Following Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney‘s attacks on President Barack Obama‘s health care law, which he called “Obamacare” in the debate, the president said he had “become fond” of the term.
“What things would I cut from spending? Well, first of all, I will eliminate all programs by this test, if they don’t pass it: Is the program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if not, I’ll get rid of it. Obamacare’s on my list,” Romney said.
“I apologize, Mr. President. I use that term with all respect, by the way.”
“I like it,” Obama responded.
Romney said, “Good. OK, good. So I’ll get rid of that.”
Going forward, President Obama began to use the term “Obamacare” in his responses to Romney.
“If you repeal Obamacare, and I have become fond of this term, ‘Obamacare,’ if you repeal it, what happens is those seniors right away are going to be paying $600 more in prescription care,” Obama said.
In his defense of the law, Obama said it saved $716 billion from Medicare.
“$716 billion we were able to save from the Medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies by making sure that we weren’t overpaying providers. And using that money, we were actually able to lower prescription drug costs for seniors by an average of $600, and we were also able to make a — make a significant dent in providing them the kind of preventive care that will ultimately save money throughout the system,” Obama said.
In response, Romney said Obama cut Medicare to pay for Obamacare.
“I want to take that $716 billion you’ve cut and put it back into Medicare. By the way, we can include a prescription program if we need to improve it. But the idea of cutting $716 billion from Medicare to be able to balance the additional cost of Obamacare is, in my opinion, a mistake,” he said directly to Obama.
Later in the debate, Romney repeated his attack.
“What I support is no change for current retirees and near-retirees to Medicare. And the president supports taking $716 billion out of that program,” Romney said.
Obama did not challenge Romney on the issue.