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. Lynda/Minnesota

    It would really be great if Romney and Ryan would stop lying to the elderly ... these are the people who have already paid their dues to society ten fold. In a few short years, I, too, will be in that same Social Security/Medicare bracket as Ryan's "mom". Having spent three quarters of my life employed, I was finally able to "officially" retire last year - expecting to live out my years in financial peace and tranquility.

    I resent being lied to by TeamRomney, I resent being considered a drag on society by TeamRomney, and I especially resent the Romney/Ryan ticket treating me as second class citizen ready to fall in line with their condescension and contempt of my peers, and their ideological policies which will absolutely be a vote against my own best interests.

    September 21, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  2. Proud Independent !

    What's Lying Ryan up to now ? What new fantasies have this habitual liar come up with now ? Ryan your own voucher plan is garbage and you know it ! That is why you are trying to attack Obama's !

    September 21, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  3. TommyTT

    What baloney! Romney and Ryan have made it clear that they'll protect Medicare only for those who are already seniors, which they're claiming for the senior vote, not out of principle. If today's far-right Republican party has its way, the rest of us can kiss Medicare goodbye. And while we're at it, we'll kiss guaranteed Social Security goodbye too, in favor of investment accounts that would have ruined our personal finances if we'd had them during the recent recession. Seniors, beware the snake oil.

    September 21, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. Maxx

    You actually think they're going to believe you Paul? The man who wants to get rid of Medicare? You aren't that bright, are you?

    September 21, 2012 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  5. ricardo1968

    Attack the strength. Not gonna work this time. They are more afraid of Obamacare's potential success than its failure.

    September 21, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  6. Wisconsin Boy

    I need to change my posting name cause I'm embarassed to say Ryan is from my home state!

    September 21, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  7. stainpouch

    No. Ryan threatens Medicare. Where did he find the healthy old woman–some welfare line? Freeloader.

    September 21, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  8. streetdude66

    No Ryan its you & your party thatthat threaten Medicare. Wait a minute your Mom says different so I guess now we should trust you regardless of the GOPs affiliation with the Medical lobby

    September 21, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. Jack

    How can we believe anything this habitual liar says?

    September 21, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  10. JC

    Conservatives threatens Social Security and Medicare. Always has. The argument against it when it was created was it was socialism. Better believe it when you vote, you get what you ask for. So does America want a Social Security / Medicare program in it's future. It will surely fade to history with Ryan (Tea Party) and will be somehting that constantly needs fiscal management with the Democrats. But it will be there.

    September 21, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  11. Repandum

    I can hear the seniors now. "He looks like a fine, upstanding, boy".

    September 21, 2012 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. Fourleaf Tayback

    Ryan is an expert...OBAMACARE is bad for Medicare, in fact Obama had had to raid $800 million already to afford Obamacare...and that is just the beginning...it always costs more than they think.

    September 21, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  13. Randy Buist

    So Ryan has proposed getting rid of Medicare over the next couple of decades; so now he's using it as a weapon to champion because he has nothing else... what a load of stinky stuff from the farm... this stuff belongs in a manure spreader and not in D.C.

    September 21, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  14. Me IN HOUSTON

    "Paul Ryan to seniors: Obamacare threatens Medicare"
    The headline should actually read "Paul Ryan to seniors: Obamacare threatens Medicare...but, actually it really does not...at all, But Ryan is willing to lie in order to win"

    September 21, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If Mr. Ryan is going to tell a lie on AARP he should atleast start by saying his mother is a member, but no where does he mention that. I know every mother loves her son, whether he/she lies or not, however in this case Ryan is lying and it appears his own mother stands by his lies because as a member of AARP, that's a lie. I get AARP magazine every month and Ryan has chosen to cherry pick AARP's article to instill fear in seniors.

    September 21, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  16. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    Ryan's plan for seniors is a voucher and he is a Proven liar -why would anyone listen to anything he says

    September 21, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  17. Anthony

    Without the $716 billion cut, Medicare's fund for inpatient care will run out of money in 2016, instead of 2024. This is what happens when the cost of medical care is rising and Medicare tax is not sufficient to cover the rising cost. Three solutions are possible: adjust the Medicare tax rate, cut benefits, or borrow money to cover the shortfall. The last thing the government should do is to cut taxes, which is what Republicans propose, so that there is even less money to cover existing obligations that the government has, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    Ryan included the &716 billion cut in his own budget plan. If Romney restores the money, he needs to explain what he will do to avert Medicare bankruptcy in 2016.

    September 21, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  18. hannah

    He's got it wrong. It isn't Obamacare that threatens Medicare it is Ryan that threatens Medicare with his voucher program that will cost seniors up to 6 thousand dollars a year.

    September 21, 2012 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  19. NotBlind

    Whereas Ryan's plan funnels $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for tax cuts for the rich.

    September 21, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  20. DandyStryker

    Is this the same guy who lied how fast he ran a marathon? Why would anyone trust a word ly'n Ryan says?

    September 21, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  21. Jack from Illinois

    Shameless – he KNOWS that we know about his own attempted *channeling* of the same 716 billion, yet he has the sheer gall to stand there and try to attack Obamacare with it.

    leave aside the fact that Ryan's is an outright theft of the money and Obamacare is no more than a reallocation. His BASIC hypocrisy is sufficient to brand him a liar. And since he's repeating the lie to people who KNOW it's a lie, he's a clumsy liar, as well.

    Which is what passes for the best the GOP has to offer these days. if the top of their ticket is this obtuse, ignorant, mendacious, and clueless, what are their lesser candidates like?

    September 21, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  22. Jack in Florida

    Liar, liar, pants on fire, let's all get the seniors afraid. That's all the fearmongering Republicans can do. He is such a waste.

    September 21, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  23. rockysfan

    No, Ryan, YOU want to kill Medicare, not Obama. I know, I'm from WI. I know your ilk very well. Your plan takes the same amount of money and instead of pumping back into the budget for health care as Obama's plan does, YOU want to give $708M (yes, that's millions) back to your corporate owners. And, they are owners, Ryan. They own you and Mittster!

    September 21, 2012 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  24. Mitt Romney

    I love my running mate!
    He is excellent at lying and misleading these old farts who are part of the 47% I don't care about.

    September 21, 2012 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  25. Paul Falduto

    He wants to change Medicare to a voucher program and his is criticizing Obama? Talk about hypocrisy!

    September 21, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
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