Republicans are pointing to a 2009 video clip of President Barack Obama talking about preserving deep Medicare cuts as proof that Democrats are hypocritical on the subject when they accuse vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan of wanting to “end Medicare as we know it.”
A 2009 video clip of Obama pledging to veto attempts to undo his $700 billion in Medicare cuts is making the rounds on the Internet. In the clip, in which Obama is interviewed by Jake Tapper of ABC News, Obama insists he wants to keep the cuts in place in order to keep the deficit down. Here is the exchange:
“TAPPER: One of the concerns about health care and how you pay for it — one third of the funding comes from cuts to Medicare.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Right.
TAPPER: A lot of times, as you know, what happens in Congress is somebody will do something bold and then Congress, close to election season, will undo it.
TAPPER: You saw that with the ‘doc fix.’
TAPPER: Are you willing to pledge that whatever cuts in Medicare are being made to fund health insurance, one third of it, that you will veto anything that tries to undo that?
OBAMA: Yes. I actually have said that it is important for us to make sure this thing is deficit neutral, without tricks. I said I wouldn’t sign a bill that didn’t meet that criteria.”
Democrats have accused Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate Ryan as wanting to scrap Medicare for future generations and ratchet up costs or cut benefits for many seniors.
Ryan’s includes spending cuts and the eventual transformation of Medicare into a federal subsidy for private coverage, but wouldn’t affect current seniors.
Obama’s health-care overhaul was financed in part by cutting more than $700 billion in Medicare spending, including payments to private insurers that contract with the program. Democrats such as Obama adviser David Axelrod have said Republicans are lying about the Medicare cuts.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post looked closely at the cuts and agreed with Romney that Obamacare cuts Medicare by $716 billion.
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