Aug 15, 2012
Medicare clearly is a flashpoint in the presidential contest as both sides make claims and point fingers at the other.
NBC: Romney Draws On 2010 Playbook In Medicare Offensive
The Romney campaign‘s newfound eagerness to engage President Obama on Medicare appears to draw more from Republicans’ 2010 playbook than anything else. But the strategy raises the question: Can it work — again — after Republicans passed the Ryan budget plan in 2011 and 2012? The Romney campaign has gambled that it will. “You see, when he ran for office he said he’d protect Medicare, but did you know that he has taken $716 billion out of the Medicare trust fund – he’s raided that trust fund – and you know what he did with it? He’s used it to pay for Obamacare – a risky, unproven, federal government takeover of health care,” Romney said Tuesday in Ohio. “And if I’m president of the United States we’re putting the $716 billion back” (O’Brien, 8/14).
Bloomberg: Romney Embracing Political Risk Goes On Offense On Medicare
Mitt Romney, embracing political risk on an issue long considered a Democratic advantage, is attacking President Barack Obama on Medicare in a bid to turn a potential liability into an asset. The Republican challenger and his vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, whose selection has thrust the issue to the forefront of the campaign, are trying to blunt assertions by Democrats that their plan to revamp Medicare amounts to a radical and damaging assault on a cherished program. To do so, the Republican ticket is telling voters in campaign speeches, interviews and a new television advertisement that Obama is weakening the program through cuts that undermine its long-term sustainability (Hirschfeld Davis, 8/15)
The New York Times’ The Caucus: New Ad Attacks Obama On Medicare
Mitt Romney’s campaign signaled that it intended to fight rather than run from Democratic attacks over Republican Medicare policies, unveiling a new ad that stresses that President Obama cut $700 billion from the program. … Democrats say the attack is an unfair and misleading attempt to scare seniors. They say that the $700 billion cut was to projected future growth in Medicare costs and did not cut benefits to current retirees. And they note that the budget by Mr. Ryan, the vice-presidential nominee, also includes the same cuts (Shear and Wheaton, 8/14).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Debate Joined On Medicare; Romney, Obama Go At It
Mitt Romney accused President Barack Obama in person and in TV advertising Tuesday of cutting Medicare “to pay for Obamacare,” launching a strong counterattack to Democratic charges that he and running mate Paul Ryan would radically remake the popular health care program that serves tens of millions of seniors. The charge drew a blistering response from Obama’s campaign, which labeled the ad dishonest and hypocritical (Espo, 8/14).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Obama Campaign To Expand Ryan Budget Opposition Beyond Medicare In Key Battleground States
President Barack Obama’s campaign … mobilizing its vast network of staffers and volunteers in key states to highlight Ryan’s proposals to cut funding for veterans care, clean energy and education — and link presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney directly to them. Democrats say those cuts would be just as damaging as Ryan’s proposed overhaul of Medicare, the popular federal health care program that serves tens of millions of seniors (8/15).
Politico Pro: Ryan: We Can ‘Absolutely’ Win Medicare
On Fox News on Tuesday, Paul Ryan said he doesn’t think the Medicare issue is a liability for the GOP ticket — in fact, he “absolutely” thinks Mitt Romney’s ticket can win on Medicare. “We’re the ones who are not raiding Medicare to pay for Obamacare,” Ryan said in the interview. “We’re the ones who are repealing President Obama’s 15-person bureaucratic board that will put price controls on Medicare that will lead to denied care for current seniors” (Smith, 8/14).
The Hill: Sen. Wyden: Romney Health Care Plan Undermines Medicare Reform
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) continues to distance himself from the Romney campaign’s Medicare plan, which is based on a proposal he wrote with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Romney’s Medicare plan is essentially the same as the proposal that Ryan and Wyden introduced earlier this year — and Romney has often cited Wyden’s involvement to argue that his plan has bipartisan support. But Wyden, already facing criticism from his own party for working with Ryan, said the Romney-Ryan plan is a far cry from what he endorsed (Baker, 8/14).
National Journal: ‘Medi-Scare’ Attacks Now A Bipartisan Sport
After years of ceding the issue of Medicare’s future to Democrats, Republicans have begun fighting back, emboldened by the unpopularity of President Obama’s health reform law among seniors and the rising prominence of the debate now that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has chosen Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as his running mate. This election is already featuring so-called “Medi-scare” attacks from both sides. In the now-bipartisan sport of Medicare-baiting, Democrats will tell voters that Republicans want to “end Medicare as we know it,” while Republicans will say that it’s Democrats who have already voted for $700 billion in cuts for current beneficiaries by passing health care reform (Sanger-Katz, 8/14).
CNN: Romney Campaign Takes To Airwaves With Medicare Response
Mitt Romney’s campaign is taking their pushback on Democratic attacks on Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan from the campaign trail and surrogate interviews to the commercial breaks. The Republican presidential campaign announced Tuesday that they’re going up with a new TV ad that claims that President Barack Obama’s cut more than $700 billion from Medicare (Steinhauser, 8/14).
This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.