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.