Obama, Ryan make pitches for Medicare plans

The New York Times: Both Campaigns Seize Role Of Medicare Defender
After several days in which he mentioned only generalities on the campaign trail, Representative Paul D. Ryan sought on Saturday to play offense on Medicare, attacking in detail President Obama's health care plan, seizing an issue that has the potential to be one of Mr. Ryan's biggest liabilities in joining the Republican presidential ticket. Mr. Ryan, who has proposed a controversial voucher program for Medicare, accused Mr. Obama of being the bigger threat because of savings wrung from the growth of spending in the program contained in the president's health care overhaul of 2010 (Gabriel and Cooper, 8/18).

Wall Street Journal: Ryan Makes Case For Medicare Overhaul
Mr. Ryan's budget blueprint would change Medicare for future retirees by offering the option of buying into private health-insurance plans that would be subsidized by what the congressman calls "premium support" and what Democrats call "vouchers." On the stump, Mr. Ryan emphasizes that those 55 and older wouldn't be affected. Mr. Obama has said he is strengthening Medicare by bringing down the government's costs and by saving seniors money on prescription drugs. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said this week that the president is slowing the growth of Medicare costs-;not cutting benefits (McCain Nelson, 8/18).

The Hill: Ryan Says His Medicare Reform Plan 'Evolved,' Has Bipartisan Support
GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on Saturday said his position on Medicare reform had "evolved" and that both he and presumptive nominee Mitt Romney were committed to preserving the program for future retirees. In an interview with Fox News's Carl Cameron, Ryan was asked to reconcile differences in his Medicare reform proposals. ... Ryan suggested that while Romney had expressed concerns with his initial Medicare reform proposals that made a privatized model mandatory for participants, he broadly backed Ryan's most recent proposals which would allow for seniors near retirement age or on Medicare to stick with the current system (Mali, 8/18).

The Hill: Romney Podcast Says Medicare Was 'Raided' To Pay For Health Law
Mitt Romney on Saturday accused President Obama of weakening Medicare to fund his "takeover of the healthcare system," in an audio podcast posted to his campaign blog. "President Obama's healthcare law raided $716 billion from the Medicare trust fund. And he did that to finance his takeover of the healthcare system," says the presumptive GOP nominee in the audio message, the campaign's "first weekly podcast" from Romney in the run up to Election Day (Mali, 8/18).

Los Angeles Times: Obama Tees Off On Ryan's Tax And Medicare Proposals
In a campaign marked by growing vitriol, Obama also accused his opponents of being dishonest in the debate over Medicare, the government health plan for seniors and the disabled. ... Obama said his 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" (Parsons, 8/18).

The Washington Post: Obama Slams Romney, Ryan On Tax Rates, Medicare In Stops In New Hampshire
Obama said that rather than focus on their economic plans, Romney and Ryan have tried to change the subject, concentrating instead on Medicare. ... "But I guess they figure the best defense is to try to go on offense," Obama said, adding that the Romney-Ryan plan undoes the Medicare guarantee. "So here is 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" (Henderson, 8/18). 

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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