By Geneva Sands - 08/16/12 06:41 PM EDT
"The president's plan cuts Medicare ... by $716 billion. Cut. In addition, the trustees of Medicare estimate that approximately 4 million people will lose their coverage under Medicare Advantage," Romney said in Greer, S.C.
He exalted his own proposal, saying it would make Medicare "solvent."
"The differences in our Medicare perspective could not be more stark and dramatic, and I think — as the people, as the seniors in America understand what the president's plan is doing to Medicare, they're going to find it unacceptable, and we're going to get a lot of support from people who understand that Medicare should be protected for current seniors, as well as for the next generation," he said.
The Romney campaign has argued that a provision in Obama's signature healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, shifts funds away from Medicare.
Newly minted vice presidential hopeful Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), whose emergence on the GOP ticket pushed Medicare to the forefront of the presidential race, also blasted Obama on the campaign trail Thursday.
“The president was talking about Medicare yesterday ... what he probably did not mention yesterday is that when passed his signature healthcare achievement, ObamaCare, he raided $716 billion from Medicare paid for ObamaCare. This will lead to fewer services for seniors. President Obama’s campaign calls this an achievement. You think raiding Medicare to pay for ObamaCare is an achievement? Neither do I," said Ryan in remarks from North Canton, Ohio, sent out by the Romney campaign.
Obama defended fired back at the Romney camp and defended his healthcare law at a campaign stop in Iowa Wednesday.
"My plan already extends Medicare by more than a decade," Obama said. "Their plan ends Medicare as we know it."
The Obama campaign Wednesday also accused Romney and Ryan of trying to "voucherize" Medicare.
"We’ve known that the selection of Paul Ryan just further solidifies Mitt Romney’s embrace of a radical budget, including dramatic cuts to programs like Medicare and programs that people across the country rely on," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki, according to the Obama campaign. "[W]e want to strengthen the program. We want to ensure a longer solvency of the program. And we don’t think it’s acceptable to voucherize Medicare, which would put the burden on the backs of seniors, raise the cost."