Presidential campaigns fiercely argue over Medicare

POSTED: Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 10:30am

UPDATED: Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 10:34am

It's been a war of words between President Obama and GOP rival Mitt Romney, with statements like "unhinged" and "hate" going back and forth... And in the same blistering fashion, the candidates are going at it over the latest campaign hot topic.

Both campaigns spent the day firing at each over Medicare.

President Obama was joined by the first lady on his third and last day of campaigning in Iowa.

He attacked GOP claims that his health care plan reforms cut Medicare by 700 billion dollars. "I've proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system. Reforms that will not touch your Medicare benefits," said President Barack Obama.

Paul Ryan at his alma mater Miami University in Ohio hit back at the President inviting a challenge on the issue. "The President, I'm told is talking about Medicare today. We want this debate. We need this debate, and we will win this debate," said Rep. Paul Ryan, (R) Vice Presidential Candidate.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, Obama's healthcare reforms and Ryan's Medicare plan both slow Medicare growth by 700 billion dollars, but neither plan 'cuts' program benefits.

Both Republican candidates have been hammered on the Ryan versus Romney Medicare plan this week. "The Medicare issue has been a big seller for the Democrats since the 1980's. Given all that they should have expected all this and should have been better prepared," said the Director of UVA Center for Politics, Larry Sabato.

Claire Leka, NBC News.


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