By Geneva Sands - 08/15/12 01:38 PM EDT
In a Web video released Wednesday, President Obama's reelection campaign accuse Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), of seeking an end to Medicare "as we know it."
The video features news segments discussing the Romney-Ryan plan, including a video clip of economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman blasting the Republican Medicare proposals.
Ryan's emergence as Romney's running mate has ensured that Medicare will be front and center in the 2012 presidential race.
Ryan's last two House budgets have included proposed changes to Medicare, and Democrats believe tying Romney to those plans will hurt the Republicans with seniors, especially in the key swing state of Florida.
Ryan's 2011 budget would have replaced traditional Medicare with a system in which seniors would have received subsidies to buy private insurance. The plan would not have applied to current beneficiaries but would have applied to recipients in a decade. In 2012, Ryan's budget allowed seniors to choose between the new system and the traditional fee-for-service Medicare, a move seen as a concession to criticism about the 2011 approach.
To try to combat the president's effort, the Romney campaign has hit Obama over his healthcare law, which Republicans say raids Medicare and would harm seniors.
"In recent years, President Obama has admitted that Medicare ‘is going broke.’ But instead of working toward a solution, the president cut $716 billion from Medicare to pay for his disastrous healthcare law and stuck America’s seniors and future retirees with the bill. As president, Mitt Romney will protect Medicare for seniors and ensure that the program is strengthened and saved for future retirees," Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in a statement.
In his first solo interview since being named Romney's vice presidential pick, Ryan said the president was "damaging Medicare for current seniors."
"We're the ones who are not raiding Medicare to pay for ObamaCare. 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. We're the ones continuing the guarantee of Medicare for people in or near retirement," Ryan said on Fox News.