Top-Of-The-Ticket Sparring Focuses On Medicare


Romney (Photo credit: Talk Radio News Service)

Topics: Health Costs, Medicare, Politics

Aug 16, 2012

In a Wednesday campaign appearance, President Barack Obama and GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney went on the attack, trading barbs over the Medicare program. For Romney, it included taking steps to distance himself from the ideas advanced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Paul Ryan, his pick for running mate.

Los Angeles Times: Obama, Romney Trade Jabs Over Medicare
President Obama and Mitt Romney sparred over the future of Medicare on Wednesday in a battle to shape public opinion on the proposal by Paul D. Ryan, Romney’s running mate, to revamp the popular health care program for the elderly and the disabled. … The heated rhetoric on what, just days ago, was a marginal topic in the presidential race reflected the impact of Romney’s decision to put the Wisconsin congressman on the Republican ticket Saturday. Obama and Romney are racing to define Ryan’s image — in opposite ways — for voters previously unfamiliar with him (Finnegan and Parsons, 8/16).

Des Moines Register: Barbs Traded On Medicare
Both campaigns are swinging hard on Medicare, sending conflicting messages to Iowans about who’s hurting the federal program for the elderly and disabled. At a campaign rally in Dubuque on Wednesday, President Barack Obama charged that his GOP rival would leave new retirees with nothing but a voucher in place of the guaranteed benefits they rely on today. … Meanwhile, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney launched a new TV ad in Iowa on Wednesday that dings Obama for taking money from a popular program and giving it to a less popular one (Jacobs, 8/16).

The New York Times: Health Care Leads Campaign Dialogue In Midwest
With Mitt Romney on the attack on Medicare, President Obama personally engaged in the fight on Wednesday as the popular public health program catapulted to the top of the presidential campaign agenda (Cooper, 8/15).

Los Angeles Times: Romney Steps Away From Paul Ryan’s Medicare Cuts
Mitt Romney on Wednesday unequivocally disavowed more than $700 billion in Medicare spending cuts proposed by his new running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin. In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” Romney was asked how he squared his running mate’s plan to cut spending on the popular health care program for the elderly with his criticism of President Obama for making the same reductions (Finnegan, 8/15).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Romney Campaign Presses Issue Of Overhauling Medicare, While Going After Obama’s Likeability
Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is trying to stay on the offensive in the increasingly heated debate over the future of Medicare. Romney and his running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, signaled Wednesday that they invite scrutiny of their plans for the health care program that affects tens of millions of seniors. Such a focus would thrust the budget proposal Ryan authored — which included a controversial measure to transform Medicare into a voucher-like system — into the center of the race for the White House (8/16).

Los Angeles Times: Obama Says GOP Plan Would ‘End Medicare As We Know It’
President Obama defended his Medicare reforms Wednesday as improvements that didn’t affect benefits for seniors “by a dime.” Countering a new critique from Republican Mitt Romney, Obama told a crowd here that his reforms have strengthened Medicare by cutting costs and saving money in prescription drugs for seniors (Parsons, 8/15).

The Wall Street Journal: Obama Weighs In On Medicare Rift
President Barack Obama added his voice Wednesday to the escalating spat over Medicare policy between his campaign and that of Republican Mitt Romney. Mr. Obama accused the Romney campaign of being “dishonest” about the changes he has made to Medicare, saying “they’re just throwing everything at the wall to see if it sticks” (Lee, 8/15).

The Hill: Obama Says His Work On Medicare Extended Program For A ‘Decade’
Obama defended his plan at a campaign stop Wednesday in Iowa. “My plan already extends Medicare by more than a decade,” he said. “Their plan ends Medicare as we know it.” The Medicare program’s trustees have said the Affordable Care Act will extend Medicare’s solvency, mostly because of the savings Romney is attacking, though they questioned whether Congress would actually allow the cuts to take effect. The Obama campaign says the $700 billion comes from cutting waste and fraud and from reducing subsidies to insurance companies. The administration says the cut will not reduce services or benefits for seniors (Baker, 8/15).

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.

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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