By Geneva Sands - 08/22/12 01:04 PM EDT
The ad goes on to tout the "Romney-Ryan" plan, saying that it will restore and protect Medicare.
Medicare has been a major focus of the presidential contest since Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was announced as the vice presidential candidate less than two weeks ago. Ryan authored a House Republican budget that would allow Medicare beneficiaries to choose between traditional Medicare and federal subsidies with which to buy private insurance. Democrats argue Romney is effectively endorsing this plan by adding Ryan to the ticket, and they think it will be a major problem for Republicans during the fall campaign.
Republicans, aware of the danger, have hit Obama hard on the healthcare law's changes to Medicare.
"Nearly one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business, or just stop taking Medicare patients, because you know why? President Obama treated Medicare like a piggy bank to fund ObamaCare, and his campaign calls that an ‘achievement,' " Ryan said Tuesday on the campaign trail in Carnegie, Pa.
The president and his reelection team have vehemently fought against the Romney-Ryan accusations.
“Mitt Romney’s newest ad is right about one thing: Nothing’s free, especially the Romney-Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a voucher system," said Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith in a statement. "While providing tax credits to help families and small businesses afford healthcare, ObamaCare extended the life of Medicare by nearly a decade, strengthened Medicare benefits and achieved $716 billion in savings by cracking down on fraud and needless payments to insurance companies."
In Ohio on Tuesday, Obama also repeated claims that Romney wants to turn Medicare into a voucher program. Democrats have referred to Ryan's plan as a voucher system.
"They know that gutting investments in education and science and infrastructure, and voucherizing Medicare — they know that doesn’t really sell well," said Obama during a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio, according to the campaign.
— This story was updated at 10:50 a.m.