Paul Ryan to seniors: Obamacare threatens Medicare
September 21st, 2012
05:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Paul Ryan to seniors: Obamacare threatens Medicare

Washington (CNN) – In a speech to seniors on Friday, Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan will warn them about the threat of Obamacare when he appears at the AARP conference after President Barack Obama addresses the group via satellite.

Mitt Romney’s running mate will speak at the AARP Life@50+ conference, held in New Orleans, at 12:30 p.m. ET. President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak live, via satellite, at 11:45 a.m. ET. Members of AARP – a nonprofit organization and a powerful lobbying group that boasts of having more than 37 million members – were encouraged to submit questions to the nominees on their website.

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As both campaigns make the case for ensuring long-term solvency of Medicare and Social Security, Ryan is expected to talk about “years of empty promises by both political parties.”

He will explain why they want to get rid of Obamacare by accusing the president of cutting the entitlement program to pay for the health care law, officially named The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"The first step to a stronger Medicare is to repeal Obamacare, because it represents the worst of both worlds. It weakens Medicare for today’s seniors and puts it at risk for the next generation,” according to Ryan’s prepared remarks. “First, it funnels $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. Second, it puts 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of Medicare’s future."

The unelected bureaucrats he refers to are part of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) that has been charged with meeting a budget target in Medicare. Established under Obamacare, IPAB has the authority to make changes to the entitlement program, which previously would have required an act of Congress to take effect.

As Romney often does, Ryan is expected to take a swipe at the Democratic incumbent’s reelection slogan. The released excerpts include, “But you know President Obama’s slogan, right? Forward. Forward into a future where seniors are denied the care they earned because a bureaucrat decided it wasn’t worth the money.”

Since the presumptive Republican nominee announced the seven-term congressman as his running mate, Medicare has become a much-battled-about issue on the campaign trail.

The Obama campaign and fellow Democrats instantly attacked Ryan over the budget plan that he introduced in the House, terming it a "radical plan" that would benefit the rich at the detriment to the middle-class, and they highlighted his proposals to alter Medicare, which they said would "end Medicare as we know it."

The president and his re-election campaign have pushed back against the GOP attacks. They aired a television commercial in key battleground states that rebuts the Romney-Ryan charges with a narrator in the spot that said, “the non-partisan AARP says Obamacare ‘cracks down on Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse,’ and strengthens guaranteed benefits.”

And the commercial criticizes the Ryan proposals on Medicare, with the announcer adding that "AARP says it would undermine Medicare and could lead to higher costs for seniors. And experts say Ryan's voucher plan could raise future retirees’ costs more than $6,000."

On Thursday, one day before Ryan’s address to seniors at the AARP convention and prior to campaign stops in Florida Friday and Saturday, the Romney campaign released a television ad about Medicare reform starring Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Like Rubio mentioned his mother in the ad Ryan has also turned to his mother to help convey the message that they intend to fix the program but have vowed it will not change it for current seniors.

His mother, Betty Douglas, a retiree who lives part-time in Florida, first appeared with Ryan last month at a speech at The Villages, and she is expected to accompany her son to New Orleans.

"Whenever I think about the challenges we’re facing, I think of my Mom. Whether it’s the mid-career worker who has to start over, the senior who relies on Medicare today, or the grandparent who wants to make sure her grandkids inherit a stronger America, she is my inspiration,” Ryan will say of his mother, who started an interior decoration business and went to school at the University of Wisconsin.

“Because I had such a strong example in my own life, I have an unshakeable belief in the resilience, wisdom and ability of the American people to solve these problems.”

–CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Gregory Wallace contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Medicare • Paul Ryan
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. BOB FROM BRIDGEPORT

    Hog Wash- Go talk to the Nuns – they know a few things about thoses your plan affects and to parade your mom to give it a kindler face is the ultimate in hypocrisy. I have no respect for any republican that supports this madness and i look forward to defeating you at the polls.

    September 21, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  2. us1000

    paul ryan is wrong. i am a senior citizen and obama's medicare is good for us. under obama medicare will be stronger and will become more efficient for middle class people. rich people may not like it because they want to bypass medicare by paying high prices to doctors. medicare is very suitable and efficient for middle class people.

    September 21, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  3. Darlis

    There he goes again.. lyin Ryan... does anyone listen to the Eddie Munster look-a-like anymore? What a farce he has turned out to be.. the thought of him being a heartbeat from the Presidency is terrifying.

    September 21, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  4. ljellis2000

    What is Ryan's plan to replace "Obamacare"? Just the usual "No Care" because they don't care? Who is guilty of class warfare now; pitting the younger people against older people, the rich against the poor. Social Security, Medicare, the Family Leave Act all happened under Democratic administrations. Medicare Part D happened under President Bush, and those who are faced with having that as their choice for prescription drug plans know what a nightmare of a program that is with the dreaded 'donut hole' that President Obama is working to eliminate. Please investigate for yourself before making a choice in November and make an informed decision before you vote.

    September 21, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  5. Mitt the Twit and Lyin' Ryan

    Ryan really is clueless, isnt he?

    September 21, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  6. Chaos

    Ryan's cynically lying again. Everyone knows he wants to end Medicare if he could and is out to undermine it.

    September 21, 2012 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  7. markie

    Ryan lies all the time. Obamacare does not threaten medicare. It cuts 716 billion from medicare advantage plans and hospitals.

    September 21, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  8. The fact is

    Ryan is a threat to Medicare. Did he want to get rid of Medicare by replacing it with Vouchercare? I'm 69 years old Medicare recipient. Medicare is the best health insurance we can get for the senior citizen. Where else can get good health care when you at my age? Voucher my butt. I voted Bush twice but I can tell, never will I vote Republicans again. Voting Republicans is voting against senior citizen's interest.

    September 21, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  9. Shame shame

    No one believes you Ryan.. you need more people...

    September 21, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  10. Jokesterer

    Your candidate is going to destroy Medicare!
    No, YOUR candidate is going to destroy Medicare!
    Tastes great!
    Less filling!
    Tastes great!
    Less filling!

    September 21, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  11. TomNPitt

    Wow – that's great. His mother went from a widow with no income, to starting her own interior decorating business and putting herself through college alongf with her son. With NO GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE! WOW! Oh that's right – she and her son did get some money from the government, but that's not an important detail. They just want to make sure nobody else gets that kind of money because now THEY'RE job creators. That's why they should get more money and those oother leaches should get less!!

    September 21, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  12. Jake

    You'd think after 2 decades trying to destroy Medicare, calling it a "socialist system", Republicans would be happy if someone "threatens" it, no? Republicans have never liked Medicare...they're just jealoous that it was a Democrat who started reform to a system Democrats invented to begin with.

    September 21, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  13. Boo

    Who in their right minds would vote for Robme/Ryan? I have never seen candidates flip-flop like these two. It's mind-boggling.

    September 21, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  14. Marty, FL

    Lyin' Ryan, there you go again. "It takes some brass to attack someone for something you did."

    In reality, Ryan wants to privatize seniors' Medicare to turn it into a voucher system that would cost seniors $6,000 more a year to pay for Romney-Ryan's tax cuts for the rich.

    September 21, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  15. dah

    The member of the all-American clown circus!!

    September 21, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  16. charles bowen

    More Republican Clap Trap Lies to Woo The Morally Deficient ....If a Republicans Mouth is Moving You know he's Lying..I was Once one of the Republicants ....And now i repent for those Republican sins of Greed, Hatered, Lies, as a Democrat.... You can see that Rove has his Slimey little Mind in this Campaign..... Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    September 21, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  17. Paul

    The 716 WAS HIS IDEA. How many times is Paul Ryan going to repeat this stuff? Atleast President Obama does not turn Medicare into a voucher program.

    September 21, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    Senior citizen Bill Clinton gave very good explanation about Medicare, Now Medicare debate is over , So Ryan find different topic

    September 21, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  19. Jules

    Lyin' Ryan piles on another one.

    September 21, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  20. BigEasyinNewOrleans

    Ryan's plan of a voucher system threatens Medicare more than ObamaCare, and boosts up insurance companies which puts the elderly and disabled more at risk than ever before.

    September 21, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  21. ga.democrat

    Lyin Ryan's mom should be ashamed of her son!

    September 21, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  22. ljellis2000

    What is Ryan's plan for replacing "Obamacare" - I haven't even heard a name for it. Blaming "Obamacare" for rising costs in Medicare is not based on fact. Medicare costs have been rising before "Obamacare" came along. Unless and until America wakes up to the fact that those of us in the middle class are being held hostage by the insurance companies, we are going to spend a lot of our income on medical care in this country. We pay and pay and by the end of the year we look back and we see that we have been underinsured all along. America needs to try the single payer system so everyone no one has to file for Medicaid in order to be covered for health services. The insurance CEOs didn't need a bail out in 2008 and they sure don't need one now.

    September 21, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  23. Gina

    What the ACA does is addresse the waste/abuse/fraud occurring in medicare. This was the 716 billion.. It also makes hospitals use research based evidence to provide care to the patients. There is nothing wrong with that. For Ryan to say this bill hurts medicare is ridiculous – Mr Voucher is hiding behind a mask as he talks about taking apart medicare.- what a pathological liar. For people not benig able to see that is idiotic. Three things I wish the ACA had addressed was to levy a tax aagainst those who continue to smoke and are obese – your healthcae costs more, so you pay more- And to return reimbursement of medicare vists to 50% not 75% – so those of us who are 50ish have something left . It is about accountability .....

    September 21, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. chill

    For a young guy, Ryan seems to have a faulty memory. Like the fact that he takes the exact same $716B in waste out of the Medicare program as Obamacare does. About how repealing the law would open up the prescription donut hole again. And fogets that those over 55 have children under 55 who would have to fill the increasing gap between what Ryan's voucher would cover in the private insurance market and the unregulated, rapidly increasing costs that would return without the various cost control provisions of Obamacare. And if Romney proposes to retaint he pre-existing condition benefit without covering costs through the mandate, then you'll really see rates for everyone sky-rocket.

    September 21, 2012 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  25. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    As it appears that the ACA will extend the potential bankruptcy of Medicare while Ryan's plan will cause it to bottom out sooner than currently planned, I am wondering what fantasy world he is getting this supposition from? Especially as the ACA fills the "doughnut hole" created by the Bush Medicare act that Ryan supported and voted for.

    September 21, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
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