August 19th, 2012
10:42 AM ET
2 years ago

Campaigns both claim advantage on Medicare battle

(CNN) – The political battle over Medicare, brewing since Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan as his running mate, showed no signs of easing Sunday, with operatives from each campaign claiming their side had an advantage with senior citizens concerned about their government-funded health benefits.

Romney senior adviser Eric Fehrnstrom, speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," said his campaign wasn't worried that seniors would be turned off by Ryan's House budget plan, which proposes allowing private insurers to compete with traditional Medicare on an exchange.

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"Actually, it is not a concern," Fehrnstrom told CNN national political correspondent Jim Acosta. "In fact, if you look at the last few days of the campaign, you will see that Paul Ryan was down in Florida, as you mentioned, with his mother talking about the Romney-Ryan plan to strengthen and protect Medicare."

Ryan campaigned at a large retirement community in Florida on Saturday alongside his mother, whom he first mentioned last weekend as being a Medicare recipient.

Fehrnstrom said 2012 marked the first year Democrats were on the defensive on Medicare, saying that Romney was better positioned to win the argument over Medicare since his proposed plan wouldn't affect current seniors.

"Whatever changes get made to Medicare under a Romney-Ryan administration, they will not affect the current seniors. And this president cannot say the same, because he went in and raided Medicare to pay for Obamacare," Fehrnstrom said.

Republicans have used that argument for the past week in attacking Obama's Medicare record, though the nonpartisan fact-checker Politifact.com has given a "mostly false" rating to the claim that President Barack Obama robbed Medicare of funds to pay for his sweeping health care law.

Politifact also offered a "true" assessment on an argument from Democrats that Obama's and Ryan's plans contained similar spending reductions. Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager for Obama, made that argument Sunday.

"Because Paul Ryan decided to join Mitt Romney's ticket, he is completely reversing himself on some of the issues he has been strong on, like $700 billion savings in two of the budgets," Cutter said, also on "State of the Union."

Cutter called Republican attempts to characterize the reduction in future spending as "raiding" Medicare "a complete distortion."

"They know that the $700 billion in savings had nothing to do with the senior benefits, but it expands the senior benefits," Cutter said, adding that Romney's pledge to repeal Obamacare would cause the system to go bankrupt more rapidly.

"If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan get elected to the White House, Medicare will be bankrupt by the end of their first term is what that means, and these are facts," Cutter said.

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Filed under: Mitt Romney • Paul Ryan • President Obama
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. voodkokk

    You can't get anything done in this country cause they are looking for the 100% solution and it does not exist.

    1. We have Medicare (Needs complete over-haul) Whoever was involved in our tax system must have transferred to the medicare department. Way to many forms and rules. If we are going to provide care to everyone then find a way to do it.

    2. Prescription drug costs are out of control.

    3. Doctor's costs are out of control.

    4. This brings us to root of all these costs and everyone says it is the insurance costs (patient and doctor)

    Let's see I brake my arm and the doctor needs to set it. Seems pretty simple. First thing they want to know is if I have insurance. If not I can set-up a payment plan. The couple of other options is to go to the emergency room or put a stick in my mouth and reset it myself..

    5. What we need to do is eliminate the insurance companies no value added. What do they do other than process paper work and take your money and then deny, deny, deny you claim.

    This would be a start to fixing health care and providing coverage to everyone.

    August 19, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. trueblue

    I watched this idoit the other morning in florida with his props, next time the GOP have their press show make sure you get the folks from the area to surport yall, because the elderly you had was to white in color not the local color in here in Florida we or tanned NOT pastie white. please give us a wide angle view because seems to me you had only 100 plus at your Medicare screwup.

    August 19, 2012 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. kopana

    Romney's Administration will be one of the worst with tons of scandals about he uses presidential office for kick back's to all his rich and super rich friends or contributors. He does not care about middle class and low income AMERICANS period...SIMPLY PUT IF YOU ARE IN THE 99%...ECONOMICALLY WHICH IS ALMOST ALL AMERICANS, YOU SHOULD NOT VOTE FOR ROMNEY PERIOD. THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.....

    August 19, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. myviewis

    trueblue

    I watched this idoit the other morning in florida with his props, next time the GOP have their press show make sure you get the folks from the area to surport yall, because the elderly you had was to white in color not the local color in here in Florida we or tanned NOT pastie white. please give us a wide angle view because seems to me you had only 100 plus at your Medicare screwup.
    ----------------------

    My aunt was there filming herself and her local friends and most look like the people in this picture, except they are the ones wearing the silly hats.

    August 19, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. george of the jungle

    ryan had to tote his mama out to help him lie to the people og the village in florida. What they don't tell you is that the peopleere are mostly white and democrats that live there are discouraged from attending this lie ceat. ONly spent about two min on medicare and really didnt say anything but spent the rest of the time ragging on the president. Tell eddy munster to go away forward.

    August 19, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  6. Pander Bear

    The most egregious lie the Vulture / Voucher ticket is espousing is that they are going "save" Medicare by removing funds from it's coffers to provide tax cuts to millionaires while leaving seniors with the equivalent of a McDonald's gift certificate in return.

    August 19, 2012 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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