Robert Gibbs Defends President Obama’s Medicare Policy

Lara Seligman
August 19, 2012

Obama senior campaign adviser Robert Gibbs defended the president's plan for Medicare on Fox News Sunday, taking on host Chris Wallace over the $716 billion in cuts to the program that Republicans allege are contained in President Obama's health care overhaul.

Gibbs challenged Wallace’s characterization of the $716 billion figure as a “cut” to Medicare, saying that “there is a $716 billion in efficiencies and savings.”  

“If [Ryan] wants to protect Medicare for his mother, he should thank President Obama for what he has done to extend the life of the Medicare trust fund,” Gibbs said. “What President Obama did was strengthen the Medicare benefits to help Medicare beneficiaries and extend it more than 8 years.”

Gibbs also took issue with Wallace’s critique of Obama’s proposal to charge a 15-member board with slowing the growth in Medicare costs.

Wallace slammed the board’s members as “unaccountable, unelected… bureaucrats” that decide the fate of seniors, but Gibbs cut in that the members are “medical professionals and people we trust.”

Gibbs also used the non-partisan AARP to boost his argument, pointing to a study by the organization. “Do you think the AARP would have endorsed what we did if it hurts seniors?” Gibbs said.

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