The Corner

What Obama Used to Think of Medicare Cuts

A friend in Cantor’s office sends this nugget from Obama on the campaign trail:

Then-Senator Barack Obama Characterized Finding Savings In Medicare As “Drastic Cuts” That “Would Mean Fewer Places To Get Care And Less Freedom To Choose Your Own Doctors” And “It Ain’t Right.” THEN-SEN. BARACK OBAMA: “Senator McCain and I have real differences on this issue. Senator McCain’s been eager to share some of the details of his health care plan, but not all of them. It’s like those ads for prescription drugs. You know, they start off, everybody’s running in the fields and everybody’s happy and then there’s the little fine print that says, you know, side effects may include. Now, first of all, we found out that Senator McCain wants to pay for his plan by taxing your health care benefits for the first time in history. Just like George Bush. That was bad enough. But ‘The Wall Street Journal’ recently reported that it was actually worse than we thought. It turns out Senator McCain would pay for part of his plan by making drastic cuts in Medicare. $882 billion worth. $882 billion in Medicare cuts to pay for an ill-conceived, badly thought through health care plan that won’t provide more health care to people. Even though Medicare’s already facing a looming shortfall. Now, this should come as no surprise. It’s entirely consistent with Senator McCain’s record during his 26 years in Congress, where time and again he’s opposed Medicare. In fact, Senator McCain has voted against protecting Medicare 40 times. Forty times he’s failed to stand up for Medicare. So what would Senator McCain’s cuts mean for Medicare at a time when more and more Americans are relying on it? It would mean a cut of more than 20 percent in Medicare benefits next year. If you count on Medicare, it would mean fewer places to get care and less freedom to choose your own doctors. You’ll pay more for your drugs. You’ll receive fewer services. You’ll get lower quality care. I don’t think that’s right. In fact, it ain’t right.” (Senator Barack Obama, Remarks, Roanoke, VA, 10/17/08)


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