Biden warns of Medicare cuts if Romney wins

Biden warns of Medicare cuts if Romney wins

MILFORD, OH (FOX19) - Even long before Vice President Joe Biden walked into the large cafeteria at Milford High School Sunday afternoon, a crowd of about 700 students and adults were hyped-up, chanting "4 more years!" and "We want Joe!"

Had you not seen the enthusiasm of Democrats at their convention in Charlotte, you might have wondered where this reservoir of optimism and confidence in their candidate was coming from. But just like at the convention, supporters of the Obama/Biden ticket in Clermont County were not listening to the conventional wisdom that an incumbent president at the helm of such a shaky economy faces an uphill fight for re-election.

And, it should be pointed out, the polls don't suggest this either. President. Obama is in the lead --- narrowly.

But Clermont County would not generally be thought of as friendly territory for the Obama campaign. In 2008, John McCain trounced Mr. Obama here. The final vote was 62,559 for McCain and 31,611 for Obama.

Vice President Biden has a new pitch for those voters, though.

"This is not your father's Republican Party," he told the crowd. "They're not bad. They're just very different," a reference to the Tea Party's influence on the GOP.

He also accused the Romney/Ryan campaign of supporting a plan for Medicare, the healthcare program for senior citizens, that would have immediate negative impacts.

"I mean literally immediately cut their benefits on prescription drugs, wellness visits --- everything from breast cancer exams to colonoscopies," Biden said. "All those things which you don't have to pay any out-of-pocket thing for now."

He cited a study by a Harvard professor showing that despite claims from Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan that they wouldn't touch Medicare benefits for those currently in the program, a 65-year-old would actually end-up paying an extra $11,000 over the rest of their life in out-of-pocket Medicare costs.

Biden said a 54-year-old would pay $60,000 more and a person who's 48-years-old today would end-up paying $125,000 more under Romney's plan.

One man in the crowd got so angry, he actually shouted at Biden.

"Not going to happen!" the man said.

"It's not going to happen. No, no," said Biden, perhaps fearing the man misunderstood him, as Obama supporters behind the vice president shook their heads to confirm what the vice president was saying.

"And it's not just, it's not just me," Biden added. "There's a Congress and Democrats --- they're not going to let it happen no matter what."

A line that seemed to undercut the vice president's message that re-electing Pres. Obama is crucial.

Gov. Romney's campaign shot back, in a statement to Politico after the president made similar claims in Florida, saying that the study the Obama campaign is citing is "discredited" because the author used to advise the Obama campaign on healthcare issues.

"The president's decision to use discredited studies and outright falsehoods to attack Mitt Romney is an admission that he can't talk about his record of crushing the middle class and failing to turn the economy around," Ryan Williams, a Romney spokesperson, is quoted as saying.

As he wrapped-up his speech in Milford, Vice President Biden returned to a theme millions of Americans saw him speak about at the convention in Charlotte. He accuses Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan of denigrating the country by describing a "culture of dependency" and what they see as America's decline.

"America is not in decline," Biden said.

Then he repeated his "message" for his opponents.

"Gentlemen, never ever, ever think it's a good bet to bet against the American people," Biden said to wild cheers. "It's never a good bet to bet against the American people."

In two months, voters will decide whether it's a good bet to give the Obama/Biden team another four years in office.


More on the candidates' Medicare plans: