In their acceptance speeches at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday night, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both denounced Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan for Medicare as a “voucher.”
A transcript follows:
JOE BIDEN: Speaking of tough calls: Last week we heard at the Republican convention, we heard our opponents, we heard them pledge that they, too, had the courage to make the tough calls. That’s what they said.
But, folks, in case you didn’t notice — and I say to my fellow Americans — in case you didn’t notice, they didn’t have the courage to tell you what calls they would make. They never mentioned any of that.
Mrs. Robinson, you watched from home, I guess, from the White House — you heard them talk so much about they cared so much about Medicare. How much they wanted to preserve it. That’s what they told you.
But let’s look at what they didn’t tell you. What they didn’t tell you is that the plan they have already put down on paper would immediately cut benefits to more than 30 million seniors already on Medicare. What they didn’t tell you is that the plan they are proposing would cause Medicare to go bankrupt by 2016. And what they really didn’t tell you is, they — if you want to know — they’re not for preserving Medicare — at all. They’re for a whole new plan. It’s called “vouchercare.” Look, folks, that’s not courage. That’s not even truthful.
BARACK OBAMA: I refuse to ask students to pay more for college or kick children out of Head Start programs, to eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor and elderly or disabled — all so those with the most can pay less. I’m not going along with that.
And I will never turn Medicare into a voucher. No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with the care and dignity that they have earned. Yes, we will reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we’ll do it by reducing the cost of health care, not by asking seniors to pay thousands of dollars more. And we will keep the promise of Social Security by taking the responsible steps to strengthen it, not by turning it over to Wall Street.