DENVER – Every Wednesday night, Mitt Romney’s Colorado campaign holds a women’s call center event at its office in the Denver West office park near Golden.
But this Wednesday, that event had a more specific focus: Medicare, the issue that’s suddenly dominating the race for the White House after Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate.
“Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering bold ideas to strengthen the middle class and deal with our long-term debt, while the Obama plan is to raid Medicare for current seniors to pay for Obamacare and keep Medicare on a path to bankruptcy,” said a press release from the Romney campaign Tuesday announcing Wednesday’s phone bank event.
It’s part of a coordinated campaign effort to put the Obama campaign on defense on the issue, which has risen to prominence because Ryan, as House Budget Committee chairman, crafted a budget that was passed by the House GOP that will shift Medicare for many seniors under 55 to a voucher-like program.
Almost as soon as Ryan was announced as Romney’s vice presidential nominee on Saturday, the Obama campaign charged that his budget “would end Medicare as we know it.”
Ryan’s restructuring of Medicare is a plan to give seniors money they would have to use to buy insurance from private companies or from the Medicare system.
Proponents believe it will foster free-market competition between healthcare companies and, as a result, lower premiums. Opponents caution that, if it does not, many seniors will be on the hook to pay perhaps thousands of dollars out of their own pocket if the “premium support” from the government doesn’t cover their healthcare costs.