Election 2012:Obama, Romney seek advantage on health care and the economy
President Barack Obama at Prime Osborn Convention Center on July 19, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida. PHOTO/Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama is warning Florida retirees that Republican challenger Mitt Romney would undercut the new health care law and alter Medicare, a play for voters in one of the nation’s top swing states.
Obama wraps up a two-day trip to Florida on Friday with stops in Fort Myers and suburban Orlando, where he is pressing the case that retirees would be hurt by Romney’s opposition to the health care law and by Republican-led efforts to turn Medicare into a “voucher program.” Romney is keeping his focus on the economy, charging that Obama remains more concerned about holding onto his own job than creating more jobs for Americans.
In pre-convention summertime campaigning, Obama and Romney are locked in a tight contest and seeking advantages in about a dozen toss-up states that could help decide the election. None is more prominent than Florida, which narrowly decided the 2000 election and could provide a major boost to whoever prevails here.
Obama, addressing elderly residents of a sprawling South Florida condominium complex on Thursday, jumped on Romney’s opposition to the health care law. He said repeal of the law, which was recently upheld by the Supreme Court, would force more than 200,000 Floridians to pay more for their prescription drugs.
The president charged Romney with seeking to turn Medicare into a voucher program, drawing jeers from retirees at West Palm Beach’s Century Village, home to thousands of reliably Democratic voters.
“So if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the health insurance that’s on the market, you’re out of luck,” he said. “You’re on your own.”
Romney would offer subsidies, Democrats dismiss them as vouchers, to help future retirees buy private insurance, or give them the option of traditional Medicare, with a gradually increasing age to qualify for benefits. Current retirees would not be affected.