Even though Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate catapulted Medicare onto center stage of this year’s presidential contest, Ryan devoted only a couple of sentences to the issue in accepting his party’s vice presidential nomination tonight.
Ryan slammed President Obama for reductions in payments to Medicare providers made under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, even though Ryan’s own plan to overhaul the program contained similar reductions. Ryan’s plan is controversial because it would change Medicare from a defined benefit program to one that provides credits to help pay for private insurance or traditional Medicare.
“An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for entitlements we didn’t even ask for,” Ryan told the GOP convention. “The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.'”
So far, speakers at the convention have largely avoided talking about the Ryan plan. Like Ryan, two congressional hopefuls – Keith Rothfus of Pennsylvania and Richard Hudson of North Carolina – stuck to attacking “Obamacare,” and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made only an oblique reference to Medicare in his keynote speech, saying that older voters are willing to change “overburdened entitlements” to help their grandchildren.
Romney will clearly have an opportunity to talk more about what he and Ryan propose for Medicare in his prime-time acceptance speech Thursday night. – Susan Milligan
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