Obama Tries to Turn Focus to Medicare From Jobs Figures [View all]
Source: NY Times
By HELENE COOPER
SEMINOLE, Fla. — President Obama on Saturday began hammering away at the Republican ticket’s plans for Medicare, using a campaign swing through Florida, with its large number of retired and elderly voters, to try to turn the page from anemic employment growth, his biggest weakness, to entitlements, a Democratic strength.
Kicking off a two-day bus tour through this perennial swing state, the president told a rally here that Mitt Romney’s running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, had proposed overhauling Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system that could mean higher costs for beneficiaries.
“Florida, you should know I will never turn Medicare into a voucher system,” Mr. Obama said to rousing cheers from a crowd of 11,000 at St. Petersburg College, Seminole. “No American should have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies.”
The president’s advisers have indicated that they are eager to re-engage their opponents on their Medicare plan, while the Romney camp would prefer to talk about the economy. A government report on Friday showed that employers had eased up on hiring in August, adding just 96,000 jobs, compared with 141,000 in July. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent, but that was largely because of people leaving the work force entirely.