President Obama responded to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s rash of Medicare lies by setting record straight on what a Romney presidency would mean for Medicare.
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Now, you know the truth is I think they know it’s not a very popular idea. Now they are being dishonest about my plans, since they can’t sell their plans. I mean they are trying to throw everything at the wall just to see what will stick. The latest thing they’ve been trying is to talk about Medicare. Now, you’d think they’d avoid talking about Medicare given the fact that both of them have proposed to voucherize the Medicare system. But I guess they figure the best defense is to try to go on offense.
So New Hampshire, here is what you need to know. Since I’ve been in office, I have strengthened Medicare. I’ve made reforms that have extended the life of the program, that have saved millions of seniors with Medicare hundreds of dollars on prescription drugs. The only changes to your benefits that I’ve made on Medicare is that Medicare now covers new preventive services like cancer screening and wellness visits for free.
Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan have a very different plan. What they want to do is that they want seniors to get a voucher to buy their own insurance, which could force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for their healthcare. Again, this is not my estimate. Remember those guys who analyze these things for a living? That’s their assessment. That doesn’t strengthen Medicare. That undoes the very guarantee of Medicare. That’s the core of the plan written by Congressman Ryan and endorsed by Gov. Romney.
So here’s the bottom line. My plan saves money in Medicare by cracking down on fraud, and waste and insurance company subsidies, and their plan makes seniors pay more so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires. My plan’s already extended the life of Medicare by nearly a decade. Their plan would put Medicare on track to be ended as we know it. It would be an entirely different plan. A plan in which you could not count on healthcare because it would have to be coming out of your pocket. That’s the real difference between our plans on Medicare.
Obama’s comments bring up a great point. Romney and Ryan are trying to win on the Medicare issue by denying nearly five decades of political history by claiming that Obama is the one who wants to kill Medicare. Obama’s attitude of I don’t know why they want to talk about Medicare, but you asked for it, shows just how dangerous this issue is. Talking about Medicare is a suicide mission for almost every Republican, but it is especially filled with danger for a Republican ticket that until last week was vocal about their desire to kill the program.
Obama gave Romney and Ryan a little taste of what they can expect if they continue to push this Medicare issue. Paul Ryan is still the guy who wants to kill Medicare, and Mitt Romney is the man who has endorsed his plan.
Democrats created Medicare. Democrats have fought for and protected Medicare, and if Mitt Romney wants to make this election about Medicare, Barack Obama will defeat him on Medicare.