By Justin Sink - 08/14/12 07:04 PM EDT
Ryan's recent budget proposal would shift Medicare funding to a voucher-like program, a move that financial analysts and Democrats argue would increase costs for seniors. And while the Obama campaign has been slamming Ryan for that proposal, Romney's team has instead focused on $700 billion in Medicare cuts that were part of the president's signature healthcare law.
In the ad released Tuesday, a narrator slams the cuts, telling viewers that the president cut from Medicare "to pay for 'ObamaCare.' "
The Obama campaign has pointed out that the $700 billion came from eliminating subsidies to insurance companies and cutting waste and fraud — neither of which would affect heath services or benefits for seniors. Independent fact-checking groups like Politifact have labeled the Romney charges as "false," and in a statement Tuesday, Obama's campaign called the ad "dishonest and hypocritical."
"The savings his ad attacks do not cut a single guaranteed Medicare benefit, and Mitt Romney embraced the very same savings when he promised he’d sign Paul Ryan’s budget," Obama spokeswoman Lis Smith said. "Because the President is eliminating subsidies to insurance companies and cutting waste and fraud, we’ve extended the life of Medicare by eight years. The truth is that the Romney-Ryan budget would end Medicare as we know it: people with Medicare would be left with nothing but a voucher in place of the guaranteed benefits they rely on today. And they do it all to pay for massive tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires – the very same top-down economic scheme that crashed our economy and devastated the middle class in the first place.”
And, ironically, Paul Ryan's House budget included the same reforms that Republicans have criticized.
Nevertheless, Romney's campaign is hoping that their best defense on Ryan's voucher proposal is playing offense. In addition to releasing the ad Tuesday, both Romney and Ryan hit the president on Medicare while stumping during the day.
“The president’s idea for Medicare was to cut it by $700 billion. That’s not the right answer. We need to make sure we can preserve and protect Medicare,” Romney said Tuesday in Ohio.