Romney full steam ahead on Medicare
August 16th, 2012
04:26 PM ET
8 years ago

Romney full steam ahead on Medicare

Greer, South Carolina (CNN) – Before Mitt Romney made news by revealing more details about his income taxes, his campaign had hoped to spend the day talking about Medicare.

The presumptive GOP nominee even played professor at a news conference Thursday, jotting down sums on a dry erase board as he continued to press President Obama over changes to the popular government health care program for seniors.

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"The differences in our Medicare perspective could not be more stark and dramatic," Romney told reporters as he scribbled down information outside an airport in Greer, South Carolina. "As the seniors in America understand what the president's plan is doing to Medicare, they're going to find it unacceptable."

The emphasis on Medicare reform comes as a surprise to some in the chattering political class, as Romney's attacks come after months in which he has tried to keep his focus on jobs and the economy.

But Romney's campaign is aiming to turn Republicans' Medicare reform plan – which Democrats see as a vulnerability – into a strength by taking the offensive against Obama.

"We are the ones that brought up the topic," Romney told reporters when asked if the issue was a distraction from his economic message.

At his press conference, Romney repeated his claim that Obama had cut $716 billion from the Medicare program and said the president would make the program insolvent for future generations.

Those cuts, originally supported by Romney's running mate Paul Ryan, are designed to reduce the money the government doles out to health care providers.

Romney said instead that his plan would partially privatize health care for seniors by offering: "greater competition, having various private plans compete to provide Medicare benefits with the government. I think it will make the government more efficient and the private plans more efficient."

His plan also involves so-called means testing, which takes a recipient's income into account when doling out government funds.

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Filed under: Medicare • Mitt Romney • Taxes
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    "I think it will make the government more efficient and the private plans more efficient.""

    Someone want to explain how Medicare, which runs at approximately 1.5%-3.0% overhead depending on the study, can actually be made more efficient?

    Mittens is full of crap on this one and is just trying to muddy the waters and confuse the voters with misinformation. He's running scared from the CouponCare Crapshoot he promised to sign into law and is quite demostrably lying about the nature of the ACA's changes to Medicare reimbursements. All he wants out of this is to get voters so confused and frustrated and scared that they consider both plans to be garbage and frightening, beacuse he can't win by telling them details about his own plan...which will, no matter how much he denies it during the campaign just to distance himself from it, be essentially the same thing as the CouponCare Crapshoot.

    August 16, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Someone want to explain how Medicare, which runs at approximately 1.5%-3.0% overhead depending on the study, can actually be made more efficient?"

    Let me correct myself, because that was asked inartfully: yes, there is fraud, but if you look at the numbers, Obama's already done a bang up job killing it compared to the past several presidents. Still, there is very little wiggle room.

    August 16, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. John

    The Paul Ryan Plan Is a Bunch of Crap and So Will Mitt Romney Plan, They are going to take from the Middle Class,the Poor and the Old and give It to the Rich. Giving the Rich these BUSH tax Cut for the last eight years have Not created any Jobs and never will, all they are doing Is making the Rich even Richer.

    August 16, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    The GOP has tried to eliminate social security and medicare for 50 years, and Mittens is the one who can do it.

    August 16, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  5. Steve- Illinois

    I guess you could call it efficient if you ignore $40 billion in fraud annually!

    August 16, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Tony

    Romney says that he will reverse the Medicare cuts, even though the cuts were included in Ryan's budget plan. Someone should point it out to Romney that without the cuts, Medicare will go bankrupt much earlier. Does Romney want to bankrupt Medicare earlier so that Ryan can implement his voucher plan sooner?

    August 16, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. California Gary

    If Romney chooses to engage in a debate on Medicare, and it appears that is his choice, he is delivering a blow to his own chances for the election. He is not going to win a Medicare war.......he is going to get his clock cleaned. This plays right into Obama's hands.........and although I'm surprised, I'm glad to see it. Looks like Romney is going to beat himself......all Obama has to do is show up on election night and claim the victory. I'm down with that!

    August 16, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Jerubbaal

    I just read a report from abc that Obamacare has recouped 4 billion from an estimated 70 billion in wasteful medicare spending from 2010. As Sniffet says, stop carrying Romney's water just to improve your ad sales, stock price and viewership.

    August 16, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Phil Thomas

    Let me correct myself, because that was asked inartfully: yes, there is fraud, but if you look at the numbers, Obama's already done a bang up job killing it compared to the past several presidents. Still, there is very little wiggle room.
    Agreed but you will have a bunch of idiots that will eat up the advertisements proving millionaires can buy a president and get the masses to vote against their own interests

    August 16, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. normajean @ verizon ,com

    We have heard...or should I say "haven't heard"...from Romney on his future plans for months and mpnths,,,and actually heard nothing!!! He has talked around in circles and twisted the truth about his plans Now we have Ryan in the picture going off, it seems in another direction as Romney looks very uncomfortable;..They are both making such a mess of it that nobody knows what they ares really thisPRESIDENTIAL???NOT TO ME NOR ANY ONE I KNOW AND WE ARE ALL VOTERS!!!!!

    August 16, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  11. Squigman

    Full steam ahead. Yes, full steam ahead for those with immense wealth. The rest of you can pick up our crumbs. Just be thankful that we give you crumbs. Our pets leave crumbs too. Would you like some of them?

    August 16, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. rob

    Unlike Romney, the democrats don't have a plan to save Medicare, SS or Medicade. They have Obamacare which is not only unpopular but will have devestating effects on our economy and the healthcare we receive. It is now estimated to cost over 2.1 TRILLION over the ten years from when it is scheduled to rake full effect instead of the 900 Billion Obaama promised with smoke and mirrors in order to get it passed in 2010.

    When presented with the true numbers and the unfiltered plan from Romney and Ryan, I think seniors will approve.

    The Dems use of lies, smears, personal attacks and taxing the "Rich" shows they are not serious about the huge crisis facing our country. We need real solutions and the Dems don't have any.

    Nov. 6th can't come fast enough.

    Romney/Ryan 2012

    August 16, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    As FDR said -

    They will promise you more, bigger, and better, and it won't cost you a thing. ha ha ha aha ha

    According to Norquist/Rove: we want to shrink it to where we can drown in in a bath tub.
    Romney and Ryan are lying thru their teeth. The haven't run the numbers and are just grabbing at nothing, like a drowning man grabs at the air.

    August 16, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    Paul Ryan was the representative that put forth the brilliant idea to W that Social Security should be privatized.

    Isn't that Romney/ryan are a real hoot.

    AND - Ryan wants to make birth control a form of murder in his personhood amendment. i've read it myself. Even eliminating IUDs which young families use to prevent pregnancy until they get on their feet financially.

    So, if you don't want to be put away for murder, you'll pump out a baby every year that you really can't afford. Then you'll be called a welfare queen or put in prison.

    Some life - Not

    August 16, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "When presented with the true numbers and the unfiltered plan from Romney and Ryan, I think seniors will approve. "

    What true numbers? Mittens and Ryan have released none and they're blatantly and demonstrably mischaracterizing the $716B number, which was in Ryan's budgets as well. You be sure to let us all know when they decide to get specific, honest and detailed, mmmmkay? Because I guarantee yo it won't be before November 6.

    August 16, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Under the Ryan Plan, Romney Pays 0.87% in taxes

    Gov. Rick Scott defrauded the American taxpayer our of billions of Medicare dollars – getting rid of this kind of fraud (along with addressing waste and implementing efficiencies) is one of the big reasons why President Obama is able to reduce the cost of Medicare. He didn't "cut" Medicare; he just found ways to save money.

    You'd think the Repubs would appreciate that ...

    August 16, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  17. Pete

    Romney doesn't have a Medicare plan,never did,never will,he's hoping his Ayn Rand diciple Ryan will come to rescue him from the evil democratic empire..He's hoping and so does his staff that they have numbers ,not just scribbling on a board to go on,that's not a selling point and people are wondering,where's the past taxes Romney,Ryan showed you 10 years right,you are being interviewed basically for this job and the incumbent showed over 12 years ,why not you mister wealthy elitist and don't ask Ann for permission either!!!

    August 16, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Rick Banister

    The "wonky" solution is for an agency like the Office of Management and Budget to present its case to Congress to lower benefits and raise rates for payroll deductions so Social Security and Medicare are each in balance. It's a simple actuarial exercise. Cutting benefits can be in the form of means tests, deferring payouts to older age, or reducing the payout amounts. It can be frozen for current beneficiaries, and phased in. There is no reason to privatize or give coupons, just adjust the rates.

    August 16, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  19. daverave

    It doesn't really matter who the next pres is if we continue to spend $1 trillion more each year than we take in; we'll be Greece within the next 2 years.

    August 16, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  20. PJ

    Wait a minute! Why don't you show a picture of Romney "jotting down sums on a dry erase board" that plainly shows
    all figures he "jotted" were on the Obama side, and "No Change" under the Romney side.
    Now he says he says his "plan would partially privitize health care". He never said that to the crowd he was
    talking to. There it was, NO CHANGE. Well, privatization is change, and again he manipulates the truth.
    How can anybody trust him?

    August 16, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. tcjones1965

    Romney made me cringe when I saw that white-board. Two columns? With only a few entries? I wish my relatively meager checking account had the same amount instead of pages and pages of entries in it. I\'m afraid that it\'s going to take a lot more than a few scribbled lines on a board to fix our Medicare / Economy. Doing this gave me the impression of Romney being a goofy professor whose not very prepared for a presentation. Personally, I would have not used this medium to illustrate a point. Perhaps use a web-enabled app which is interactive and well-planned press releases which gives an easily-read overview, impresses, and is accurate. That white-board told or informed me of nothing and data which isn\'t arranged or presented as relevant is not information. Garbage-in and Garbage-out. Is he doing his own PR? Gosh, I hope not.

    August 16, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  22. Marie MD

    This guy doesn't have enough fumes to get to the corner. I still want to see those taxes of his though.

    August 16, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. Gotta Be Kiddin

    *No cuts to benefits
    *Preventative care with no out of pocket costs
    *$716 billion in future savings
    Next Generation: Premiums & co-pays $500 lower & Solvent 8 additional years

    *$150 billion for insurance companies
    *Eliminates free preventative services
    Next Generation: Voucher system, seniors pay up to $6000 more & Bankruptcy 2016

    August 16, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. CBR

    Now that Paul Ryan is his running mate Mr. Romney can being up medicare. He will continue to tell us why their plan is so good. Seniors had best hold onto their money because these changes will cost more and we will be expected to manage payments ourselves and get reimbursed. Insurance companies and for profit hospitals are in the black. The salaries for their leaders are high now. The doughnut hole for seniors has been profitable for them. They do not have to pay for medicines that seniors need. Senior citizens either go without their meds or they decrease the does so that the medicine will last twice as long. Is this how we want to treat our senior citizens and is this how we want to be treated?

    August 16, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  25. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    You really have to wonder what Romney ultimately wants. I don't think that he wants the government to do anything other than fight wars that we really don't need to do.

    August 16, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
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