During her weekly press briefing with reporters Thursday afternoon, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took a shot at Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by saying, “Gov. Romney embraced the repeal of Medicare. That was a sad day for our country.”
Pelosi was responding to a question for her thought of Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan. Ryan was tapped as Romney’s vice presidential candidate on Aug. 11. The Romney-Ryan campaign website says Medicare under their administration would “not change for current seniors or those nearing retirement.”
Pelosi attacked the Republicans for voting for the Ryan budget, which changes Medicare in the future, but stated the selection of Ryan as the GOP’s vice presidential candidate does have a benefit the Democrats would take advantage of in the upcoming election.
“Our approach has always been that the three most important issues in the campaign in alphabetical order have been Medicare, Medicare, and Medicare.”
However, a recent poll by Resurgent Republic in late August shows Americans tend to favor Ryan’s plan for Medicare over the Democratic plan. The poll gave voters two options: a Democratic statement, statement 1, and a Republican statement, statement 2.
The Democratic statement or statement 1 read, “Congressman A says we should not balance the budget on the backs of our seniors. We need to cut back spending, but Medicare should be off limits. Republican plans to privatize Medicare are a Trojan Horse that will end Medicare as we know it.”
The second statement, or the Republican statement said, “Congressman B says Medicare will go broke if we do nothing because of all the retiring baby boomers. By giving people age 55 and under the choice of joining traditional Medicare or using Medicare dollars to buy a private health insurance plan, we can preserve and protect this important program for current recipients and future generations.”
The poll reported, “Forty-five percent of likely voters said they agreed with the second statement more, while 40 percent said they agreed with the first statement. Independents leaned heavily toward statement B, 53 percent to 34 percent, as did swing state voters — 46 percent to 39 percent.”
Pelosi also said the Romney-Ryan Medicare proposal makes seniors pay more out of pocket for costs while cutting taxes on the wealthy in the country.
“When the Republicans put forth the Ryan-Romney Republican budget, that severed the Medicare guarantee and said to seniors ‘you’re going to six, while we’re at it $6,000 more to get less from Medicare while we give tax cuts to the wealthiest people in our country.'”
The Romney campaign’s website disagrees with Pelosi’s statement, but offers little details about the final cost of Medicare if the Romney-Ryan Medicare proposal were to take effect.
“By replacing the inefficiency of the current system with a competitive, market-oriented system in which every provider — including the government — wants to find the most efficient way to provide high quality care, the plan puts the future of Medicare on a sound footing to meet the needs of future generations.”
The minority leader did say even without the selection of Ryan as the GOP’s VP, her party was still going to make Medicare an issue this November.
“We were going to make this fight anyway. We saw this as essential. Not as a path to victory cause that’s unimportant,” Pelosi said. “What’s important was to save Medicare and Gov. Romney is making it easier by saying, by embracing the repeal of Medicare.”