Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—September 21, 2012. Today GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan addressed AARP’s National Annual Conference in New Orleans. In his remarks, he attacked President Obama for cutting $716 billion from Medicare, but did not say that he had included the same cuts in his own budget. He also stated, on the record, that he is for raising the retirement age. The address was not well-received. Audience members called Ryan a “liar,” told him to “go home,” and booed his critique of President Obama and health reform.
“Paul Ryan told a lot of lies at the AARP Conference today,” said Barbara J. Easterling, President of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “But even when he told the truth, he said things that seniors don’t want to hear: for instance, that he wants to change seniors’ guaranteed Medicare benefits into a voucher system.”
To see the thinkprogress.org video with the audience’s reaction, go to http://bit.ly/Q2jxMs.
Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance, issued the following statement:
“Even by already-low Paul Ryan standards, the GOP vice presidential nominee outdid himself today. In a calculated disregard for the facts, Paul Ryan told many lies. Here are some of the biggest:
“$716 billion cuts to Medicare? No mention of how these only affect wasteful, redundant tax dollars going to the big insurance and medical supply companies. No mention that the ‘old’ Paul Ryan supported the same thing back when he played to smaller audiences.
“The Affordable Care Act is bad for seniors? No mention of the $4.5 billion seniors have already saved on prescriptions, an average of $641 per person. No mention of closing the Medicare Part D doughnut hole. No mention of all the lives – and money – saved by 19 million seniors who have received new, free preventive care and tests for life-threatening diseases. No mention of how he would repeal these new benefits and replace long-standing Medicare with an inadequate voucher plan that steers seniors toward buying expensive plans from insurance companies.
“The secret government panel that will ration medical care? No mention of how this group will solely focus on eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse in payments to providers, and is prohibited from cutting benefits to seniors. No mention of how all members of the panel must be confirmed by the Senate, nor how their recommendations can be overruled by Congress. This fear-mongering lie to America’s seniors is nothing but an encore of Sarah Palin’s shameful ‘death panel’ warnings. The only people who ration health care in this country are Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s friends in the health insurance industry, the ones who deny people the medical care they desperately need.
“With President Obama and Paul Ryan appearing back-to-back at this meeting, voters were reminded of the stark contrasts in this election. For Barack Obama, Medicare and Social Security are two of America’s greatest success stories. For Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, they are two more public goods that can be sold off for private gain.”