Paul Ryan to seniors: Obamacare threatens Medicare
September 21st, 2012
05:00 AM ET
11 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. Ancient Texan

    It sure looks like, if the dots are connected, that the next step in the Medicare saga is for the government to transfer the Medicare recipients to the Obamacare programs. How can Medicare survive with the $716 billion stripped out of it by cutting Doctor and hospital reimbursements?

    September 21, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  2. Joan in MS

    Wonder what his mom, who is on Medicare herself, thinks about her son's lying to the American public on this issue and all others??

    September 21, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. OldRetiredGuy

    The biggest threat to Medicare is the GOP.

    September 21, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. CJE

    Lyin' Ryan making up stories again. We all now know republican's aren't interested in helping people !

    September 21, 2012 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  5. Wil B

    So his lies have been proven wrong yet his mother says nothing. I guess he was really raised to lie. Interesting. To me that says she has no morals so she raised her son the same way.

    LIE LIE LIE.. till someone believes you and your lie!!

    September 21, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  6. Joan in MS

    BTW, if his mom is on Medicare, she's probably one of the 47% that Romney hates so much.

    September 21, 2012 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  7. Pathetic

    Romney and Ryan would rather Senior Citizens and Disabled Veterans fall off the end of the earth. They consider us thorns in the side of the USA . Romney would rather watch a senior citizen starve to death than help. His words not mine

    September 21, 2012 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. Robb

    Same old lies. The guy proposed taking the same money out in his budget. Geesh. You'd think they'd give up on the scaring folks and talk about what they want to do to fix our country. I sense they lack ideas. Certainly, his running mate doesn't have any.

    September 21, 2012 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  9. John

    Considering the fact that Ryan can't even be truthful about his marathon time, it's a foregone conclusion that he will continue to spout total dishonesty. It's a shame, really, that good, authentic people no longer run for public office.

    September 21, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  10. gahh

    Ryan wants to tell a women, they can't have an abortion for any reason, yet this is what is in his Bills. He's never been pregnant, but he wants to tell women how they're going to live their lives. His wanting more tax breaks for the wealthy, tells many of us all we need to know. Ryan is nothing but a 2 faced hypocrite, and needs to be anywhere but Washington.

    September 21, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  11. Obamacare = Obama cares about the young, elderly, poor and disabled. Romneycare = "I don't care about the poor"!

    Seniors, just remember, the GOP mantra of "repeal and replace" of Obamacare, means you will be liable once again, to pay for the shrub's "donut hole" in Medicare!

    September 21, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  12. stormchaser 101

    Paul Ryan is the biggest threat to medicare with his voucher program.Wake up america!

    September 21, 2012 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. bob

    I think Americans are sick of this guy's lies.

    September 21, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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