Current Magazine

Obama Insists He Would Protect Medicare

Posted on the 25 August 2012 by Dan90017

President Barack Obama used his weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday to insist that the changes that he proposed for Medicare, the government-administered social insurance program for senior citizens, would benefit the elderly. In contrast, he said, the Republican proposal would “end Medicare as we know it.”

President Obama insists that the changes he proposed for Medicare would not penalize senior citizens.

President Obama insists that the changes he proposed for Medicare would not penalize senior citizens.

Just over a week ago, the Romney campaign started running an ad accusing Mr. Obama of diverting around three quarters of a trillion dollars from Medicare in order to fund the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and telling Americans that all the cash they had paid towards their guaranteed healthcare would be going into a massive new government program that was not meant for them.

“Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about Medicare, with a lot of accusations and misinformation flying around. So, today, I want to step back for a minute and share with you some actual facts and news about the program,” Mr. Obama told his audience.

The president also reiterated that his plans for Medicare would not threaten the entitlements senior citizens are currently benefiting from. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) itself said in July that the $716 billion of ‘cuts’ would not affect any of the benefits currently available. Indeed, the CBO pointed out, the $716 billion of savings were directly linked to lower payments made to hospitals as well as lower prices paid to prescription drug suppliers.

“I’ve proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system and reining in insurance companies, reforms that won’t touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Not by a single dime,” Mr. Obama insisted.

The president then turned to the reforms put forward by Mr. Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, which would do away with Medicare as Americans know it and replace it with a voucher system.

“That means that, instead of being guaranteed Medicare, seniors would get a voucher to buy insurance, but it wouldn’t keep up with costs. As a result, one plan would force seniors to pay an extra $6,400 a year for the same benefits they get now. And it would effectively end Medicare as we know it,” Mr. Obama warned.

The president also promised to continue to look at ways to make Medicare even better, while insisting that any changes would not be detrimental to anyone.

“I’m willing to work with anyone to keep improving the current system, but I refuse to do anything that undermines the basic idea of Medicare as a guarantee for seniors who get sick,” Mr. Obama pledged.

Meanwhile, polls continue to show that over 50 percent of Americans are in favor of repealing ObamaCare, the president’s signature law.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog