Presidential campaign keeps focus on Medicare

Published on August 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM · No Comments

GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his running-mate pick Paul Ryan are taking their Medicare message to New Hampshire today. Meanwhile, President Obama blasts the Republican ticket on its Medicare plan.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Romney And Ryan To Hold Town Hall Meeting With NH Voters To Explain Medicare Plans
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are ready to face New Hampshire voters and answer their questions, especially about the Republican plan for Medicare that has left some seniors skittish. Romney and Ryan on Monday will try to explain to voters -; particularly seniors, who reliably cast ballots -; that their proposal to offer a private alternative to Medicare would not affect anyone over age 55. Some 14 percent of New Hampshire residents are over the age of 65, and this state, which holds the nation's first presidential primary, is known for its voters' sharp questioning of candidates during such town hall-style events (8/20).

The Hill: Romney Campaign Keeping Debate Over Medicare On Center Stage
It's supposed to be the Democrats' signature issue, but Medicare has risen to the forefront of this year's presidential race largely because Mitt Romney's campaign has put it there. On the Sunday political shows, surrogates for the GOP presidential hopeful amplified their attacks on President Obama's Medicare plans, saying the Democrats' reforms will gut the popular seniors program leaving it up to Republicans to save it. That twist on the usual Washington refrain – Democrats for decades have accused Republicans of wanting to dismantle Medicare – combined with the aggressive nature of the GOP's messaging campaign, all but ensure that the issue will remain in the headlines in the run up to election day (Lillis and Muñoz, 8/19).

The Hill: Romney Camp: Obama Cuts Forcing Some Seniors Out Of Medicare
Top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom on Sunday defended the campaign's claims that President Obama "raided" billions from Medicare to fund his healthcare reforms and argued that some seniors were being forced to look elsewhere for coverage because of the cuts. "In order the pay for 'ObamaCare,' he raided the Medicare piggy bank, took $700 billion out of the Medicare program and shifted it to ObamaCare [and] that's wrong," Fehrnstrom said on CNN's "State of the Union" (Muñoz, 8/19).

The Wall Street Journal: Ryan Makes Case For Medicare Overhaul
The Romney-Ryan Medicare plan isn't just political rhetoric, Paul Ryan said Saturday. It is a promise to his mother. "I want to introduce you to my mom, Betty. She's why I'm here," Mr. Ryan told the senior-dominated crowd that filled the town square of this sprawling retirement community. At the end of a week that saw both presidential campaigns argue that their opponents would gut Medicare, the Republican vice-presidential candidate came to this GOP stronghold to make a personal pitch for his vision for the health-care program for the elderly and disabled (Nelson, 8/18).

Los Angeles Times: Paul Ryan Warns Florida Seniors Of Medicare Rationing
Diving deeper into the Medicare fight, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul D. Ryan warned seniors Saturday that a key cost-control measure in President Obama's healthcare law would lead to rationing of their medical care (West, 8/18).

National Journal: Paul Ryan Makes An Emotional Pitch For Medicare Plan In Florida
In front of thousands of Florida seniors, Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan made a highly emotional appeal for his Medicare reforms and slammed a 15-member board charged with slowing the cost growth of the popular entitlement program. Ryan had some help from his mother, 78-year-old Betty Douglas, a part-time Florida resident who appeared on stage with him as he began his speech and was the center of the argument he made that Republicans are trying to keep Medicare solvent for future generations (Kaplan, 8/18).

Reuters: Ryan Puts Personal Spin On Medicare Debate
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on Saturday put a personal spin on the debate over Medicare, bringing his 78-year-old mother on stage at a speech to seniors in Florida where he vowed to safeguard the health insurance program for the elderly. Under attack by Democrats for his budget cost-cutting plan that proposes a major transformation in how Medicare works, Ryan has gone on the offensive, charging that President Barack Obama would take billions from Medicare to pay for his 2010 health care reform law (Selyukh, 8/18).

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