Obama camp: Ryan's Medicare plan a 'game changer' in Florida

President Obama's campaign says vice presidential candidate Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Budowsky: Liz Cheney vs. conservatives in name only Cheney at donor retreat says Trump's actions 'a line that cannot be crossed': report MORE's Medicare plan is a "game changer" in the battle for Florida's 29 electoral votes.

In a memo circulated Tuesday, the Obama campaign said Ryan's plans for Medicare "have the potential to immediately erode" the polling advantage that Mitt Romney has with seniors in the critical swing state. 

The Obama campaign document cited two recent polls that show Romney leading Obama among older Florida voters, and noted that CNN's polling director, Keating Holland, found in 2011 that 74 percent of senior citizens opposed Ryan's plans for Medicare.

"Romney’s embrace of Paul Ryan’s plan to replace guaranteed Medicare benefits with a privatized voucher program will be a game changer in Florida," the Obama memo said.

"Approximately one-quarter of likely voters in Florida are over 65. President Obama is currently at 47 percent in the RealClearPolitics average, and in a close election, seniors have the potential to be decisive," the memo stated.


Romney, meanwhile, spent Tuesday on offense, blasting Obama over cuts to Medicare contained in his signature healthcare law. His campaign released a new television that says the president cut from Medicare "to pay for 'ObamaCare.' "

"So now the money you paid for your guaranteed healthcare is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you," says the narrator in the Romney ad. "The Romney-Ryan plan protects Medicare benefits for today’s seniors and strengthens the plan for the next generation."

Medicare has come to the forefront since Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman who serves as the House Budget Committee chairman, was announced as Romney's running mate over the weekend.

Ryan's budget proposal would partially privatize Medicare, allowing seniors to enroll in the traditional program or take a subsidy to buy private insurance. 

Democrats have consistently charged that Ryan's proposal would "end Medicare as we know it" — an attack with potential to sway Florida's crucial senior voting bloc against the GOP ticket.

Nonpartisan budget analysts have concluded that Ryan's plan would increase healthcare costs for seniors over time.