House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) at the Republican National Convention (RNC) on Wednesday criticized the Affordable Care Act (ACA), calling it the "greatest threat" to Medicare.
Ryan made the remarks in a speech accepting his nomination to become GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's running mate.
In the address, he warned that the federal health reform law "came at the expense" of Medicare beneficiaries because the law "funneled" $716 billion away from Medicare into the Affordable Care Act. He reiterated a GOP promise to repeal the health reform law if Romney is elected.
Ryan also said that a Romney-Ryan administration would protect and strengthen Medicare for future generations. "Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program and raiding it," he said.
Ryan acknowledged that the issue of preserving Medicare is one that typically favors Democrats. However, Ryan assured attendees that "our nation needs this debate," adding, "We want this debate. We will win this debate."
The Associated Press notes that Ryan did not mention his Medicare reform plan in the address, which also includes Medicare cuts.
DNC, Obama campaign respond
Democrats on Wednesday responded to GOP criticism over Medicare. Specifically, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) placed a full-page ad in the Tampa Tribune and two digital billboards in Tampa, Fla., attacking Romney and Ryan on Medicare.
The Tampa Tribune ad warns that Romney and Ryan "plan to end Medicare as we know it." Meanwhile, the billboards highlight Republicans' plans to transform Medicare into "a voucher plan" that will charge "seniors up to $6,400 more."
DNC also teamed up with the Obama for America campaign on Wednesday to host a news conference featuring Democratic lawmakers and citizens who have benefitted from the federal health reform law.
Meanwhile, at a campaign stop near the University of Virginia Wednesday, Obama responded to GOP criticism of the health reform law. Obama said Romney "calls my health care law ObamaCare," adding, "I'll call his plan 'Romney Doesn't Care'" (Haberkorn/Norman, Politico, 8/29; Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 8/30; Rutenberg, New York Times, 8/29; Tumulty, Washington Post, 8/30; Gillum, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 8/30; Cohn, "Blog Briefing Room," The Hill, 8/29; Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 8/29; Madhani, USA Today, 8/29).
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