Obama Pledged His Medicare Cuts Are Here to Stay

By Matt Cover | August 14, 2012 | 5:10pm EDT

President Barack Obama addresses the crowd during a campaign stop Monday, Aug. 13, 2012, in Boone, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama said in 2009 that the Medicare cuts he signed as part of his Obamacare health reform law would never be repealed, noting that nearly one-third of the bill’s funding came from cutting Medicare.

In a November 2009 interview with ABC News’ Jake Tapper, Obama acknowledged that a third of the funding for ObamaCare came from cutting Medicare.

ABC’s Jake Tapper: “One of the concerns about health care and how you pay for it: third of the funding comes from cuts to Medicare.”

President Obama: “Right.”

Tapper went on to ask Obama whether he would allow Congress to repeal or patch the Medicare cuts as it does every year with the so-called Doc Fix, a measure designed to ensure adequate reimbursement payments are maintained to doctors who care for patients covered by Medicare.

Obama said that his Medicare cuts were permanent and that he would never allow Congress to repeal them.

Tapper: “Are you willing to pledge that whatever cuts in Medicare are being made to fund health insurance – one third of it – that you will veto anything that tries to undo that?”

Obama: “Yes. I actually have said that it is important for us to make sure this thing is deficit neutral, without tricks. I said I wouldn’t sign a bill that didn’t meet that criteria.”

Obama’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act, will cut Medicare by an estimated $716 billion, according to the latest study from the Congressional Budget Office.

The cuts come largely from reductions in Medicare payments for things like hospital care and cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.

Obama and fellow Democrats have recently criticized the GOP over  vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisc.) plans to reform Medicare, saying that the Republican plan will  “end Medicare as we know it.”

“Romney and Ryan are committed to a plan that would end Medicare as we know it. They would create a voucher system that would increase seniors' health costs,” Obama’s Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter said in an e-mail to Obama supporters.

Ryan’s plans to change Medicare from a fee-for-service entitlement to a system using federal premium-support payments would not actually affect current seniors. Under Ryan’s proposal, those 55 and older would see no change in their current Medicare plans. Only those 54 and younger would need to use the premium-support model when they retire.

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