay $140.00 deductible before I can recieve any treatment of any kind so this statement is not true. His speech writers do not check his statements for truth before he delivers wrong information to the naive and uninformed public.

    August 19, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  9. Nietodarwin

    AARP and other independent and unbiased groups agree with this. One candidate is a liar when it comes to this issue, and it's the same one who is lying about other issues. ROMNEY IS A LIAR.

    August 19, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  10. Philip

    Why hasn't the $716 Billion cut been fact checked?

    August 19, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  11. Joe Wilson

    You Lie, Mr President !

    August 19, 2012 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
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