MELBOURNE, Fla. - Campaigning in Florida today, President Obama will seize on a new analysis showing the Romney-Ryan plan would raise Medicare costs to launch fresh attacks against his opponents plan to "voucherize" the popular entitlement program.
Appealing to the large senior population in this key battleground state, the president will highlight a new study by the left-leaning Center for American Progress that found that, under the Romney-Ryan Medicare plan, seniors turning 65 in 2023 would see their health care costs increase by $59,500 during retirement.
The analysis found the numbers are even higher for future generation. According to the study, a person who qualifies for Medicare in 2030 would, on average, have to pay an extra $125,000 in Medicare costs over the course of their retirement.
The president ramped up his hammering of his opponents' Medicare proposals on the road Saturday.
"No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. After a lifetime of labor, you should retire with dignity and respect. You've earned it," he told supporters in Kissimmee, Fla. "We do have to reform and we will strengthen Medicare over the long haul, but we're going to do it by reducing the costs of health care - not by dumping those costs on to seniors."
The Romney campaign has attacked the president in recent weeks for cutting $716 billion from Medicare. What the Romney campaign has not mentioned, however, is that Obama's cuts do not impact Medicare eligibility or benefits.
"I want you to know I will never turn Medicare into a voucher," Obama said. "These guys are out there running these ads about how somehow we're weakening Medicare. We strengthened Medicare."
In response, the Romney campaign said Obama's latest attacks are "a sign of desperation."
"Only one candidate in this race has robbed today's Medicare of $716 billion to pay for Obamacare - Barack Obama. He has done nothing to reform Medicare for the long haul and prevent it from going bankrupt, and on his watch family health care premiums have increased by nearly $2,500. The President's decision to use discredited studies and outright falsehoods to attack Mitt Romney is an admission that he can't talk about his record of crushing the middle class and failing to turn the economy around," Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in a written statement.